L-Istrina yesterday kept its annual appointment with the customary clowning and tear-jerking film clips to raise funds for charity organisations.
After around nine hours of fund raising, the organisers had collected over Lm406,000 as benefactors were constantly winning prizes worth much more than their donations.
In fact, whoever donated between Lm5 and Lm10 got between Lm30 and Lm40 worth of vouchers for various products and services.
The telethon lasted till midnight and half the donations will be handed to the Malta Community Chest Fund to distribute according to the needs of its beneficiaries.
Other organisations to benefit will include the Eden Foundation, old people’s homes, children’s homes, CCU Gozo, Puttinu Cares, Arka Foundation Gozo, the Augustine sisters, YMCA, deaf people and Dar Suret il-Bniedem.
Ironically, HSBC bank which last year posted record profits of over Lm50 million and which runs Puttinu Cares (one of L-Istrina’s beneficiaries), kicked off the telethon by donating Lm10,000.
Another beneficiary, the Eden Foundation, is the NGO offering disability services against payment and which this year received Lm310,000 from the state.
Peppi Azzopardi reneged on last year’s dramatic promise of absence and returned to present this year’s event, flanked by Valerie Vella.
Boycotted by Labour in the past, the party leadership was also present yesterday headed by acting leader Charles Mangion, who has taken over the helm as Alfred Sant recovers in hospital from surgery.
Parliamentary Secretary Tony Abela – the same one who insisted against all protocol that the army gave him the national salute and who gave a show during PN live telethons producing stacks of cash out of his jacket – donated Lm220 collected from among hunters and trappers.
Bank of Valletta donated the sum of Lm17,5000, collected from some 65,000 school children.