Cancer care centre raises $100,000 from 8,000km walk for ST School Pocket Money Fund

(From left) Ms Tan Bee Heong, general manager of the fund, receiving the cheque from OncoCare founders Tay Miah Hiang and Peter Ang.
(From left) Ms Tan Bee Heong, general manager of the fund, receiving the cheque from OncoCare founders Tay Miah Hiang and Peter Ang.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - The pandemic did not deter staff of OncoCare Cancer Centre from walking 8,000km to raise $100,000 for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF).

The fund-raising walk was also part of a staff bonding activity which took place between Nov 1 and Dec 15 last year.

Founders of OncoCare, Dr Tay Miah Hiang and Dr Peter Ang, presented the cheque for $100,000 to Ms Tan Bee Heong, general manager of the fund, on Friday (Jan 8) at the OncoCare Centre at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.

Founded in 2007, OncoCare is a private healthcare provider that offers cancer treatment and conducts research to improve the future of cancer care. They treat over 30,000 patients yearly and currently have seven centres in Singapore.

Dr Tay said that due to the pandemic, the company did not hold any staff activities for the whole of 2020, "so we thought why not have a fund raiser that focuses on creating opportunities for staff to bond as well".

"We came up with Bright Future Move where staff had to go for walks or runs with colleagues in groups of three to five, following government social distancing measures, of course," he added.

Dr Ang said: "We chose to work with ST School Pocket Money Fund, as we believe they will manage our donation well and ensure it reaches those who need it most."

For the charity cause, staff tracked the distance they covered using running applications on their smartphones.

To motivate them, incentives were given to the top three groups and individuals who covered the most distance, and for the most creative running route.

Mr Wallace Chai Chung Yee, a staff nurse at OncoCare, topped everyone by running 800km for the cause.

"I love running. I feel happy and proud to use my hobby to help those in need," he said, adding that the staff would take part in similar events in the future and continue to give back to society.

The ST fund, which was launched on Children's Day on Oct 1, 2000, has since disbursed more than $80 million, helping some 180,000 students from low-income families.

According to Ms Tan, the fund raised about $14 million last year and helped more than 10,000 students through giving them pocket money and special payouts amid the pandemic.

"We are thankful for this timely donation, as we have seen a spike in people reaching out to us for help, especially since we are facing a pandemic," said Ms Tan.