A high-profile Polish annual fundraiser called the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity has collected millions to help diagnose and treat eye diseases in children, the organizers said on Sunday.

The foundation behind the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity drive says it has raised more than PLN 1.5 billion (EUR 330 million, USD 370 million) in funds since the effort was launched in Poland in 1992.

The foundation behind the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity drive says it has raised more than PLN 1.5 billion (EUR 330 million, USD 370 million) in funds since the effort was launched in Poland in 1992.Photo: PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

The drive, backed by celebrities, got under way in the morning, with fundraising efforts across Poland and a host of other countries with Polish communities, including the United States, Australia and Japan.

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The money collected will be used to support pediatric healthcare and to buy modern medical equipment.

This year’s fundraiser is the 30th of its kind. It focuses on helping children with eyesight problems.

By 9 p.m. on Sunday, the total collected stood at over PLN 100 million (around EUR 21.8 million, USD 24.3 million) and the money was expected to continue pouring in, impresario Jerzy Owsiak, the driving force behind the charity effort, told reporters.

Impresario Jerzy Owsiak, the driving force behind the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity effort.

Impresario Jerzy Owsiak, the driving force behind the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity effort. PAP/Paweł Supernak

Celebrities and sports stars, including tennis player Iga Świątek, pitched in by putting up personal items for a charity auction.

Last year’s effort brought in over PLN 210 million, according to the organizers.

The foundation behind the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity drive says it has raised more than PLN 1.5 billion (EUR 330 million, USD 370 million) in funds for pediatric and elderly healthcare since the effort was launched in 1992.

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