Wishes from beneficiaries old and young floating in Marina Bay

Dr Khoo Kah Siang, CEO of Great Eastern Life with Benson Puah, CEO of the Esplanade, along with 12 representatives from six voluntary welfare organisations, prepare to toss wishing spheres into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Dr Khoo Kah Siang, CEO of Great Eastern Life with Benson Puah, CEO of the Esplanade, along with 12 representatives from six voluntary welfare organisations, prepare to toss wishing spheres into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Picture of people tossing balls, plus of some of the beneficiaries. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Picture of people tossing balls, plus of some of the beneficiaries. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
(Left to right) Ms Katherine Goh and Ms Irene Chui, from the Breast Cancer Foundation, were among those who wrote wishes on spheres to be tossed into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
(Left to right) Ms Katherine Goh and Ms Irene Chui, from the Breast Cancer Foundation, were among those who wrote wishes on spheres to be tossed into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Picture of people tossing balls, plus of some of the beneficiaries who will be penning their well wishes for Singapore onto floating balls and then throwing them into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Picture of people tossing balls, plus of some of the beneficiaries who will be penning their well wishes for Singapore onto floating balls and then throwing them into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Members of the Breast Cancer Foundation writing their wishes on spheres to be thrown into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Members of the Breast Cancer Foundation writing their wishes on spheres to be thrown into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
(Left to right) Ms Irene Chui, Ms Katherine Goh and Ms Esther Sim, from the Breast Cancer Foundation, writing their wishes on spheres to be thrown into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
(Left to right) Ms Irene Chui, Ms Katherine Goh and Ms Esther Sim, from the Breast Cancer Foundation, writing their wishes on spheres to be thrown into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Dr Khoo Kah Siang, CEO of Great Eastern Life with Benson Puah, CEO of the Esplanade, along with 12 representatives from six voluntary welfare organisations, toss wishing spheres into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Dr Khoo Kah Siang, CEO of Great Eastern Life with Benson Puah, CEO of the Esplanade, along with 12 representatives from six voluntary welfare organisations, toss wishing spheres into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Staff collecting the wishing spheres that were tossed into Marina Bay by beneficiaries, to be arranged into the pattern of a giant 50 with the other spheres. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Staff collecting the wishing spheres that were tossed into Marina Bay by beneficiaries, to be arranged into the pattern of a giant 50 with the other spheres. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Picture of people tossing balls, plus of some of the beneficiaries who will be penning their well wishes for Singapore onto floating balls and then throwing them into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Picture of people tossing balls, plus of some of the beneficiaries who will be penning their well wishes for Singapore onto floating balls and then throwing them into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Picture of people tossing balls, plus of some of the beneficiaries who will be penning their well wishes for Singapore onto floating balls and then throwing them into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Picture of people tossing balls, plus of some of the beneficiaries who will be penning their well wishes for Singapore onto floating balls and then throwing them into Marina Bay. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Staff collecting the wishing spheres that were tossed into Marina Bay by beneficiaries, to be arranged into the pattern of a giant 50 with the other spheres. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Staff collecting the wishing spheres that were tossed into Marina Bay by beneficiaries, to be arranged into the pattern of a giant 50 with the other spheres. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - RED and white filled the air at sunset yesterday, as spheres inscribed with wishes were tossed into the waters of Marina Bay.

Written on the spheres were the new year wishes of 200 beneficiaries from elderly, children's and women's voluntary welfare organisations.

Breast cancer survivor Irene Chui wished for a cure for the disease that has cost her both breasts and ovaries.

Ms Chui, who at 49 is the same age as Singapore, captains the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) dragonboat team. She said: "I hope more women won't have to lose their breasts. I'm also wishing for treatment that's less damaging to our bodies."

Her fellow survivor, Ms Katherine Goh, 46, wished for "continuously tight homefront security."

"When you look at what's happening in the world today, there's so much instability and terrorism. I don't want that to come to Singapore," said the deputy director at a civil service college.

The BCF was one of six organisations at the event, which was organised by the Esplanade and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The other organisations were The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, AWWA Community Home for Senior Citizens, PPIS Student Care Centre (Jurong), Kembangan-Chai Chee Seniors Activity Centre and Thong Kheng Seniors Activity Centre (Queenstown).

Old and young alike penned their wishes for Singapore's 50th birthday. Retired cashier Tan Sein Kiew, 73, wished for a healthier lifestyle. "So I don't have to visit the doctor so often," said the AWWA resident.

Meanwhile, eight-year-old Syarmayne Shahril from PPIS penned a wish for a greener Singapore.

"I don't want my country to be dirty," said the Shuqun Primary student, who also wished for her family "to be very, very happy and to be proud of me."

The 200 spheres tossed yesterday joined 25,000 others already floating in the bay, all of which were sponsored by insurance firm Great Eastern.

The spheres form a giant 50 to mark Singapore's upcoming jubilee.

The event was part of the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown to 2015.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg