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Old 15.05.2007, 12:27   #1
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Exclamation Armenian Rock Bands Organize 4/24 Benefit For Hrant Dink Memorial Forest

PRESS RELEASE
May 14, 2007

Armenian Rock Bands Organize 4/24 Benefit For Hrant Dink Memorial Forest

HOLLYWOOD, CA--Young Armenian-Americans came forward once again to volunteer their time and energy in support of Armenia Tree Project (ATP). When Hovannes Donelyan and his friends in the rock group the Mercenaries heard about ATP's effort to plant a forest in memory of the slain writer Hrant Dink, they contacted our Watertown office and offered to help.

Hovannes and his friends in the California-based bands Onesidezero, Red Snow, Mercenaries (name changed to 24 Black), Vokee, Medagh, and Full Force Rising all came together to raise funds for the Hrant Dink Memorial Forest, by donating the proceeds of a benefit concert held on April 24 at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood to ATP.

The concert was attended by more than 1,000 young Armenians, as well as a small number of older but still committed supporters. Most of them came to the concert after attending commemorations of the Armenian Genocide held in their local communities earlier in the day.

"We were very proud that these bands decided to dedicate their time and talent in support of ATP's Hrant Dink Memorial Forest in Armenia," stated ATP Deputy Director Jason Sohigian. "The music was great and the crowd was full of energy and pride the entire night, and ATP was honored to be chosen as the recipient of the proceeds from the night to create a living memorial to Mr. Dink who was tragically killed in Istanbul earlier this year."

The night was also a chance for ATP to connect with other supporters in the Los Angeles area who were supporting the Hrant Dink Memorial Forest. A group of professional women who are raising funds for this project actually attended the rock concert to show their support for ATP and to offer further support for the Hrant Dink Memorial Forest.

All of the bands have a strong presence on the popular My Space web site, and the benefit convinced ATP to create its own outreach page on the site, to link to the special page for the April 24 concert:
http://www.myspace.com/armeniatree

In addition to the volunteer efforts of the six bands, the concert was organized by Never Say Die Records and Sean Healy, who organized the sale of commemorative t-shirts and a guitar raffle with all of the proceeds going toward the planting of the Hrant Dink Memorial Forest. Several organizations in addition to ATP had informational tables at the event, including Armenian Film Foundation, Armenian Youth Federation, Armenian National Committee of America, and Axis of Justice. Glendale community leader Greg Krikorian was also invited to address the audience during the evening, and the event was promoted on Armenian television.

ATP announced its plans to plant a forest in Armenia memory of Hrant Dink soon after he was killed in January. In a special appeal, Executive Committee member Nancy Kricorian announced that ATP will be planting a memorial forest of 53,000 trees--1,000 trees for each of Hrant's 53 years of life. The first part of the forest is being planted this spring at a special site near ATP's nursery in Margahovit, and the remainder of the trees will be planted in the fall when the site will be officially inaugurated.

Armenia Tree Project (ATP), a grassroots-supported non-profit organization based in Watertown and Yerevan, conducts vitally important environmental projects in Armenia's impoverished and deforested zones. Since 1994, ATP has made enormous strides in combating desertification in the biologically diverse but threatened Caucasus region. More than 1.5 million trees have been planted and restored, and hundreds of jobs have been created for Armenians in seasonal tree-regeneration programs. For more information or to support ATP, visit the web site www.ArmeniaTree.org.
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