For Immediate Release ~ September 24, 2012

Yerevan, September 24, 2012 – With a festive ceremony held at the Stepanakert Retirement Home on September 24, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund unveiled the facility’s newly renovated and furnished second wing. The renovation project was made possible by Moscow-based industrialist Armen Shakhazizyan – a top benefactor of the fund and founder and CEO of the Luding group of companies – with additional support from the government of Artsakh.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Bako Sahakyan, president of Artsakh; Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, primate of the Artsakh Diocese; Ashot Ghulyan, chairman of the Artsakh National Assembly; Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund; and benefactor Armen Shakhazizyan; as well as several high-ranking officials and numerous guests.

In his opening remarks, Lenstan Ghulyan, deputy minister of Artsakh’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, thanked the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and Armen Shakhazizyan for their support of critically important projects benefiting senior citizens in Artsakh. The honor of cutting the red ribbon was given to Armen Shakhazizyan and Irina Sargsyan, director of the Stepanakert Retirement Home.

”This is a day of great significance for me,” Shakhazizyan said as he addressed the attendees. ”We joined forces to refurbish the home of our elderly compatriots, as I believe that participating in benevolent projects in the homeland must be our supreme goal.” Shakhazizyan added that he will also sponsor the complete renovation of the Stepanakert Conservatory, a project set to launch in the near future.

In his welcome speech, Ara Vardanyan spoke of inspiring the young generation to engage in altruism and community give-back. ”Today, by caring for our seniors, we are also striving to set a great example for our youth,” he said. ”In this respect, we view the renovation of the Stepanakert Retirement Home as a particularly important initiative.”

Following the blessing of the facility by Archbishop Martirosyan, the attendees were given a tour of the upgraded and expanded premises.

The renovation project has included the refurbishment and refurnishing of the second wing’s 26 resident rooms. In addition, a large cafeteria, a kitchen, a boiler room, and a carport were built. The grounds of the facility have also undergone a complete makeover, now featuring abundant green spaces, widened pathways, and a pavilion, with newly installed lighting and sprinkler systems as well as a fence.

The next phase of the Stepanakert Retirement Home’s renovation will comprise the refurbishment of the first wing and events hall, slated to be completed in spring 2013.

Currently 80 seniors, many with physical disabilities, live at the Stepanakert Retirement Home. Furthermore, the staff provide at-home supportive services to about 150 retirees.

During the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 2010 Moscow Gala, benefactor Armen Shakhazizyan not only contributed $500,000 for the extensive renovation of the Stepanakert Retirement Home, but pledged an additional $300,000 toward the implementation of vital water-infrastructure projects in Artsakh.