During the New Year’s Day Feast of Generosity, organised by RTK4Charity, €980,911 were raised in aid of Dar tal-Providenza.
The dry but rather chilly weather did not dampen the large crowds’ enthusiasm as they made their way to Siġġiewi on the 1st January 2017. The generous benefactors made their donations under the big tent set up in the parking lot. As has now become custom, various parishes in Malta and Gozo also made special collections during church celebrations, and presented them during the telethon.
The Director, Fr Martin Micallef, said that this year’s edition of the Feast of Generosity has once again shown the solidarity with and generosity of the Maltese people towards Dar tal-Providenza. He thanked the civil and political authorities for their support, as well as all those hundreds of volunteers that took part in the organisation of the Feast.
The first official visitor was Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, who also celebrated Mass in the Home’s chapel. He said that Dar tal-Providenza, whose residents cost €100 per person per day to maintain their quality of life, is a monument to the culture of life, and through it, our nation spreads the values in favour of life and human dignity, so that we can be a source of hope and support to all of Europe. After midnight, Archbishop Scicluna phoned in during the live broadcast as he felt that he should also thank the Maltese public for its generosity.
Other visits were made by the President of Malta, Her Excellency Mrs Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and her husband Mr Preca; Dr Chris Cardona, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business who stepped in for the Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat who is away from the island; Dr Beppe Fenech Adami, Deputy Leader of the Nationalist Party who was representing the Leader of the Opposition Dr Simon Busuttil who is also away; the Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing, Dr Justyne Caruana; Archbishop Emeritus, Mgr Pawl Cremona OP and Vicar General Mgr Joe Galea Curmi. Members of Parliament from both sides of the House and representatives of constituted bodies also made it to Siġġiewi during the day.
As part of the Feast of Generosity, €32,010 were raised through an auction of various works of art donated by more than hundred Maltese and foreign artists. Various bids were placed online, but most bidders were there personally to follow the process.
The live television broadcast started at 9am with Holy Mass and continued till just after midnight, when the total sum collected during the day was announced. TVM1, TVM2, ONE TV, NET TV and FLiving Channel took part for long stretches of the 15-hour televised marathon. This included entertainment provided by the top singers on the island and various entertainers that managed to create a festive family atmosphere.