[WATCH] L-Istrina broke last year's record, raising €7.1million for charity

Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and the President all weighed in on the importance of today's fundraising event, as last year's amount raised was trumped by over a million, with €7.1million raised this year

L-Istrina collects new record sum
L-Istrina collects new record sum

L-Istrina broke last year's record by over a million, with funds raised amounting to €7,134,036. 

Thanking the Maltese nation, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said, "There's no nation quite like ours. This is a unique country. In England and in Italy, and other countries like Belgium, fundraising events do not raise as much money as Malta does."

She was convinced at the start of the event that Malta would celebrate generosity at the end of the 12-hour marathon.

In its 20th edition, L-Istrina had already raised over €1,000,000 in a little over two hours. The event started at noon today.

Today's edition beat last year's record of over €5.5million raised in 12 hours.

Coleiro Preca said Malta was renowned for its generosity, with hospital managements from other countries telling her they had been amazed at how the Maltese always helped each other out.

L-Istrina host Peppi Azzopardi urged viewers of the live coverage of the event to buy products from the sponsors. "These are people who have turned a profit over the year and decided to be generous. These are the businesses that deserve your support because they're giving something back with your help," he said.

Azzopardi even thanked the President for working tirelessly for charities over her five-year tenure.

From abroad, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat appealed to people to donate. "This year, L-Istrina needs you. We should be generous as previous years, or even more so. Those who donate sometimes end up at the other end too."

He said that this would be the first L-Istrina event that he would miss, being abroad, but that he would be there in spirit.

Opposition leader Adrian Delia appealed to people to be aware of those who were less fortunate around them and it wasn't just about the donations but a helping hand and awareness too.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna stressed the importance of this event and said that Christmas is a tangible evidence that love and hope are something we are capable of.

L-Istrina will ran all day long and the lines remained open up until midnight.