SINGAPORE -The 17th edition of the President's Challenge kicked off on Sunday (Feb 26) with $22,000 raised through a choral concert held at the School of the Arts.
About 350 guests including President Tony Tan Keng Yam were treated to a performance by about 150 choristers in a concert organised by the Wild Empire Choral Group.
This year, the President's Challenge - an annual community outreach and fund-raising campaign - will support 52 organisations from various sectors, such as family social services, healthcare, eldercare, and the rehabilitation of ex-offenders.
The President's Challenge was initiated by the late former president S R Nathan in 2000. Since then, it has raised more than $167 million for various beneficiaries.
Dr Tan, who launched the President's Challenge 2017 on Sunday, said that since 2015, the campaign has been encouraging more arts projects with meaningful social objectives. Such projects include a music mentorship programme by the National Arts Council.
He said the President's Challenge will partner The Esplanade for the first time, to bring the arts closer to children with special needs, people with chronic illnesses and at-risk youth.
Sports is another platform, and the President's Challenge will support a "Beat the Streets" programme run by the Wrestling Federation of Singapore this year, which engages primary school pupils who are on after-school programmes through wrestling.
Dr Tan said that like last year, 20 per cent of funds raised will be pledged to the Silver Volunteer Fund, to support initiatives that encourage the elderly to offer their time and talent for good causes.
He said: "As a national movement, President's Challenge supports a wide range of beneficiary organisations across numerous sectors to meet the needs of a growing nation.
"It is ultimately about building a caring,cohesive and inclusive society together."