On Saturday, October 28, 2023, at the Adventist church in Cesena, Italy, attendees experienced the apex of the 22nd Solidarity Festival, initially held on the weekends of September 2–3 and 9–10 to raise funds for the Cesena flood victims.
The meeting included the handing over of the proceeds to Il Barco, represented by its coordinator, Susanna Ricci. Il Barco is made up of eight associations in the area (including the Adventist Development and Relief Agency [ADRA]) that, with great experience in the field of solidarity, immediately got together and jumped into action to help so many families significantly affected by the flood that brought a large part of the Emilia-Romagna region to its knees in mid-May.
Before the handover ceremony, attendees listened to the experience of Marco Raffaele, one of the many people directly affected by the flood. He recounted the difficult moments he experienced and heartily thanked the “mud angels” who helped him and the entire city.
After this touching moment, a check for €13,000 (approx. US$14,250) was handed over to Il Barco. ADRA Italia intervened to achieve this, donating €5,000 (approx. US$5,480) as part of the funds collected during the emergency phase. The 8xmille of the Adventist Church also supported the initiative.
With thanks and reflections, four dignitaries also took part in the ceremony: Carmelina Labruzzo, councilor for services to people and families of the Municipality of Cesena; Giovanni Benini, coordinator of the Solidarity Festival; Roberto Iannò, pastor of the Adventist church in Cesena; and Giuseppe Cupertino, director of Osa, which manages the 8xmille designated for the Adventist Church.