Celebrities and performers graciously donated their talents to raise funds for 37 beneficiaries in a dance extravaganza during the live telecast of the President’s Star Charity (PSC) show on 11 October, Sunday.
Hosted by MediaCorp stars Adrian Pang and Michelle Chia, the night of high-energy performances by a star studded cast raised more than S$6 million — the highest amount ever on a PSC show. This landmark annual charity event also marked its 10th anniversary this year — chalking up a decade of fundraising to improve the lives of the less fortunate since its inception in 2000. The tradition of PSC is to have TV stars perform items that are unusual or highly unique (read: funny). For a worthy cause, local celebrities endured weeks of grueling practice to put up a showcase of mostly dance, rarely seen on television. In one of the items, Gurmit Singh performed an enthusiastic rendition of the Oscar-winning song ‘Jai Ho’, from the soundtrack of Slumdog Millionaire.
“I am enjoying myself totally and am having a ball of a time,” the popular Phua Chu Kang actor told City News during intermission. But behind the fun and frivolity of that night’s entertainment, Gurmit “met a boy at the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home and I was very touched by his story.”
Like Gurmit, many of the celebrities came face to face with beneficiaries of this year’s PSC. Each star filmed a clip to highlight the plights and stories of the less fortunate who would be helped by the funds raised for PSC. This made them determined to put their best foot forward for charity. Organizations such as the Yong En Care Centre, Food from the Heart and Action for Aids will benefit and empower the individuals with the donations raised.
The show culminated with Asian diva Coco Lee’s performance of ‘A Love Before Time’ and her new single ‘Party Time’. Together with the rousing performance by the Beatles Unlimited, these two acts raised the highest amounts in donations.
|PHOTOS: Courtesy of O School|
They were joined by the other performers including Kym Ng, Patricia Mok, Jade Seah, Michelle Chong, Nat Ho, Andie Chen, Daren Tan, Ben Yeo, Sarah Aqilah, Indra Chandran and the Singapore Idol finalists. The performers fired up the dance floor with their dance moves, ranging from martial arts to line dancing. Anugerah Band 2008 winner Rancour, skipping sensations Jumping Jewels and dance groups such as the Floor Techniques Crew and O School also collaborated with the celebrities.
Although some of the performers injured themselves while practicing for the performances, many of the participants felt that it was a rewarding experience.
“We had only three weeks to rehearse, and had to get it right on a very tight schedule. But it was lots of fun and a good experience to work with the celebrities,” said Gin Lam, a dancer from O School. “We are very glad to be part of this, to be able to contribute to society with our passion and talents.”
The group of 23 dancers, consisting of five local artistes, did a dance tribute to Michael Jackson. The crowd was visibly entertained by comedienne Patricia Mok, who was the lead dancer in the dance medley and mimicked the slick dance moves of the late King of Pop.
“I think the celebrities put in a lot of effort to master the routines, and I was very touched by the stories of the less fortunate,” said audience member Nanette Passion, 30, a homemaker. “It was a good reminder that we should not forget them even as we’re going through a financial crisis.”
Singapore Idol finalist Duane Ho, 16, took time off from his hectic school schedule to perform a song and dance item during the PSC show.
“It’s new to me and I’ve never done it before, but it was enjoyable. It was difficult to coordinate the steps and we took some time to get everyone together. We are doing all this for a good cause so that people who are less fortunate will get the help that they need. So we are here to play a part since we’re public figures and we want the public to help the less fortunate,” he said.
Beneficiaries of President’s Challenge 2009:
• Singapore Anglican Community Services
• Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura
• Teck Ghee Youth Centre
• Kampung Senang Charity and Education Foundation
• Ain Society
• Life Community Services Society
• Lakeside Family Centre
• Beyond Social Services
• Methodist Welfare Services
• Islamic Theological Association of Singapore (PERTAPIS)
• Young Men’s Christian Association of Singapore
• Very Special Arts Singapore Ltd
• Canossaville Children’s Home
• Boys’ Town
• Shan You Counselling Centre
• Muhammadiyah Welfare Home
• Woodlands Social Centre
• Christian Outreach to the Handicapped
• Students Care Service
• Singapore Children’s Society
• Food From the Heart
• Yong-En Care Centre
• Society for the Physically Disabled
• MILK (Mainly I Love Kids)
• Rainbow Centre
• Community Chest
• Yellow Ribbon Fund
• Singapore After-care Association
• Bright Vision Hospital
• Action for AIDS
• Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore)
• St Andrew’s Community Hospital
• Autism Resource Centre (Singapore)
• Autism Association (Singapore)
• Dyslexia Association of Singapore
• Association for Persons with Special Needs
• National Arthritis Foundation