Quake fundraiser musters NT$220 million for victims


TAIPEI, Taiwan — A television fundraising campaign in Taiwan Sunday collected NT$220 million in just over four hours for relief and reconstruction work in earthquake-devastated areas in southwestern China.

The campaign was sponsored by the Taipei-based China Television Co. (CTV), CTI TV, the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China and an exchange association of performing artists’ agents in Taipei.

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou and his wife Chou Mei-ching joined more than 100 other celebrities answering phone calls and accepting donations from viewers on 123 phone lines installed for the event.

Other politicians and celebrities who took part in the fundraiser included Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, Taipei Magistrate Chou Hsi-wei, Taoyuan Magistrate Chu Li-lun, CTI TV presenter Sisy Chen, many other TV hosts and hostesses, political pundits, singers and models.

A variety show took place alongside the fundraising drive and the the program was broadcast live by CTV, CTI TV and Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.

The campaign began at 7:30 p.m. and was scheduled to end at 11:30 p.m., but the public response was so overwhelming that the organizers decided to allow the event to continue until midnight.