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M&C Hotels To Raise Money For School Pocket Money Fund

30 June 2005, Singapore - Millennium & Copthorne International Limited (MCIL), member of the Hong Leong Group, scored a couple of firsts when it launched "A Thought for $2" charity project with the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, today.

"A Thought for $2" aims to raise money for school children by pooling the efforts of hotel guests from the five hotels in here. Guests will be encouraged to donate a modest sum of $2 to their final check out bill. All five hotels - Orchard Hotel, M Hotel, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Copthorne King’s Hotel and Copthorne Orchid hotel are taking part in this project.

The project is a partnership between MCIL and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. The Straits Times is the flagship of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). This project was planned in conjunction with the celebrations of Singapore’s 40th year of independence and 160 years of The Straits Times.

"This partnership, I believe, is the first of its kind for a Singapore hotel chain and for a Singapore charity," said Mr Michael Tan, Executive Vice-President (Chairman’s Office) of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, who was speaking at the launch of the charity project in a simple ceremony at Orchard Hotel this morning.

"In the hustle and bustle of urban living in what is regarded as affluent Singapore, we sometimes overlook that in our midst, we have some Singaporean families who have difficulties making ends meet. It is a fact that pocket money of $1 - $2 a day for their school-going kids is beyond them. "A Thought for $2" will alleviate the plight of needy and less fortunate children in Singapore," added Mr Tan.

The entire donation will go directly towards making that small difference in the lives of these children. Mr Tan estimated that the five hotels will be able to collect $200,000 a year from the "A Thought for $2" project. This target, if met, will see MCIL as one of the single biggest corporate contributor to the fund. MCIL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of London-listed Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C Hotels).

The Hong Leong Group Singapore - which City Developments Limited (CDL) and M&C Hotels are part of - has been a supporter of the ST School Pocket Money Fund since its early days. Hong Leong staff had actively raised funds for the Fund in early efforts. In a bigger effort, Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director of CDL, himself had donated proceeds from a public auction of his photo portraits from China to the School Pocket Money Fund.

To spread the message, the Group’s Singapore hotels will also be distributing pamphlets for the School Pocket Money Fund project in the five hotels’ 2379 guest rooms to inform and encourage hotel guests to donate to the cause. The funds raised through "A Thought for $2" will contribute towards the School Pocket Money Fund’s overall fundraising target of $3 million this year.

"We are extremely grateful to M&C Hotels for this fund-raising effort. This project is the first of its kind in Singapore and I want to congratulate M&C Hotels for coming up with this very novel initiative. They have set a very ambitious target of raising $200,000 this year, which if it is met, will make them one of the biggest donors to the Pocket Fund this year. Their spirit and commitment have given us greater confidence that even though the challenge appears daunting, we will be able to achieve our target and not let down our 10,000 recipients of the Fund. On behalf of all the beneficiaries of the fund, thank you very much," said Mr Han Fook Kwang, Editor of The Straits Times.

"A Thought for $2" will run for a period of 12 months. The Fund is administered by SPH and the National Council of Social Services. The Straits Times works closely with the National Council of Social Service, which disburses the funds to the beneficiaries through their network of family service centres, special schools and children’s homes. Every dollar raised goes directly towards helping the needy children in their education and school needs. Primary school children receive $30 a month, while those in Secondary school receive $50 a month. Since its inception in 2000, the School Pocket Money Fund has raised more than $10 million.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Peter Khoo
The ST School Pocket Money Fund
DID: 6319 5512
Gerry de Silva
Head, Group Corporate Affairs
Hong Leong Group Singapore
Tel: 6428 9308/6438 3110