'La Marató' telethon raises over €9m in less than 18 hours
Donation period for 2019 charity event gathering funds for research into minority illnesses goes on until end of March
After almost 18 hours of uninterrupted programming, Catalonia's annual telethon, La Marató, this year raised over nine million euros for research into minority illnesses.
Organized by public broadcasters TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio, every year since 1992 La Marató telethon raises millions in public donations for a different medical cause.
This year's event held over the weekend was the 28th edition, which hit the 9.4-million-euro mark late on Sunday night, although the donation period is open until March 31, 2020.
Hosted by TV personality, Quim Masferrer, this year's event took to the road in a van, to cover some of the 3,600 fundraising activities in 729 municipalities around the country.
3,400 volunteers manned phone lines
Meanwhile, other well-known media personalities hosted proceedings in three studios around the country, where over 3,400 volunteers took calls from donors.
Research into minority illnesses will benefit from the 2019 telethon, which will hope to match the record 15 million euros raised last year that went to 43 cancer research projects.
As well as providing information on the medical area in question, La Marató also offers plenty of entertainment, and this year's edition was dominated by musical acts.
Among the acts this year were Cesk Freixas, Pasión Vega, Miki Núñez, Noa, Doctor Prats, Buhos, Els Catarres, Amaral i Roger Mas, Álex Ubago, and Les Montses.
This year was also the 15th anniversary of 'El Disc de la Marató,' a charity album featuring songs in Catalan from a broad variety of top local and international musical artists.
Catalonia's football clubs take part
Yet, La Marató's activities cover many areas, including sport, and this year saw the involvement of Catalonia's main football clubs, Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona.
The final amount raised this year won't be known until the fundraising period closes, and those still wishing to donate can do so on the website: www.tv3.cat/marato/donatius.
After that, the foundation that organizes the event will carry out over 40 visits in 14 biomedical research centers to explain to the public where the donations will go.