The Popular Choice Awards

'Bielsko-Biała for Tom Hanks' fund-raising initiative
Nearly PLN 120 thousand collected for the Children's Hospital in Bielsko-Biała, involving the Oscar-winning actor in the charity project, plus hundreds of throusands of poeple in the country, willing to support him. No charity project organized so far by a Polish shopping center has ever welcomed such outstanding support like "Bielsko-Biała for Tom Hanks" did. The very project started small - like a good joke. In 2016, shooting a movie in Hungary, Tom Hanks took a picture with Fiat 126p, which he posted on Instagram. Monika Jaskólska, a community volunteer, saw the post and came up with the idea to collect some money to buy and renovate a car, and then to send the car as a gift. A surplus from the fundraiser was promised to the Children's Hospital in Bielsko. The organizer asked Gemini Park for support. In November 2016, Jaskólska announced the project, live, in TVN. Several other fiat 126p cars also appeared in the show. A dedicated money box was placed in the Gemini the same month. A total of PLN 23 thousand was raised in this box alone. However, all of the money was paid directly to the hospital, because Rafał Sonik, the owner of Gemini, decided to finance the purchase of the car. Once purchased, the car was handed over to the mechanics. The shopping center launched a promotional campaign, including an event, during which the renovated car was displayed. In March 2017, an exhibition of the historical "Maluch" fiat 126p cars from the Fiat 126p Museum was presented in the shopping center. A convention of their enthusiasts accompanied the presentation. The renovated car was presented on July 9, 2017 during the "Bielsko-Biała for Tom Hanks" event accompanied by the "Made in Bielsko-Biała" fair. The total income from the lease of exhibition space was paid to the hospital. Another fundraiser was organized. The shopping center collected PLN 10 thousand during the final itself. After it was unveiled, the car went on a two-month tour. It made it to its last stop in the Okęcie airport, from where it flew out to Los Angeles to meet Tom Hanks on November 30, 2017. A total of PLN 120 thousand was collected in total. The sum was paid in whole to the Children's Hospital in Bielsko. Attention was also drawn to the situation of the hospital. Nearly 1000 publication, more than PLN 6.8 million worth. This is the only charity initiative of a Polish shopping center which was covered by foreign media, such as BBC, NBC, The Telegraph.