Hubert Burda Media

Star Light, Star Bright

Under a beautiful night sky, kind hearts will gather to raise money for the Prestige-Yellow Ribbon Children Fund. By Low Shi Ping

Mark your calendars on April 5, 2013, for we promise it will be an evening to remember. Gather your friends and head out to the Saddle Club. Prestige Singapore will be hosting the Starlight Carnival at the uber-chic The Marmalade Pantry at the Stables (the food and venue sponsor). Proceeds from the event will go towards the Prestige-Yellow Ribbon Children Fund that helps needy young family members of ex-offenders and, hopefully, grant a wish or two.
As evening falls upon the lush fairways of the Saddle Club, be guided by the stars above and fairy lights strung across the boughs of the trees that will illuminate the way to the event. Each $300 ticket grants access to the carnival-themed grounds, where performances by Singapore’s business elite, and games to entertain overworked souls, await.
Also included in the programme is an auction of products from various luxury brands, where the proceeds of the sales will contribute to our aim of raising $200,000 by the end of the night.
Putting the event together is a committee made up of the younger generation of high society who have generously taken time out of their busy schedules to organise this. Headed by Michelle Eng, the director of lighting firm E-Lume, and co-chaired by Prestige’s circulations and promotions director Laura Lim, it will be one for young hearts and those young at heart.
Prestige has always understood the importance of giving back to society. In doing so, it has chosen the Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF) as its adopted charity for this year. Set up in 2004, the fund is aimed at providing financial assistance to ex-offenders, which also includes helping their offspring.
“Children are our future. It is important that they are adequately cared for and led down the correct path. Through the Starlight Carnival, Prestige will be doing its bid to help the little ones and ensure they don’t fall through the cracks,” says Lim.
I Wish I May, I Wish I Might…
Volunteer members of the organising committee of the Starlight Carnival share their thoughts on philanthropy and the cause they are championing
Michelle Eng
Director, E-Lume
“I have always been passionate about working with underprivileged children and previously volunteered with a charity that was supported by the bank that I used to work for. The kids have many aspirations but have been placed in circumstances that might not be ideal for them to flourish.
Thereafter, I have toyed with several ideas like starting my own charity or volunteering for existing ones, but never really got down to it. When I heard about the opportunity to raise funds for children, I jumped at the chance. There is always an excuse for everything in life — being too busy with work or putting things off till later.
However, since coming on board, I realised that it is not that big an effort to help others in need. A committed team sharing the same ideals, goals and passion goes a long way. I am glad that I have been given this opportunity.
Other than raising funds for the children, I hope that this campaign will raise awareness for the YRF and educate people that it is not just about helping ex-offenders, but a means to reach out to the kids that society might otherwise overlook.
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” are words by Winston Churchill that philanthropists live by. All contributions — even the smallest — are vital when it comes to fundraising and every thought counts. I am glad to be able to support a cause close to my heart and give back. We are indeed making lives better for our beneficiaries.”
Elaine Kim
“If we can help prevent another broken family, or another child from losing his or her way, that would be an achievement to be glad for. Everybody deserves a second chance, and I have always felt that the YRF is a worthy cause. Also, as a mother, my heart goes out to the children who are separated from their incarcerated parents, and I hope we can help to alleviate the burden on these families.
During a visit to the Changi Women’s Prison, we watched a film of the inmates being reunited with their children on Mother’s Day, and it moved me to tears. Prior to that, I hadn’t really considered the anguish that the mothers and children are put through when separated during the mother’s incarceration.”
Iroshini Chua
Family Physician
“It’s a joy to come together with like-minded individuals to serve the less fortunate in the community. In doing so, we hope to raise funds for the families of ex-offenders via the YRF. I have learnt that anyone can contribute to a good cause regardless of where they are in life. As a socially responsible adult, it is our duty to help those in need and step up to make a difference in their lives.”
Ho Kheng Lian
“The name of the charity originated from an upbeat oldie my father used to play to me — Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree. The song tells the real-life tale of an ex-offender’s journey to forgiveness.
Joining the committee is the perfect opportunity to put my time and effort into something meaningful and beneficial for others. Few think about the plight of ex-offenders and the upheaval their spouses and children need to overcome. I want to plant that seed of thought in whoever simply hears about the Starlight Carnival, and hopefully the willingness to assist their families while accepting and re-integrating ex-offenders into society grows.”
Nada Jumabhoy
“On one of the first committee outings, we visited the Changi Women’s Prison and I was moved to tears by some of the stories I heard. Many of them were in jail serving time for crimes committed at the behest of third parties such as their families or boyfriends. It made me so acutely aware of how much we can help educate and equip women with skills to empower them to stand up for themselves and not be used as pawns by anyone.
I hope we can raise money to help the beneficiaries of the YRF (including these women and children of ex-offenders) and make a difference in their lives. Unlocking the second prison requires the cooperation of the entire community and by joining this committee, I hope to do my part.”
Natasha Liok
Director, Avana and Monticello
“I have been busy juggling work and being a mother of two over the years. So when the opportunity arose to help organise a fundraising event that will reach out to my age group in a light-hearted but meaningful way, I wanted to contribute.
Having the right people on board helps to move things fast! We make decisions quickly and have fun at our meetings. Yet we never lose sight of what we’re trying to achieve — helping ex-offenders get back on track in life, re-join their families and avoid a vicious cycle of their kids growing up with negative influences.
I hope to help the Yellow Ribbon community achieve that for their own families.”
Stephanie Lee
Director, T.S. Lee & Sons
“I hope to raise awareness that the YRF also supports the families of ex-offenders and wish that society will learn to be more forgiving and accepting. Joining the committee has taught me to learn and share the intangible benefits of giving back to society by providing emotional and social support to the families of ex-offenders. They deserve to live their lives free of discrimination.
Helping others is a natural part of our existence. Philanthropy is not only about giving money to solve a problem, but building long-term relationships and taking action to make a genuine difference in the lives of others. Organising and raising funds for the Starlight Carnival has been a humbling, enlightening and gratifying experience.”