ChildAid 2011 raises record $1.88m

This year’s ChildAid concert, co-organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, has raised $1.88 million to help two charities. The amount tops last year’s record of $1.28 million.

After the finale of the Gala night show on Friday (Dec 9) – the second of the three-night concert – Singapore Press Holdings Chairman Dr Lee Boon Yang presented the mock cheque to two performers representing the concert’s beneficiaries.

The net proceeds of the annual children’s charity concert – the seventh since it started in 2005 – will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

This year’s concert at the University Cultural Centre featured 130 young performers across 15 musical and dance acts on a stage designed like a giant storybook. Aspects of the production ranging from artistic direction, stage set design, to costume design, stage and production management were backed by professionals from the music and theatre scene.

The young talents included Ivan Koh, 17, from the School of the Arts, who performed a breakdance and ballet; 10-year-old Kennis Ang from South View Primary, who played the piano; and nine-year-old Aoden Teo Masa Toshi from Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) who played the cello.

This year’s guest performer from Japan, Asami Wada, 13, played the violin. She also took part in the first overseas spin-off of the ChildAid concert staged in Tokyo in January this year. ChildAid Asia 2011 was organised by non-profit organisation Little Creators from Tokyo to help underprivileged Japanese children.

A short film by the show’s audio-visual designer, film-maker and artist Brian Gothong Tan, featuring children from a Japanese orphanage was screened at the show’s finale, with performers on stage singing a medley of Bridge Across the Sea composed by Shigeru Yawata, musical director of ChildAid Asia in Tokyo this year, and A World to Imagine composed by Iskandar Ismail, ChildAid’s artistic director for the sixth consecutive year.

The main sponsors of this year’s show, Citibank and HSBC bank, donated over $500,000 each. Other sponsors included Cerebos, Resorts World Sentosa and BoatAsia. The show’s official venue partner was the NUS Centre For the Arts.

Mr Han Fook Kwang, editor of The Straits Times, said: “The show gets better every year but even more heartening has been the support and generosity of our donors and volunteers. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”

Mr Alvin Tay, editor of The Business Times who also chairs The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, said: “The Budding Artists Fund is not just about spotting child prodigies and producing professional artistes, it’s also about using the arts to impart valuable life skills to less privileged children. Arts, we believe, can help to develop a child’s self-esteem, self-belief as well as creativity – traits that may get stifled in these children because of their families’ financial backgrounds. In a way, we help to level up the playing field for these children in primary schools.”

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About The Straits Times

The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for more than a century. Launched on July 15, 1845, its comprehensive coverage of world news, East Asian news, Southeast Asian news, home news, sports news, financial news and lifestyle updates makes The Straits Times the most-read newspaper in Singapore.

Quality news, in-depth analyses, impactful commentaries and breaking stories are packaged to give readers riveting accounts of events in Singapore, the region, and beyond.

The Straits Times’ key strength is in its world class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 20 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective.

In keeping with the times, The Straits Times introduced weekly supplements such as Digital Life (DL), Urban and Mind Your Body (MYB) to complement The Straits Times as well as IN and Little Red Dot to cater to young readers in schools. This year (2010), IN won the World Young Reader prize for the Newspapers In Education category. The prize was awarded by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra).

The Straits Times is also available online at, as well as on iPads and iPhones through the enhanced ST app. The comprehensive website provides a free breaking news section, with real-time news updates, and the ST Online Premium edition, which gives subscribers interactive access to ST’s comprehensive news coverage – including commentaries, analyses, blogs, and videos from its multimedia news portal RazorTV – on the go. Users can access a seven-day archive of past editions.

At Wan-Ifra’s Digital Media Awards 2011, ST won Gold awards for Best Newspaper website and Mobile Publishing (iPhone). In addition, two bronze awards were given to ST’s social media website Stomp and for Cross Media Advertising on the iPad.

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, 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.

Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing
In Singapore, SPH publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages. Every day, 3 million individuals or 77 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. SPH’s subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 265 million page views with 18 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include an online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; Stomp,, and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH also launched The Straits Times’ iPad and enhanced iPhone applications, and The Business Times Weekend’s iPad application.

SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has an 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Chinese and 91.3FM in English.

Events and Out-of-Home Advertising
SPH’s events subsidiary Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s leading Digital Out-of-Home advertising company.

SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. Its latest retail development, The Clementi Mall, started business operations in 2011. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, has also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.

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About The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund started as a community project initiated by The Straits Times that provides pocket money to children from low-income families to help them through school. The children can use this money for school-related expenses, such as buying a meal during recess, paying for their bus fares or using it to meet their other schooling needs. The financial help also eases the burden of the many parents, who are already struggling to feed their families on their meagre incomes.

As the official fund-raiser, The Straits Times raises awareness of the plight of the less fortunate in our society. It also rallies support for the cause and appeals for donations to the fund. It collaborates with different partners, from corporate organisations to interested individuals, for the various fund-raising events.

The Straits Times works closely with the National Council of Social Services (NCSS), the fund’s administrator. The NCSS disburses the funds through its network of family service centres, special schools and children’s homes. Currently, 38 family service centres, two agencies providing single parent family services, 18 special schools/ disability VWOs, six children’s homes and the Assumption Pathway School are commissioned to administer the fund.

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 :

i) Offer opportunities for financially disadvantaged children who display artistic potential and commitment to be formally trained in the arts.

ii) Provide platforms for established and professional artists to impart their skills and experience to the next generation of talents. This will mean continual renewal in the creative industry.

iii) Heighten awareness of the importance of nurturing the artistic talents of children and young adults and the ensuing value of such skills to building the next phase of artistic development of Singapore.