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“Precious Gems 15″ – All Hands on Deck
04 August 2017

At the first of our fund raising dinners for the year, the ballroom was abuzz with old friends catching up, profuse thanking of donors, volunteers and supporters and an excited chatter amongst all our distinguished guests. We were honoured with the presence of our Guest of Honour Mr Teo Ser Luck, Mr Lim Boon Heng, our Patron and most importantly, Mr Lim Nghee Huat, our Superman who is going to run the Ultra Great Britain 320km race to raise funds for HCA Hospice Care. 

Mr Lim ran the same race last year, coming in fifth out of a field of 27 runners, in 81hr, 5min and 32sec and raised over $180,000 for HCA Hospice Care. This year, he hopes to complete the race in a faster time and also to raise more money for HCA. It was heartening to see over 300 friends and supporters cheering Mr Lim on. 

Professional artistes from ACTFA School of Dance and Performing Arts with their jazzy and exciting hip hop dance, the incredible angelic 14 year old singer Lauren Yeo and the Uki Waves playing their ukuleles, singing a myriad of songs to the hand clapping, feet tapping crowd, ruled the stage and performed for the appreciative guests. Each group happily performed pro bono for us. Throughout the evening, we conducted both live and silent (written bids) auctions for the many paintings and art pieces, generously donated by various artists. Their beautiful works were eagerly snapped up by our guests. The Marina Mandarin Hotel did their part too, by charging us a minimal price for each table.

The generosity we experienced this year was amazing. Last year, there were 20 tables. This year, we managed to sell 31 tables. Every person took the trouble to ask their friends, who in turn asked their friends, allowing us raise much needed funds to support our cause. Even if they were not able to donate large amounts, many happily put in $50 to participate in a raffle draw, which alone raised more than $5,000. We have since raised an additional $38,000 for this event.

What struck me most was that every guest I met, showed great appreciation for the work HCA does. I saw Mr Lim Nghee Huat going round the tables asking his friends and supporters to bid for items and people were generous. They willingly donated. I feel that more and more people now understand the importance of sharing the journey of those walking their last lap and granting their wish of dying at home.  It is not as ‘taboo’ as before, when people shunned and avoided the word ‘death’. And it was evident during the evening when many guests approached me to ask questions about how we do it, what help we needed and how they can volunteer. I was humbled and touched. 

When the evening came to a close, the HCA team finally had the chance to settle down for their very cold dinner. Despite the late hour, the team chatted happily about the evening. I am certainly very fortunate to have such dedicated teams working in HCA – both the front end team who work with our beneficiaries and the back end team who facilitate and ensure the smooth running of HCA events. Thank you HCA team! I am so proud of all of you!