Annual charity telethon 'Jõulutunnel' brings in more than 206,000€ in donations ({{commentsTotal}})

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Proceeds from the 2016 edition of ETV's annual charity telethon "Jõulutunnel" will go to support the improvement of fitness opportunities for persons with mobility impairments, for whom two dedicated fitness centers outfitted with specialized equipment will be built in Tallinn and Tartu.

"Opportunities for movement and fitness are very important for all of us," said Estonian Union of Persons with Mobility Impairment (ELIL) rehabilitation center director Piret Vahula. "That is true for people with mobility impairments as well. Unfortunately their fitness opportunities are limited. It isn't possible to use regular gym equipment in a wheelchair, and there is no way to train with very small loads, as these people often need."

All of the equipment to be purchased with the money raised is specially developed and constructed with the particular needs of special needs and rehabilitation in mind, including those of wheelchair users.

The fitness centers will be available for use by people of all ages who may need it — whether they have suffered from a heart attack, stroke, neurological disorder, multiple sclerosis, back or brain injury or work or domestic accident, physical exercise under the guidance of an experienced therapist goes a long way in improving movement among these patients.

By Sunday night, over 200,000 euros had been raised, which will allow for the opening of the fitness center in Tallinn as welll as support the purchase of some of the equipment for the fitness center planned for Tartu. While the total amount needed to fully equip both fitness centers is 230,000, ELIL director Auli Lõoke confirmed that while the total raised on Christmas Day came up short, the Tartu center would still be built.

"Jõulutunnel" kicked off at 10 a.m. on Christmas Day and included a total of five hours of live broadcasts, including two held at Tallinn's St. Nicholas' Church.

The "Jõulutunnel" donation lines are open from Nov. 21 through midnight on Dec. 26. To donate 5 euros, call 900 771; to donate 10, call 900 7702; to donate 25, call 900 7703.

Donations can also be made by bank transfer to the "Eesti Liikumispuudega Inimeste Liit," IBAN EE512200221030393016; be sure to note "Jõulutunnel" in the details line.

Previous partner organizations include the Estonian Cancer Society, the Estonian Union for Child Welfare, the Estonian Food Bank and the Foundation Maarja Päikesekodu.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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