A new record sum of €2,566,539 was raised in the annual charity fund raising event L-Istrina which was held at Verdala Palace in Buskett.

The 12-hour programme was collecting funds for 33 beneficiaries.

€2.4 million were raised last year.

The show was held in a transparent tent in the repaved grounds, bringing the palace to life through a re-enactment of a late-18th-century banquet in the dining room, complete with authentic dishes of the time, including rabbit pie and soup.

The event was kicked-off with appeals for donations by President George Abela and Mrs Abela, Prime Minsiter Lawrence Gonzi and Opposition leader Joseph Muscat.

It involved about 800 people, including the production team, crew and volunteers.

Donors included the HSBC Malta Foundation, one of the main sponsors for the event. The foundation made a  €100,000 donation.

The foundation also donated two important paintings from its private collection which were auctioned earlier this month with proceeds going to L-Istrina.

Over the last 11 years, as part of its Corporate Sustainability programme, the HSBC Malta Foundation supported l-Istrina with over €300,000 for the Malta Community Chest Fund.

Another major donor was Bank of Valletta, which presented €115,000 following another successful BOV Piggy Bank Campaign. BoV topped the amount collected to reach €115,000.

This is the eighth consecutive year that BOV has joined the Malta Community Chest Fund in this nationwide campaign to help raise awareness and funds for the Istrina Campaign.

Over 5,000 piggy banks were distributed to schools across Malta and Gozo as well as main shopping outlets. A number of large piggy banks were also placed in main shopping centres to help raise more funds.

This year BOV also launched the L-Istrina BOV Piggy Bank Campaign on Facebook.

More than half a million Euro have been presented to L-Istrina to date through the BOV L-Istrina Piggy Bank Campaign since this initiative was launched in 2004.

But the biggest donation by far came from Banif Bank, which gave a massive €233,030.

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