By Maria Gregoriou
THIS year’s 24th annual Radiomarathon for children with special needs is taking place from October 20-22, it was announced yesterday.
Bank of Cyprus (BoC) will this year take over the mantle from the now defunct Laiki Bank. The bank was put into resolution this year as part of an international bailout.
BoC is joining with SUPER FM to “continue the tradition”, said the head of the coordinating team for the Radiomarathon, Demetris Sparsis.
Sparsis said even though the country was going through a financial crisis, it was important for contributions to the Radiomarathon to continue.
“In this way, the human values that unite us will be at the forefront,” Sparsis said.
Touching on the criticism received last year centering on how the Radiomarathon and events like it mask the real issues of people with special needs – a new government policy that would treat people equally and not charity cases – Sparsis said the fundraising event did not aim to replace the state’s role.
“Fundraising has proven to be a valuable supplement to the work of the state and under the present conditions we are facing, this is even more valuable,” he added.
This is the first year that new First Lady, Andri Anastasiadou is taking on the role of chairwoman of the management committee of the Radiomarathon Foundation.
Commenting yesterday, the First Lady paid tribute to all those who had gone before her. “I would like to show my respect to all those who came before me, who worked hard over all these years to make the Radiomarathon synonymous with volunteerism and a great contribution to those who need support.”
Anastasiadou said the state’s efforts to overcome the island’s financial difficulties should not distract the public from continuing to contribute as much as they could spare.
She said the Radiomarathon supported numerous organisations, schools and institutions “that provide an education, care, pass-time activities and entertainment to children.”
Fundraising events this year include a five-day cruise aboard Louis Cruises Orient Queen to the Greek islands, which has been running since August 30.
The main three-day event will begin on October 20 with an official ceremony at the Cyprus state fair.
Throughout the three days, nine walks will take place in all cities. Sixteen piggy bank cars will visit all communities and schools. Stalls will be set up in all cities and a raffle for a FIAT 500 will be drawn.
In Nicosia stalls will be located at the Gavrielides and Kalispera traffic lights, by the Dias Publishing House, and at the entrance to Ledra Street.
In Limassol stall will be located at Anexartisias Street, and Makarios Avenue.
In Paphos a stall will be set up at Kennedy Square and in Larnaca at Academias Street.
In Paralimni, the stall will placed in Ayios Giorgios.Square.
To make a contribution the public can call Telebank on 8000 2000, or the iBank service of BoC on 800 00 800, or visit a BoC or a former Laiki Bank branch.
Contributions can also be made online through www.radiomarathonios.com, www.laikiebank.com, or www.bankofcyprus.com.cy.
Contributions can be donated by SMS to 7000. Send RM for €1, RM3 for €3 and RM5 for a €5 contribution.