Tuesday, 15 December 2009 - Singapore Press Holdings' youth charity concert ChildAid has raised a record $1 million to help needy children. The money raised will support two charities - The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.
Strong corporate support and brisk ticket sales boosted this year's tally to $1,015,000 - double last year's fund-raising total of $506,000. The concert's takings crossed the $1-million mark after Citibank and PriceWaterhouse Coopers pledged $100,000 and $30,000 respectively yesterday.
This year's concert will be held at Resorts World Sentosa from Dec 19-21. It will be the first event to be held at the integrated resort, which is the venue and production partner for the concert.
Tickets for the concert sold out last week.
ChildAid organising Chairman Peter Khoo praised the Singapore public for their generosity despite the challenging economic year.
Said Mr Khoo, who is also organising chairman of The ST School Pocket Money Fund: "The recession has affected everyone. Yet Singaporeans have once again responded with tremendous heart. It shows that they believe in the ChildAid cause of showcasing young talents who want to help their less fortunate peers.
"The public's generosity is timely because there are more needy children due to the economic crisis.''
This year saw the highest number of beneficiaries - 12,500 - on the ST Fund since its inception in 2000. This is higher than the 10,419 supported during the Sars years of 2003-2004.
Mr Khoo said main sponsors Citibank, Stuttgart Auto, HSBC, New Creation Church and Cerebos doubled their donations from last year.
He added: "We've been blessed with tremendous support. We are especially grateful to Resorts World Sentosa for getting the Festive Grand Theatre ready and to our young performers, who worked tirelessly at rehearsals all through their school holidays.
Next week's concert will showcase 274 performers aged from 4 to 19 years. A total of 15 acts will take to the stage - including seven youths from Malaysia and Indonesia.
They were chosen from 550 acts following July and August auditions held in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
ChildAid's artistic director and Cultural Medallion recipient Iskandar Ismail said that the public can expect a musical extravaganza.
Said Iskandar: "The opening act will showcase over 160 of our very best young musical talents singing, playing harps and recorders and backed by a full orchestra. They have been rehearsing for weeks and can't wait to open Resorts World Sentosa.''
CHILDAID Sponsors 2009:
PLATINUM Sponsors ($100,000 to $199,999)
Cerebos Pacific Limited
New Creation Church
SILVER sponsors ($30,000 to $49,999)
Resorts World Sentosa
BRONZE sponsors ($10,000 to $29,999)
Academy of Rock
Atlas Sound & Vision Pte Ltd
GuocoLand Management Pte Ltd
Nanyang Technological University
PSA International Pte Ltd
RE & S Enterprises Pte Ltd
Singapore Chef's Association
Star Controls Engineering Co Pte Ltd
Target Asset Management
Wearnes Brothers Services Pte Ltd
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About The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund
The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund was initiated on Children's Day (October 1) in the year 2000 by The Straits Times, to heighten public awareness of the plight of children from low-income families who were attending school without proper breakfast, or pocket money to sustain their day in school.
The aim is to alleviate the financial burden faced by parents in providing for their children's education. At the same time the funds will help children who are already facing difficulties in remaining in school to stay on.
As the official fund-raiser, The Straits Times rallies support for the cause and appeals to the public for donations to the fund. It collaborates with different partners for various fund-raising activities.
The Straits Times works very closely with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), the fund administrator. NCSS disburses the funds to the beneficiaries through its network of family service centres, special schools and children’s homes.
About The Business Times Budding Artists Fund
Initiated by The Old Parliament House Limited in 2004 and adopted by Business Times in May 2005, The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) aims to enable children between the ages of five to 12 years distanced by socio-economic circumstances to pursue their aspirations to develop artistic talents in music, dance, theatre, visual arts and theatre production.
The Fund originated from a strong conviction that no child with strong interest and artistic potential should be deprived of the opportunity to develop his or her talents because he or she is economically disadvantaged.
Objectives of the Fund are as follows:
About Singapore Press Holdings
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms. It publishes 17 newspaper titles in four languages and over 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region. Every day, 3 million individuals or 79 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH’s internet editions of its major newspapers enjoy over 150 million page views with 9 million unique visitors each month. Other new media initiatives include AsiaOne, omy, rednano.sg, ST701, STOMP and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH has also ventured into broadcasting, outdoor advertising and properties.