ChildAid raises record $390,000 for underprivileged children in Singapore

ChildAid, the children’s charity concert organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, has raised a record $390,000 for two beneficiaries, The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF) and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

Thanks to strong corporate support and brisk public ticket sales, the collection for the two-night concert has surpassed last year’s total of $335,000. (List of sponsors can be found below)

“This proves two things. That the Singapore public has a big heart and supports young, local talent,” said Mr Peter Khoo, Vice President, Editorial Projects, Singapore Press Holdings. “We are humbled and grateful for the tremendous support.’’

ChildAid, which opens tomorrow at the University Cultural Centre, showcases the nation’s best musical talents aged below 19.
In all, over 100 performers will perform before Guest-of-Honour President SR Nathan, Minister of State (Education) Rear-Admiral Lui Tuck Yew and a sell-out audience.

Award-winning classical pianist Abigail Sin, 14, and soprano Janani Sridhar, 17, will lead the young talents on show. Other notable performers are jazz singers Nathan Hartono and Ming Bridges, 11-year-old singer Justina Ravi, the Tampines Primary School Children’s Choir and seven-year-old drummer Ethan Ong.

Included in tomorrow’s gala opening are 100 social workers from all the family service centres in Singapore, who have once again been invited as special guests.

“It has now become a ChildAid tradition for us to invite social workers to the gala opening to recognise their outstanding service to the School Pocket Money Fund and the Budding Artists Fund,’’ said Mr Khoo, who is also the Organising Chairman of ChildAid and the SPMF.

Some sponsors like insurance firm Manulife Singapore have, on top of donating money, purchased tickets for their staff and clients to attend the ChildAid concert.

Manulife donated $20,000 and bought 400 tickets at an additional cost of $12,000.

Said Manulife Singapore President and CEO Darren Thomson: “ChildAid is a wonderful idea with very worthy causes. That’s why we believe everyone should support it.’’

Tickets for tomorrow’s opening night are sold out. Limited tickets for Thursday night’s performance, priced at $30, $20 and $15, are still available through SISTIC.

ChildAid 2006 Sponsors:

GOLD sponsors ($50,000 and above)
Seagate Technology International $50,000
Cerebos Pacific Limited $50,000
Titan Petrochemicals Group Ltd $50,000
Keppel Corporation $50,000
Citibank $50,000

BRONZE sponsors ($10,000 to $29,999)
Yara Asia Pte Ltd $20,000
Trans Eurokars Pte Ltd $12,000
Manulife Singapore Pte Ltd $20,000
RSH Limited $10,000
Sitra Holdings International Ltd $20,000
UBS $10,000
OCBC $10,000

Other sponsors
Tat Hong Holdings Ltd $5,000
Suntec City Development $2,000

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

For more information, please contact:

Shahrena Hassan
Assistant Manager
Editorial Projects
Tel: 6319 5097

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.7 million individuals or 83 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes over 90 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 100 million pageviews with 6 million unique visitors every month. SPH’s online and new media initiatives include its recruitment and job search service, ST701, and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.

SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 70 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 in English. In addition, SPH holds an 80 percent stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH is also developing a 43-storey up-market residential condominium on its former Times Industrial Building site at Thomson Road, which will be launched in 2007.

About The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund
The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund was initiated on Children’s Day in 2000 by The Straits Times. It has become an annual community project that makes pocket money available for school-going children from low-income families.

The aim is to ease the financial burden faced by parents when 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 their donation to the fund. It collaborates with different partners, from corporate organisations to interested individuals, for various fund-raising events.

The Straits Times also works closely with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), which acts as the administrator of the fund. NCSS disburses the funds to the beneficiaries through their network of family service centres, special schools and children’s homes. Currently, 38 Family Service Centres, 22 Special Schools and 10 Children’s Homes have been commissioned to administer the fund.

A beneficiary in primary school receives $30 a month while a secondary school beneficiary receives $50 a month. The Fund today supports 10,000 beneficiaries annually.

More information on the fund can be found at sg/spmf

About The Business Times Budding Artists Fund
The Business Times and the Arts House share a common belief that every artistically gifted child in Singapore should be given the opportunity to develop that talent regardless of his/her own special needs and family’s financial background.

To realise this vision, the BT Budding Artists Fund was initiated by The Arts House to level up the playing field for the less privileged but no less artistically talented children. Through this fund, BT and The Arts House will engage professionals in the performing and visual arts to help nurture these young talents in music, dance, theatre and visual art.

The Business Times and the Arts House play the role of fund-raisers for the fund – they collaborate with different partners, from corporate organisations to interested individuals, for various fund-raising events.

The Arts House, as the administrator of the fund, will identify the young talents through different platforms such as auditions and interviews. It will disburse the funds to pay for professionals to conduct training programmes for the children as well as for the purchase of musical instruments, art materials or any other material deemed necessary to the training or performance.Beneficiaries will be funded up to $600 per year per person.

More information on the fund can be found at