Lighting up lives, the Orchard way

Singer-composer Dick Lee and designer Yang De Rong came up with this year's light-up concept, which revolves around bells and baubles.
Singer-composer Dick Lee and designer Yang De Rong came up with this year's light-up concept, which revolves around bells and baubles.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Orchard Road turned bright last night not just for the annual Christmas light-up, but also for a good cause.

In line with this year's theme Lighting Up Lives, the Community Chest has rallied its partners to raise funds to help empower families in need, especially those with special needs children, to access education.

Close to $1 million has been raised for this, and for the more than 80 charities supported by Community Chest, by donors such as Hitachi Group of Companies, Lee Foundation and StarHub.

Rainbow Centre-Yishun Park School also staged a short musical called Light-Up, Light-Up as part of the launch yesterday.

The school provides special education to children with moderate to severe needs, aged seven to 18.

Mr Phillip Tan, chairman of Community Chest, said: "With donors and volunteers joining hands with us, we can enable families of special needs children to look beyond their challenges and be more resilient in overcoming the odds."

President Tony Tan Keng Yam pressed a button on a Christmas bell to activate the lights.

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development, also attended the event.

Singer-composer Dick Lee and designer Yang De Rong came up with this year's creative concept, which revolves around bells and baubles.

Started in 1984, the annual light-up is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board and Orchard Road Business Association.

Jalelah Abu Baker

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 15, 2015, with the headline 'Lighting up lives, the Orchard way'. Print Edition | Subscribe