Music for Life raises €3.65 million
This year’s Music for Life appeal by radio broadcaster Studio Brussel raised a total of €3.65 million for the fight against malaria in the developing world. A party in the Ghent Vooruit complex brought an end to a week-long radio action in which three StuBru DJs – Sofie Lemaire, Siska Schoeters and Sam De Bruyn – broadcast 24 hours a day from a glass house set up on the Woodrow Wilsonplein in Ghent. The money was raised by listeners who paid to have requests played by the trio.
In addition, various official bodies made donations: €50,000 from the city of Ghent and €16,000 raised by city staff; €300,000 from the Flemish region and €1m from the federal government. Flemish singer Helmut Lotti donated his pink Saab convertible, which was auctioned for €22,500. A special edition of the VRT quiz show Blokken raised €19,500, while an artwork by Dutch conceptual artist Jam Smit, with contributions from sports stars Kim Clijsters, Tia Hellebaut and Eddy Merckx, was sold for €15,400.
The Red Cross, which put the money towards the purchase of mosquito nets, benefitted from the charity action, as did the tax authorities, who took €10,000 in VAT on the €150,000 sales of Stories for Life, a collection of short stories written for the occasion by well-known Flemish authors. One of the authors, Dimitri Verhulst, called the tax-grab “sad”. He added: “But it’s never too late. They could still decide to hand back the €10,000. It’s just a suggestion.”