Special needs clients of RAYZ ushered in the Year Of The Rabbit with a jolly party.
Contributed By Joey Lim
RAYZ ushered in the Year of the Rabbit with a “Hong Bao Party” on Jan. 29. The festive mood was infectious—people decked out in different shades of red greeted each other with a “gong xi fa cai” everywhere, and one young RAYZ client was even spotted distributing jars of Chinese New Year cookies to his peers.
The party started with a mass karaoke session, as song leaders led the audience of about 500 special needs clients and their families in one familiar traditional Chinese New Year song after another.
Once the audience was all warmed up, game masters, Eena Tan and Efi Tjang, a teacher and an auditor respectively, both RAYZ volunteers, got down to business. They grouped everyone into two teams: Team Gong Xi and Team Fa Cai to battle it out in some friendly games. In the first game participants had to collect the most number of gold “coins” found inside red packets hidden all over the auditorium. Next it was bunny-grabbing time—participants had to pick out as many rabbit-imprinted hong baos as possible from among all the red packets on stage. Finally, contestants had to form auspicious Chinese characters using red packets as fast as they could.
Putting love into action, RAYZ manager, Lily Yong, presented huge New Year hampers to two underprivileged families of clients with profound intellectual disabilities. Joe Wong, and Liu Xiaoping came on stage with their parents to receive the hampers, their smiles touching all in the room.
Adiel Choy, an administrator at RAYZ, shared a message on how to enjoy the festive season, by following three “H”s: “Be Helpful around the house, be Healthy by eating in moderation and be Happy in spirit.” Laughter filled the auditorium when the message was brought to life by the drama team as they reminded the crowd not to indulge heavily in bak kwa (barbecued meat) and carbonated drinks.
The party closed with everyone joining in to sing “Gong Xi Gong Xi.” Everyone walked away realizing that the true meaning of Chinese New Year is all about coming together as one big family.