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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » January 7, 2009
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17th Great Christmas Aid Orchestra
January 7, 2009 By P.M.    
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The finale of the 17th Great Christmas Aid Orchestra project, the country's largest fundraising campaign, will take place Jan. 11. Volunteers in Poland and abroad will be collecting donations for medical equipment to treat children suffering from cancer.

As every year, the Great Christmas Aid Orchestra finale will see hundreds of music concerts and other cultural events taking place across Poland. Almost 120,000 volunteers will be out in force to support the charity drive.

When the campaign started in 1993, it raised over $2 million. Last year, the Great Christmas Aid Orchestra foundation collected almost $14 million. Over the years the campaign has raised funds and bought medical equipment worth over $80 million in total. The foundation, established by charity campaigner Jerzy Owsiak, has provided state-of-the-art life-saving equipment for many health centers which treat children. Around 17,000 items of various types of medical equipment purchased by the Great Christmas Aid Orchestra are in use at almost 700 children's wards across Poland.

This year's finale will raise funds for equipment for health centers which specialize in diagnosing cancer in children. The campaign seeks to improve cancer prevention and early diagnosis.

Still before the big day, people can donate and auction items via the popular Polish auction website Allegro.pl. At the end of December, the special Great Christmas Aid Orchestra auction comprised 4,500 items worth almost zl.100,000. The items include a T-shirt worn by Polish driver Robert Kubica, a member of the BMW Formula 1 team. Last year, the Allegro.pl auction raised over zl.1.3 million.

For more information go to www.wosp.org.pl and www.aukcje.wosp.org.pl
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