For a charity concert to meet its fundraising goal before a note of music is played must be some kind of record. Yet that is what happened last night at the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's "Save Little Henry" concert. The orchestra set out to raise HK$1 million to help one of its viola players, Li Ming, and her 21/2-year-old son Henry, who is undergoing costly cancer treatment in Philadelphia. Henry's left eye was removed as part of his treatment for bilateral retinoblastoma, and he is receiving a type of radiotherapy on his right eye that is unavailable in Hong Kong. "Y.S. just told me the donations reached HK$1 million yesterday, and stand at HK$1.36 million on the latest count," Li said on the phone from the United States, referring to Liu Yuen-sung, vice-chairman of the orchestra and a strong supporter of the fundraising campaign. Her remark came 10 hours before the charity concert at the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, where the Phil's Dutch music director Jaap van Zweden was to lead the 90-strong orchestra to volunteer their service to help a colleague in need. "To us, HK$1 million is a huge amount to raise. That the target was reached before the concert really shows the amazingly good heart of Hong Kong people, lending support to us at our most difficult time," Li said. Both Li and her businessman husband have put their work on hold to be with their son at the Wells Eye Hospital in Philadelphia in the past months. With their elder child, daughter Sophie, the family of four has been in and out of the hospital. "Henry has finished 15 of 18 radiotherapy sessions and he seems to have improved. But that all depends on the final diagnosis by looking at the tumour underneath his pupil in weeks ahead," she said. "Hospital staff always wonder how we are going to pay for the expensive bills. The South China Morning Post article [on Monday] came in time as the only English story about the fundraising. It got printed out and posted in the hospital and at the hostel we stay at," she said. Liu, who engineered the campaign through his foundation, said it would "take a while to get the final figure after the concert". Besides supporting the campaign with HK$100,000, Liu also agreed to cover a 10 per cent charge imposed by the venue on sales of a charity CD produced by Samuel Ferrer, a bassist with the Phil, to aid Li and her family. "This is a show of unity, which is so important for a collective art form such as a symphony orchestra," said Liu, a violinist with the Phil in the 1960s. He estimates the concert will take the total to about HK$2 million. Bills aside, the fund could help with Henry's future medical needs and education. Though Li missed the concert last night, she said she was there in spirit and was looking forward to getting back to work.