L-Istrina charity extravaganza achieves new record - €3.4m raised
Updatd 00.10 am Friday
L-Istrina 2013, Malta's Boxing Day charity campaign, achieved a new record tonight, with over €3,414,386 having been raised in the 12-hour extravaganza for the Community Chest Fund.
€3,294,997 were raised last year.
President George Abela expressed his 'heartfelt gratitude' to the Maltese people, describing the figure as 'incredible'.
The campaign was organised by the Community Chest Fund and an army of volunteers. Events were focused on the Mediterranean Conference Centre, the Astra Theatre in Gozo and SmartCity.
One of the first major donors, HSBC Foundation, donated €100,000. The bank's staff donated €2,500 from the sale of poinsetta plants and another €4,000 was raised through a staff challenge.
SmartCity Malta donated another €100,000. McDonalds raised €33,000. Michele Peresso Ltd raised €15,000.
Among other donations, ST donated €8,000, Farsons donated €25,000, Liquigas donated €7,000, Multigas donated €7,500 and the GWU gave €1,000.
The Imam presented €5,000 on behalf of the Islamic community. Go Ltd donated €20,000.
The L-Istrina BOV Piggybank Campaign raised €200,000. The Fun Run held in collaboration with Banif Bank added another €321,800.
Betsson gaming group donated €20,000. The Labour Party and the Nationalist Party each donated €2,000.
Marsovin raised €25,000 from L-Istrina wine festival. The police donated €7,500; The Central Bank €13,000; the Good Causes Fund, €50,000 and Vodafone €30,000.
€28,010 were raised by General Soft Drinks and its workers. Over €11,000 were raised in a fashion show on the cruiseliner Costa Favolosa.
€46,015 were raised from the L-Istrina fine arts auction and €179,000 from Tisjir bilghaqal, the cookery book produced for L-Istrina. Sports mil-qalb, a collaboration of a number of sports organisations, raised over €43,000. Goal ghal-Istrina, a collaboration of football clubs, donated €10,000.
The Paqpapaqli Ghal-Istrina motor show raised 207,470.
One of the most moving moments of the event today was when a severely disabled person, Deemer - who was assisted by the Liverpool Supporters Club and the programme Arani Issa to fulfil his dream of seeing his team Liverpool, reciprocated by donating a sports shirt signed by the players of the Reds.
As in previous years, L-Istrina was characterised by fun and games by well-known personalities and appeals by people who have endured hardship and tragedy in their personal lives and benefited from the people's generosity.
Various shows, particularly targeted at children, were held.
The Community Chest Fund over the past year issued close to €3 million to charitable causes and needy individuals, particularly relatives of the sick. It is now preparing to open a facility in Mtarfa to help people with eating disorders.
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil in an appeal early in the campaign,spoke on the joy of giving, which, he said, was bigger than the joy of receiving. He urged everyone to share in the joy of raising funds for L-Istrina.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said it was his wish to see last year's record exceeded. He said specialised medical care was very expensive and in making contributions, the donors may well end up helping themselves should they become ill over the coming year.
President Abela said L-Istrina was a celebration of solidarity and unity of the people. This was the people's gift to the seriously sick and those who were in need, he said. He thanked all those making donations.
THIS YEAR'S BENEFICIARIES
The beneficiaries this year are:
Youth Alive Foundation, Caritas Malta, Inspire - The Eden and Razzett Foundation, St. Jeanne Antide Foundation, Parroċċa Familja Mqaddsa, St. Joseph's Home, Dar Arka, Oratorju Don Bosco, OASI Foundation, Malta Red Cross Society.
Living Ability not Disability, The Spiro Mizzi Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) Malta, Piccola Casa di San Giuseppe, Caritas Malta, YMCA Homeless, The Malta Autism Centre Foundation for Education and Research.
The Ghana Mission Foundation, Angela House, The Malta Hospice Movement, Golden Daffodil Foundation, Dar Osanna Pia, Yi Xue Life Cultivation Malta Association.
Fondazzjoni Suret il-Bniedem, SOS Malta, KIDS - kids Initiative for Development and Sustainability, Fondazzjoni Kenn u Tama, Fondazzjoni Nazareth, Foundation for Respite Care Services (Dar il-Kaptan).
Ghaqda Żgħażagħ b'Diżabilità, Dar Qalb ta' Ġesu, Victim Support Malta, Action for breast cancer, Paulo Freire Institute, Puttinu Cares Foundation, Fondazzjoni Persuni B'Dizabilita
Żgħażagħ Ħaddiema Nsara, Augustinian Sisters, Franciscan Sisters in UK, NGOs for animal welfare.