IT-GIRL KIM KARDASHIAN HELPS RAISE 90000 FOR ARMENIAN ORPHANS
Star-studded event features Hollywood celebrities and Vegas look-alikes
Published: Saturday January 31, 2009
“It Girl” Kim Kardashian helps raise $90k for Armenian orphans
Universal City, Calif. - The unlikely pairing of the Armenian Church and sex-scandal-infamous party-girl-turned-celebrity Kim Kardashian help raise more than $90,000 for the Etchmiadzin Children's Fund (EFC). The charity's annual Gala Night on Friday, January 23, attracted more than 350 guests and featured real, somewhat real, and fake Hollywood stars, celebrity look-alikes, Las Vegas impersonators, and a few disconcerted church ladies.
For almost two decades, the EFC - under the auspices of Catholicos Karekin II and the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America - has raised funds to help build an orphanage and help children in need. The EFC provides food, clothing, medical care, and school supplies through annual sponsorships. More than a thousand children have benefited from sponsorships of $250 annually.
In 2005, Karekin II gave his blessing for an orphanage that would serve needy children who lived near the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Since then, a dynamic, three-pronged project operates two orphanages and an outreach program that sponsor hundreds of needy children all over Armenia.
At the Gala on Friday night, EFC chair and prideful organizer of the event Gayane Tatoulian urged those in attendance to continue supporting the children of Armenia by subsidizing the EFC.
"With the economic hardships we have all seen these past few months, I understand how people are afraid of helping others," she said. "We cannot let this economy make us bitter, but better. The children of Armenia are also afraid of being forgotten."
During the cocktail hour, Kim Kardashian, Kloe Kardashian, and Robert Kardashian, Jr., came to donate a check to the EFC in their late father's name. Guests surrounded the Kardashians, snapping pictures with the reality TV family.
Producer and former daytime talk show host Ricki Lake spent the entire evening at the event with her friend and nanny, Maria de Silva, who was recently named a CNN Hero.
Ms. Tatoulian, who had formed a friendship with Ms. De Silva, invited her as a guest speaker to talk about her experiences of helping orphans in her native Malawi. Ms. De Silva responded to Ms. Tatoulian's request by saying, "the world needs to know that Armenia has so many children in need."
As a nanny working in the United States, Ms. De Silva remained devoted to her Malawian roots and worked compassionately for the benefit of orphans. Her work garnered her the CNN accollades.
Ms. De Silva's love of children and desire to help her people inspired her to develop a program to rescue the orphans and raise awareness of their plight. Her own family had been devastated by the AIDS epidemic ravaging Malawi.
"Every child, no matter where they come from, needs love, care attention, food and education," said Ms. De Silva. "If we take care of our children, we are giving them a future."
As the guest of honor of the ECF Grand Gala Night, Ms. De Silva received a framed commendation letter, a traditional Armenian painting of a cross by artist Seeroon Yeretzian (Arts & Culture, July 12, 2008) from the Primate of the Western Diocese. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian also gifted her with a cross that he blessed at the banquet before she put it around her neck.
Ricki Lake also spoke at the Gala, applauding the efforts of the EFC and Ms. De Silva.
"It is truly inspirational to take out time to be here today," she said. "Maria is as much as a saint as anyone I know. You inspire me. You make me a better mother. I am lucky to have you by my side."
Ricki Lake was also presented with an original Yeretzian painting of a pomegranate from Archbishop Derderian.
During the archbishop's address, he spoke about common God of helping the needy children of the world.
"Our love is not only for our dear children in Armenia, but for all children without exception," said the archbishop. "Every child is a gift of God, and the pain of every child is the pain of all of us."
The evening culminated with performances by Elvis impersonator Harry Shahoian (Art & Culture, May 10, 2008) and Dean Martin impersonator Mark
Varabian. Also appearing was Cher impersonator Lisa Iron, who sang "I've got you babe" with audience members.?
At least she's putting her ass to good use
Edited by Zartonk, 31 January 2009 - 05:49 PM.