Today we have received amazing news from the European Parliament. The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation has been awarded the esteemed European Citizen's Prize, which honours exceptional achievements of European citizens and organization.
26th Grand Finale took place on Sunday, January the 14th, 2018.
What's it all about?
In music, finale stands for the closing piece of music numbers such as a sonata, a symphony, or an opera. In Poland, the Grand Finale stands for a daylong public fundraiser organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation. The Orchestra plays for the benefit of sick children and in aid of providing appropriate and dignified medical care available in geriatric wards. Each fundraiser is held in order to support one medical objective, and each time we scrupulously report our progress in fulfilling the objectives set by the last year's drive.
The fundraiser is organised locally by volunteers running Collection Centres, which coordinate public fundraisers and host a variety of events accompanying the Finale. The public eagerly flocks to see concerts, stand-up performances or sporting events and competitions. A network of Collection Centres is active nationwide and abroad as well - we play wherever there is a thriving Polish community. In the past years, volunteers have established nearly 1700 Collection Centres and coordinated the work of 120 thousand volunteers - young and old take to the streets to raise funds in support of medicine in Poland. The Grand Finale is a manifold event - a telethon is broadcast simultaneously to the public fundraiser, an online auction is held alongside live concerts in the TV studios. What makes it so unique is the fact that it is a purely grassroots event because the Foundation provides local activists with inspiration to hold the fundraiser, but everything else depends on their own creativity and resourcefulness. Often, the Grand Finale becomes one of the most important events, which brings local communities together - and this is something that never fails to impress us.
Traditionally, at 8 pm we invite everyone to join us in front of the stage at the Palace of Culture and Science for a fireworks display called 'Light to the Sky'. However, each Collection Centre makes sure to hold a light display to celebrate the work we all put into the Grand Finale - that's when the entire country sparks up with thousand lights. It is beautiful, indeed.
The events planned in Warsaw might be the most spectacular, but the entire country braves the cold January weather to 'play' together in aid of a concrete medical objective. Every year we are impressed by the ingenuity of the initiatives taking place as a part of the Grand Finale.
In the 25 years of our charitable endeavours, we raised 825 million PLN for the purchase of modern medical equipment for Polish public hospitals.