Owsiak: ‘Don’t interfere’ with WOŚP final
PR dla Zagranicy
Ahead of the 23rd Final of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (WOŚP) this weekend, the head of the organisation Jurek Owsiak has appealed “in the name of millions of Poles who help us, not to interfere”.
Jurek Owsiak at Thursday's press conference on the 23rd Final of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk
The comment comes as Owsiak claims he is under fire from right-wing media in Poland which raise doubts as to the charity’s finances, and which Owsiak believes publish information based on “manipulation, libel, lies and facts taken out of context”.
On Owsiak’s orders, one journalist from the right-leaning TV Republika, Michal Rachon, was also escorted out of the room where the conference was taking place after he started probing Owsiak’s finances. The move was met with criticism from other journalists at the conference despite Rachon’s evident baiting.
Owsiak is also fighting an ongoing legal battle against a blogger whom he accuses of defamation, and while he told journalists at a press conference that he believes in freedom of speech, Owsiak slammed Polish courts for not being able to deal with such cases.
Onto the final
The 23rd Final of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, one of Europe’s largest annual charity drives, raises funds for medical equipment, with proceeds this year going towards pediatric diagnosis in four fields of medicine: oncology, cardiology, pulmonology and rheumatology. Money is also to be spent on care for the elderly.
Speaking at the press conference, Chairman of the board of the WOŚP Foundation, Prof. Bohdan Maruszewski said that over the past 23 years WOŚP has purchased around 30,000 pieces of medical equipment for almost PLN 600 million and for 600 hospitals across Poland.
Around 120,000 volunteeers will be taking part in this year’s WOŚP final, not only in Poland, but also in a number posts abroad. Domestically, there are 1,474 active collection posts, 43 abroad, 32 stationary collection boxes and 120 charity parties.
Apart from physical collections, it is possible to also send SMS text messages as well as directly through the Orchestra’s website. For 15 years, it has also been possible to donate via a dedicated auction website, which has collected over PLN 700,000. (jb)