The 16th Great Finale of The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity will collect money on Jan. 13 for children with larynx and vocal cord problems.
The Great Finale, a foundation set up by Jerzy Owsiak, will use 120 thousand volunteers throughout Poland to collect the money in cans. In exchange for the money, donors will receive red hearts, the symbol of the foundation.
The Great Finale is the basis for all the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity’s projects. Sponsored by large companies, the Great Finale is the source of funds spent by the foundation on medical equipment for public hospitals throughout Poland.
During the nationwide, one-day collection, volunteers collect money on the streets of their hometowns and organize fundraising parties, concerts, auctions and shows.
“We are proud of our volunteers,” the foundation’s web site says. “They are honest, reliable, and fully dedicated to our ideas. We appreciate their great spirit and we thank them for the help and hope that they’ve been giving us for over a decade.”
The Great Finale in Krakow will begin on Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square) with band concerts by Trebunie Tutki, Pudelsi, Nutshell, The Dollars Brothers Band, Alergen, DreadRock, Latajace Talerze, Marvels, Kulturka, Chlopacy, Per-Wers and Pikantik.
The mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, has given the charitable auction a symbolic key to the gate of the city and a gold coin from the Ceremony of the Anniversary of 750 years of Krakow’s location.
The foundation of The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity was registered in 1992 by Owsiak. It is a nongovernmental and nonprofit organization which operates on a nationwide scale.
In 1993, Owsiak led a national drive which collected more than $1.5 mln. The money was spent for new equipment for 10 pediatric cardio surgery divisions in Poland.
Since that year, the Great Finale has become an annual tradition. Between 1993 and 2006 the Great Orchestra has collected $65 mln and has bought ambulances, oxygen blenders, infusion and drainage pumps, pulse oximeters, infant ventilators, new beds and anti-bedsore mattresses.