On Sunday, June 16, we held our first parallel Sydney-Gugark fundraising event, aimed at fostering environmental sustainability through reforestation. The fundraiser, taking place simultaneously in Sydney, and in our Gugark nursery in Armenia, welcomed Australian-Armenians in both countries, separated by oceans, but united for the future of Armenia’s forests.
More than 45 individuals and families from both countries made pledges to plant trees. In Sydney, more than 15,500 trees were pledged while supporters in Armenia pledged more than 11,500 trees. In total, we received commitments to plant over 27,000 trees, translating into some AUD 52,000 ($35.000) pledged for this cause.
The threshold for a named forest is 20,000 trees and this was our target for the day. We are thrilled to have exceeded this goal by a significant margin. The pledged trees will be planted to create the Australian-Armenian forest in Lernajour this fall.
His Eminence Archbishop Haigazoun Najarian welcomed the guests at Bar Lulu, followed by Garo Simonian, the owner and host of the evening who graciously offered his venue to organize this event. He was followed by Jon Dee, the well-known Australian TV host and environmentalist, founder of Rock Aid Armenia, and One Tree Per Child initiatives. Jon and Garry visited our nursery and afforestation areas this spring, which was the perfect opportunity for them to report to the guests what they had witnessed.
Then, our founder, Andre Gumuchdjian, through a video connection, presented to both audiences in Australia and in Armenia, the crucial importance of forests for the future of mankind, as well as for Armenia. Reforestation is a very long and challenging work that requires a lot of patience, but it is absolutely essential to preserve forests if we want our planet to be inhabitable by future generations.
Some of the Australian-Armenians who were present in Gugark came with their children, it was a great opportunity for the little ones to learn (along with their parents) how trees are grown from seeds. They were also able to sow seeds themselves and water some of our trees in the nursery.
The Australian-Armenian forest in Lernajour will span a total surface area of 6 hectares. This initiative will also create over 20 jobs in the region, further contributing to the local economy and communities.
Those who want to join this opportunity and help plant an even larger forest may do so. Larger forests yield greater positive environmental effects, your support can make a considerable difference. To make a tax-deductible donation, go to our donation page and select the country. 

We express our heartfelt gratitude to Garry Simonian, for hosting the event at Bar Lulu, and, in particular, Lala Garabedian and Roupinah Simonian for their volunteer efforts at this double event. They are the reason for the success of the event.

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