SINGAPORE – The stage was smaller and the cast leaner this time in 2023, but the creative risk paid off for the organisers of ChildAid 2023.
The 19th edition of the annual charity concert organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times raised $2,008,163, thanks in no small part to sponsors UOB, Citi Singapore and Mr Mohamed Abdul Jaleel, chief executive of MES Group.
The money will go into aiding The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which sponsors the lunch and transport fees of children from low-income families, and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which supports artistically talented youth from less-privileged households.
“For its 19th edition this year, we decided to spice things up – in this case, quite literally, with a musical dinner theatre featuring a delectable menu of Asian fusion food,” said Mr Wong Wei Kong, editor-in-chief of the English, Malay and Tamil Media Group at SPH Media Group.
“But the heart of the event remains the same: A unique platform for nurturing young talents while raising funds for less-privileged children.”
The Straits Times editor Jaime Ho added: “With the rise in the cost of living, it is more important than ever that lower-income families get a leg-up.”
2023’s ChildAid concert was held at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre on Dec 4.
Set in a performing arts school in the 1930s, Mesra – A Musical Mystery steered the audience through more than two hours of song and dance, woven together by an unfolding mystery that guests were invited to help solve.
Cast members frequently went into the audience – which included Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and SPH Media Trust chairman Khaw Boon Wan – chatting with them and inviting them to guess who had kidnapped a famous singer who disappeared during her performance.
Mr Heng, who was the guest of honour, said: “The dedication and enthusiasm displayed by these children touched the hearts of everyone present, and reflected the positive impact that our collective efforts can have on the lives of those in need.”