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Blue Charity Gala dinner raises S$500k for BT BAF, SPD

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Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (8th from right) was the guest-of-honour at The Blue Charity Gala fundraising event held at Resorts World Sentosa.

Singapore

MORE than 600 individuals and corporates came together to raise more than S$500,000 for people with disabilities and young persons with aspirations in the arts at The Blue Charity Gala dinner last Friday.

Themed Stand by Me, the event held at Resorts World Sentosa was organised in support of local disability charity SPD and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF).

SPD and not-for-profit arts organisation The RICE Company Limited (TRCL), which manages BT BAF, joined hands for the first time to raise more than S$500,000.

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Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was the guest-of-honour, and he was treated to performances by the Singapore Police Force Band, visually-impaired singer Adelyn Koh, and veteran vocalist Robert Fernando, among many others.

Among the other VIPs present were TRCL chairman Jennie Chua, SPD president Chia Yong Yong, and Deputy Commissioner of Police Jerry See.

The gala's organising committee chairman Tan Puay Kern said he was "deeply grateful" to the individuals and corporates for supporting both causes.

"The Blue Charity Gala is about the spirit of collaboration. This is the first time that the BT BAF and SPD have teamed up to jointly organise a charity fund-raiser. This collaboration has naturally brought both charities closer together, and I am sure the journey taken would spur them to greater collaboration in years to come," he said in a speech.

SPD's chief executive officer Abhimanyau Pal said the donations "will go a long way" towards transforming the lives of persons with disabilities and provide more opportunities in the arts for young people.

Alvin Tay, a board member of TRCL and co-chair of the SPD committee that oversaw the fundraising dinner, said he was "heartened" to see various organisations and individuals rallying to support the artistic passions of the young people as well as people with disabilities.

Mr Tay, a former editor of The Business Times, added: "By coming together as a community, we are able to make a difference in the lives of others and enable them to fulfil their aspirations."

The event's Diamond Donor was Certis, a leading advanced integrated security provider.

The company's staff performed a rendition of Stand By Me, which was posted as a video on social media to raise awareness for the cause. Their employees were also involved in various fund-raising activities at the gala.

As part of its ongoing commitment to support persons with disabilities and disadvantaged children, Certis employees volunteered their time to help out at a packing activity organised by SPD earlier this month.