Fifty thousand people in Macau - one-ninth of the population - walked across the city's newest bridge yesterday to raise money for the Red Cross. Among the crowd was the Macau chief executive, government officials and casino directors. 'We're reaching out from Macau to those people in South Asia,' said Judy Pong, an office worker who bought orange caps for her family to boost the charity takings. 'Allow me to be cheesy, but I feel that by donating we are the bridge between Macau and South Asia.' Organised by the Macau East Asian Games Organising Committee, the walk was initially planned as a countdown event for the October games, and to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the restoration of Chinese sovereignty over the city. A fund-raising element was added after the tsunami, which affecting an estimated 300 Macau holidaymakers. Although only 166,510 patacas was raised for tsunami victims, East Asian Games chief Manuel Silverio said he was glad so many people had taken part. Organisers estimated only 20,000 to 30,000 people would join the walk. 'The main goal of today was to test our ability to hold large-scale events as the East Asian Games draws near,' Mr Silverio said. 'We had to test how our different departments co-ordinate and adapt with each other, given the thousands of volunteers we have.' Since the six-lane, two-tiered Sai Van Bridge linking Macau and Taipa will open to vehicles today, yesterday's event was residents' only chance to walk across the bridge. Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah led walkers in observing a minute's silence to pay tribute to the tsunami victims. Also taking part in the walk were Galaxy Resorts director Francis Lui Yiu-tung and Air Macau chief executive officer David Fei Hong-jun, who were among the 34 torch-bearers who took turns in leading the crowd. The Macau Red Cross had registered 12 million patacas in donations by the close of business on Friday. Fund-raising activities continue in Macau today, with a Red Cross charity show featuring a number of local singers starting at 3pm.