NEW YORK--An enthusiastic crowd of Armenia Tree Project (ATP) and Paros Foundation supporters gathered at the popular Almayass Restaurant in New York City in November to kick off a strategic partnership. The two organizations are teaming up to improve the primary school in Rind, a village in Armenia's southern wine region of Vayots Dzor.
"The central element of this new partnership is capitalizing on the strengths of the two organizations," explains ATP Executive Director Jeanmarie Papelian. "Paros has a proven expertise in renovating schools and creating a clean, healthy atmosphere for students to learn and grow. ATP will provide environmental education to the students and create new green spaces around the school for the benefit of the children."
The sold out benefit event in New York created a terrific environment for socializing and featured the beautiful voice of Hooshere, who performed and was one of the lead organizers. Guests were able to bid on several silent auction items that were donated to benefit the Rind school including items from Michael Aram, Eileen Karakashian, Tufenkian Artisan Carpets, Zorah Wines, World’s First Wines, and Simon Ardem.
The event was attended by ATP founder Carolyn Mugar and Paros founder Roger Strauch. "On behalf of the Paros Foundation and ATP, we would like to thank the organizing committee comprised of Anahid Ugurlayan, Hooshere Bezdikian, Lisa Sarajian, and Nicole Vartanian for making this event such a huge success," emphasized Mr. Strauch. "We’re excited about this partnership and hope this project is the first of many in Armenia. The hard work and dedication shown by our committee was instrumental in the success of the event and very much appreciated."
This project will bring about positive improvements for the more than 1,700 people that call Rind their home. Armenia’s ambassador to the United Nations Zohrab Mnatsakanian delivered a moving appeal, urging people to give the kids of Rind Village a chance to excel. "Look at their faces. Look at their confidence," he exclaimed while pointing to a photo of them in classroom. "Let's support these organizations to give these kids the opportunity to do great things!"
As a result of the generous support of the guests, Paros will completely renovate and furnish the school's kitchen and cafeteria, which will allow the school to prepare hot meals for the children. ATP is planting more than 550 trees and shrubs at the site, and introducing its "Plant an Idea, Plant a Tree" environmental education curriculum at the school. The tree planting was initiated the day after the New York benefit event, with the remainder of the work scheduled for 2018.
The two organizations will report on the progress of this project as it proceeds in the coming months. To learn more or to support either organization, please visit armeniatree.org or parosfoundation.org.