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LOS ANGELES –Disabled athletes from Armenia that took part in the Los
Angeles Marathon and the 2002 Winter Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City
were honored at a fund raiser held on Friday, March 22 at Café Santorini
Restaurant. Over 100 Pyunic supporters came to meet the seven athletes and
two Pyunic officials and raised $13,600 to benefit the work of Pyunic with
the disabled in Armenia.

The Pyunic/Los Angeles Chapter sponsored the reception for the Pyunic
athletes. During the evening supporters had the opportunity to meet with
the athletes and view the various displays depicting the work of Pyunic in
Armenia. Included in the display was a video of the history of Pyunic,
photo albums highlighting various programs and projects of Pyunic in
Armenia and the two-page photo spread of Pyunic skier Meher Ahvanesyan at
the Winter Paralympic Games in the March 18th edition of “Sports

Valery Mkrtoumian, Consul General of Armenia in Los Angles, spoke at the
reception. He commended the 12 years of work of Pyunic for the disabled in
Armenia. He stated that Pyunic has been at the forefront of working for the
rights and needs of the disabled in Armenia and is recognized by the
government for its expertise in this area of service. He also said that the
Pyunic athletes represented Armenia at the 2002 Winter Paralympic Games and
continued Armenia’s participation in world class events.

The government of Armenia allocated $27,000 to fund the participation of
Armenia’s participation at the Winter Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City
with six athletes and three officials. These funds paid for travel expenses,
training expenses, participation fees and lodging at the Paralympic Village.
Pyunic presented Mkrtoumian with a memento depicting the Paralympic emblem
in appreciation for the government’s support of the delegation to Salt Lake

Hakob Abrahamyan, President of Pyunic, briefly reviewed the history of
Pyunic and focused on the current and future needs of the disabled in
Armenia. He stated that Pyunic is now working on lobbying efforts with the
government of Armenia to improve the quality of life of the disabled in
Armenia. Abrahamyan spoke about the development of the seven athletes as
young men and women through their years of working with Pyunic. The
development of their self-confidence and self-esteemed through their sports
training has resulted in their participation in world class competitions
representing Armenia with great honor. He thanks all those in attendance for
their continued support of Pyunic.

All seven athletes received medals from the Pyunic/LA Chapter for their
participation in their respective events and for being such great
ambassadors for Armenia.

Panos and Vasken Haytaian, owners of Café Santorini Restaurant hosted the
reception for Pyunic.

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