SINGAPORE, 21 November 2019 – More than 130 young talents from as young as six to 19 years put on an exuberant showcase of dance and music, raising S$2.12 million for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BTBAF). This brings the collective amount raised for both funds to more than $22.71 million, since the annual charity concert series started in 2005.
Amid uncertain economic conditions, the 15th edition of ChildAid continued to receive unwavering support from its staunch supporters and the public, with top sponsors United Overseas Bank Limited donating S$1 million, and Citi Singapore donating S$652,000 to Sing! Play! Dance!, the theme for ChildAid 2019, organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, and produced by Dick Lee Asia. .
The concert, which ran on Wednesday and Thursday evening (20 and 21 Nov), welcomed Guest-of-Honour President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mr Mohammed Abdullah Alhabshee on the second night.
Said President Halimah: "ChildAid has raised more than $22 million to help disadvantaged children. Beyond the amount of money raised, the show also rallies everyone to do our part. I commend the corporations and organisations that have been supporting ChildAid. They exemplify what we can achieve together for the wider society.”.
Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English / Malay / Tamil Media Group and Editor of The Straits Times, said: "I have been fortunate to have watched nearly every performance since ChildAid started in 2005. Each year, I have been impressed by the young performers as they take to the stage to sing, to dance and to make music. Each year, I have been thrilled to watch the creative and production team's innovation and untiring efforts to make each concert feel fresh and uplifting. It is a wonderful showcase of youthful energy, talent and care for others in the community."
Helming ChildAid again as creative director for the third year was homegrown singer-songwriter and Cultural Medallion recipient Dick Lee. Mr Lee raved: "This year's ChildAid is its fifteenth anniversary and I'm very proud to have been directing the shows these last three years, and especially excited to be taking part this year."
The cast of 132 young performers displayed youthful energy and enthusiasm, captivating the audience for almost two hours with song, dance and music performances that spanned across genres such as classical, pop and musical theatre. Some of the performance highlights included adorable seven-year-old Zach Edwards singing Where Is Love from the musical Oliver!; 11-year-old Faith Ong's confident delivery of operatic classic O mio babbino caro; Syah Riszuan's beautiful rendition of Journey's Open Arms, a Disney medley performed a group of children; and, topping the evening, Mr Lee's solo performance of Bunga Sayang and joint performance of Fried Rice Paradise with the entire cast.
Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB, said: "We at UOB believe that children are our future and it is our responsibility to help them rise to their full potential. As such, in all the communities where we have a presence, we extend a helping hand especially to the ones who are disadvantaged. Through our support of ChildAid, we hope our contribution helps to open up more opportunities for these children, building their confidence to soar to greater heights."
Added Mr Amol Gupte, Head of ASEAN and Citi Country Officer, Singapore: “Citi has been supporting ChildAid since its inception in 2005, as we believe that no child should be deprived of the opportunity to gain knowledge through education, and to pursue their passions through the cultivation of their artistic talents. Our beliefs stem from Citi’s mission and value proposition to enable growth and progress for the community where we live and work. Together, we can be a strong collective force for good.”
Citi Singapore has been a stalwart supporter of ChildAid since its inception in 2005.
Other supporters include MHC Asia Group Pte Ltd, Singapore Plastic Industry Association, China Taiping Insurance (Singapore), TOTE Board and Suntory Beverage & Food Asia. Kiss92FM is the official radio station for ChildAid 2019. Pitching in for the cause were production partners Cosmoprof and Unusual Productions, as well as rehearsal venue partners Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and The Pavilion at Far East Square.
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For more information, please contact:
Mr Jackson Thia
Corporate Communications & CSR
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1872
Ms Shahrena Hassan
Editorial Projects Unit, English / Malay / Tamil Media Group
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5097
About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia's leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.
SPH's core business is publishing of newspapers, magazines and books in both print and digital editions. It also owns other digital products, online classifieds, radio stations and outdoor media.
On the property front, SPH owns approximately 70% in a real estate investment trust called SPH REIT which comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road, The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall and The Rail Mall, a stretch of shopping and dining outlets along Upper Bukit Timah Road. SPH REIT also holds 85% equity stake in Figtree Grove, a freehold sub-regional shopping centre in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. SPH owns and operates The Seletar Mall and is developing a new commercial cum residential site, The Woodleigh Residences and The Woodleigh Mall. It also owns a portfolio of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in the United Kingdom.
It is in the aged care sector and owns Orange Valley, one of Singapore's largest nursing homes.
SPH runs a regional events arm and a chain of Buzz retail outlets. It also invested in the education business.
For more information, please visit www.sph.com.sg.
About The Straits Times
The Straits Times, the English-language flagship daily of Singapore Press Holdings, is the most-read newspaper in Singapore and is followed widely in the region for its comprehensive multimedia coverage of local, regional and world news, provided by its correspondents in 12 bureaus in major cities worldwide.
Launched on July 15, 1845, The Straits Times has been moving with the times in its efforts to engage and grow its audience and exploring innovative ways of storytelling, as well as continuously refreshing its products to maintain quality and stay relevant to the changing needs of its readers. Its integrated newsroom operates round-the-clock, providing content as it happens on all platforms, from its website atwww.straitstimes.com, Apple and Android apps to social media.
The Straits Times is a member of two media networks - the Asia News Network and the Impact Journalism Day alliance of newspapers - and it has won multiple international media awards, including from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (Panpa), Society of News Design and WAN-IFRA. Its multimedia newsroom and innovative projects were recognised at the annual regional WAN-IFRA event in Hong Kong in November 2018 when it emerged the biggest winner, sweeping nine Asian Digital Media awards, including two golds for best innovation to engage youth audience, and best lifestyle, sports, entertainment website.
About The Straits Times Pocket Money Fund
The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) started in 2000 as a community project initiated by The Straits Times that provides pocket money to children from low-income families to help them through school. STSPMF was established as a Trust on 20 October 2010 and received charity status on 14 November 2011 with Institution of A Public Character (IPC) status effective from 1 January 2012. It is governed by a Board of Trustees. Since the project inception in 2000, STSPMF has helped over 170,000cases of children and youth from low-income families, between the ages of 7 to 21 years. Funds raised go towards school pocket money disbursements and support of the social and educational development of the children and youth. For more information, please visit http://spmf.org.sg.
About The Business Times
The Business Times, a member of the Singapore Press Holdings group, is South-east Asia's leading financial daily. BT brings to its readers daily corporate, financial, economic and political news, analysis and commentary on print and digital platforms. It provides readers with in-depth coverage of Singapore and Asian business and economic developments, as well as global trends that impact Singapore business. BT's lifestyle journalists bring busy executives the latest in recreation, entertainment, the arts, design, food and shopping.
For more information, please visit businesstimes.com.sg.
About The Business Times Budding Artists Fund
Initiated in 2004 and adopted by The Business Times in 2005, The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) originated from a conviction that no child with a strong interest and potential in the arts should be denied the opportunity to develop his or her talents due to a lack of financial resources. Since 2005, BT BAF has reached out to more than 18,000 financially-disadvantaged children and youth, between the ages of 6 to19 years old, through a variety of programmes including a structured arts training programme, arts camps, workshops and signature events. BT BAF supports two arts training centres, The Little Arts Academy and 10 Square @ Orchard Central, and is managed by The RICE Company Limited. The RICE Company Limited is a not-for-profit organisation that harvests the potential of the arts and culture for the development of human lives and connecting communities in Singapore with the world. It currently manages several creative spaces (The Little Arts Academy, 10 Square at Orchard Central and The Pavilion at Far East Square) and two subsidiaries (Global Culture Alliance and Millet Holdings).