More than a fundraiser that spread the message of hope and second chances, the Yellow Ribbon Fund (YBF) Charity Gala this month turned out to be a showcase of artistic and musical flair.
Held at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, a string of unexpected — but much applauded — entertainers took the stage, including Changi Prison’s Performing Arts Centre band (whose members receive formal musical training as part of their rehabilitation regime), prominent industry leaders Leow Tze Wen and Asad Jumabhoy, legal secretary Norhayati Binte Abu and crooner Hazlin Rahim, who himself was formerly incarcerated.
Even the hotly contested auction, led by guest auctioneer Senior Counsel Thio Shen Yi, included Illusion of Myopia, a painting by Barry Leow, the Singapore Rotary Club Artisan of the year 2016. A former inmate, Leow’s works celebrate life and the redemptive power of forgiveness. Also up for auction were lots by Rippledot Capital Advisers, Chopard, Grand Vin, W.Atelier and wine collector Phillip Tan.
Organised jointly by YRF and Prestige magazine, with support from Singapore Prisons Service and SCORE, the rousing affair raised some $1,265,000 in donations, table sales and auction takings. The first and only national charity devoted to helping ex-offenders rebuild their lives, YRF has disbursed more than $11.3 million to rehabilitation, reintegration and family support programmes that have helped 46,000 ex-offenders and their families since 2004.