CHCSA marked its first ever stakeholder’s night on 22 Feb 2009 with a big bang with an impressive showcase of its distinctive community services among youths, the elderly, multiple sclerosis patients, the hearing impaired and the intellectually-disadvantaged among many others while showing sincere appreciation to its volunteers and stakeholders.
This celebration, held at the Meritus Mandarin Hotel, was graced by Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, who was the guest-of-honor for the evening.
The lifts that brought the guests to the ballroom opened to a bustling exhibition where CHCSA staff were on hand to answer questions at the information booth. One of the most prominent displays was the showcase of the “Special” musical, a project which involved the intellectually disadvantaged children coming together to showcase their talents next to their counterparts from mainstream schools for the purpose of social integration. Such out-of-the-box, creative and highly distinct projects that set CHCSA apart became very evident as the evening continued.
As the sumptuous multi-course chinese dinner was served, the audience was wowed by performances put up by Fusion Quartet, a four member band serving up jazz pieces with a modern twist, and a song item by the children from the “Special” musical.
However, one of the highlights of the evening was a performance by Mr. Andrew Tan, a beneficiary who is now living a new lease of life because of the hard work by volunteers from “Mighty Men in the Making” or M3, CHCSA’s outreach to inmates. Retelling his story about how the volunteers “never gave up on him” although he was not open to receiving help even though he had been in and out of corrective institutions all his life, their patience and belief in him melted his heart and inspired him to change.
An extremely talented individual, he sang a song about his changed life that he had penned himself, ending to a standing ovation by the audience. Reflecting on his journey, he constantly exhorted CHCSA to keep on doing its great work of helping people and his desire to use his own experience to help other inmates.
Before the evening was over, tokens of appreciation were given to the guest-of-honor and stakeholders who have been supporting CHCSA over the years. Awards were also presented to the most outstanding volunteers who have unselfishly given the best of their time and effort to be a blessing to the beneficiaries, to the warm appreciative applause from the crowd. The event ended on a high-note as sincere congratulations from all who were present to CHCSA and its staff capped a terrific evening.
Mr. Daniel Lee, a volunteer present at the event had this to say, “I think the event is a real success not only because it is an important milestone for CHCSA, but also because it celebrates the spirit of service within our society.
|PHOTOS: Desmond Tan
Many times, we can get so busy. But sometimes all we need to do is to take a step back to put things back into perspective. Events like these will remind us that at the end of the day, it’s really all about the person next to us.” Spoken like a true volunteer, indeed.
Well done, CHCSA!