Thursday, 9 October 2014

Y STARS steal hearts with dazzling performance at YMCA fundraiser

With sparkling energy and glittering smiles, the Y STARS (YMCA Special Talents, Arts and Recreation Society) dazzled and charmed their way into the hearts of guests at the YMCA Giving Gala 2014 held on 8 October 2014 at the Fullerton Hotel. Y STARS comprises youths with Down’s Syndrome who possess unique gifts in dance and performing arts. Their innate passion for their craft shine through in their performances, bringing smiles and touching the hearts of others. The Y STARS have actively participated and performed in various YMCA events including the annual YMCA Proms @ the Park.

In addition to performing, members of Y STARS also personally made and donated four exquisite collages – expressing life and love – for auctioning to raise funds. All four pieces of art were acquired by three generous donors for over $10,000. Besides the auction, guests supported the event by purchasing tables, individual seats and raffle draw tickets.

Over $350,000 was raised from the event, which will help to meet the expenses of running the YMCA Community Service Programmes that aim to enrich the lives of the less privileged which include the intellectually and physically challenged, abused and underprivileged children, the hearing impaired, the elderly and the poor.

In his address, YMCA's Guest-of-Honour Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Ministry of Communications and Information, said, "We have worked hard over the years to promote this spirit of giving, and to build a fair and inclusive society in Singapore. This is something that comes under my ministry's purview, but we can't do this work alone. This is why I'm glad that we have partners like YMCA, which has been at the forefront of encouraging Singaporeans to give. YMCA has been steadily attracting more volunteers, which in turn increases its outreach to beneficiaries. I'm especially glad that YMCA makes a special effort to reach out to youth volunteers. By volunteering with YMCA, our youths are given the opportunity to develop a sense of service towards society, and contribute in a meaningful way."

Mr Stephen Loh, President, YMCA of Singapore, said, “From adrenaline-rush activities at outdoor adventure camps to visual art programmes that cultivate new skills and draw out hidden talents, the YMCA Community Service Programmes aim to bring cheer and enrich the lives of the less privileged so that they too can live wholesome and dignified lives, and enjoy activities and other simple pleasures of life which most of us usually take for granted.

Mr Loh also added, “In 2013 alone, over 5,800 YMCA volunteers served more than 75,000 hours across 569 activities through the YMCA Community Service Programmes. They managed to touch the lives of over 4,200 beneficiaries from 32 partnering voluntary welfare organisations.”

In his vote of thanks, Mr Peter Tay, Chairman of the YMCA Giving Gala 2014 said,"YMCA's annual fundraising effort does not conclude with the dinner. It is an ongoing process to ensure that the programmes organised to touch lives and lift spirits of the less privileged can continue into the future."

YMCA would like to thank all donors and sponsors, especially major donors Dr Stephen Riady, Mr Kirk Alexander, the Lee Foundation and YCL Anaesthetics Pte Ltd for their generosity and support for the event.

YMCA would also like to thank our Guest-of-Honour Mr Lawrence Wong and all our guests for gracing the event.

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