SINGAPORE - Young performers as young as eight stole the show - and hearts - at children's charity concert ChildAid on Thursday (Dec 9), raising a total of $2,008,711 by the end of the event.
The concert, themed Virtuoso, is in its 17th year and was held at the ballroom at Resorts World Sentosa.
Organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, the annual event raises funds for the ST School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF), which provides financial assistance to needy children from low-income families, as well as the BT Budding Artists Fund, which aids artistically talented youth from less privileged households.
Guest of honour, President Halimah Yacob, and her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, joined close to 500 people at the fully-vaccinated event on Thursday evening.
SPH Media Trust chairman Khaw Boon Wan and interim chief executive Patrick Daniel were also among the audience.
The concert was live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube, as well as on the ST and BT websites.
ST School Pocket Money Fund chairman Warren Fernandez, who is editor-in-chief of SPH Media's English, Malay and Tamil Media Group and editor of ST, said: "ChildAid continues to be a showcase of young people's talent and their compassion for others. Over the years, this has become an event that many people look forward to."
Thirty-one performers aged eight to 19 took to the stage this year, down from the usual cast size before the pandemic that could go up to 200.
Among the 13 acts was a solo ballet performance by Maxine Mok, 12, to Princess Florine Variation from The Sleeping Beauty.
"Seeing people watch me perform and then donating to help other children who want to pursue arts like me is very meaningful," she said, adding that she was excited to perform for the first time at ChildAid.
Jessie Meng, 14, said that she was happy to return to the ChildAid stage after she first performed eight years ago in 2013 at the age of six.
She said the last time she played the piano in front of a large live audience was before the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I really appreciate this opportunity to do what makes me happy and makes other people happy too," she said.
Mr Patwant Singh, 55, his wife and two children attended the concert for the first time.
The polytechnic lecturer said: "I think the performers really excelled, even at their young age. You can really see their talent. It was really well put-together."
The main sponsors of the event this year are United Overseas Bank and Mini Environment Service, while the platinum sponsors are Citi and Tote Board.
Resorts World Sentosa is the venue partner while the concert's creative partner is Orangedot Productions, with Global Cultural Alliance as the executive producer.
The official radio stations are Money 89.3, OneFM91.3 and Kiss92. The multimedia partner is Noontalk, streaming partner is Meta and rehearsal venue partner is 10Square.
Donations to ChildAid can be made via str.sg/donateCA21 till Friday.