Updated midnight

L-Istrina, the annual charity festival, raised more than €5.5 million for the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation over 12 hours.

The record sum was €1.5 million more than the €4,020,600 raised during the 2015 edition.

Phone lines opened at noon with appeals for solidarity by Malta's political leaders and the archbishop.

This was the 18th edition of the charity festival, with the telethon held at Kirkop Sports Centre and broadcast on all the local TV stations. Donations can be made over the phone.

Among the beneficiaries of l-Istrina funds was Samuel, 11, who was blinded by cancer. His comments, seen in the interview above, are inspirational.

Samuel also kick-started today's edition.

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca thanked all in advance for their donations and said the Maltese people should be proud of their generosity. 

The President is to make all those who make donations of more than €300 'ambassadors of solidarity'.

Bank of Valletta presented a €100,000 donation to the President, with the bank saying it had doubled funds collected through its L-Istrina Piggy Bank campaign, whereby donation boxes are placed in every school in Malta and Gozo. This was the 13th year BOV has organised its piggy bank initiative. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us