More than a million raised for MDA

By Leon Symons, November 4, 2010

Magen David Adom raised more than £1.1 million at its annual fundraising dinner at the Millenium Hotel in London's Mayfair on Tuesday.

An MDA spokesman said: "It was a record on the night but the dinner campaign goes on for longer than that."

The charity that raises money for Israel's ambulance service, and which also takes charge of its blood donation service, changed the usual dinner agenda of a serious speaker by bringing in impressionist and comedian Rory Bremner, who brought howls of laughter from the 340 guests with a stream of gags.

The supporters were shown a film profiling MDA's work and focusing on its special "wish" ambulance.

Chief executive Eli Benson explained: "This is a one-off ambulance kitted out to help people with terminal or serious debilitating illnesses."

The film showed an Israeli family where the father suffered from multiple system atrophy, a progressive neurological disorder. It showed how the ambulance enabled the father, who was unable to move and communicated only through his eyes, to be under the chuppah for his son's wedding.

Last updated: 4:46pm, November 4 2010