ONE FM 91.3 radio deejay Mark van Cuylenburg is 62 and Singaporean, but he has never done national service.
The deejay, who is of Dutch heritgage, was exempted from NS for reasons he himself is unsure of. Sometimes, the father of four daughters who has lived here all his life wonders if he has missed out on NS.
"I heard so many great stories about NS - the bonding, the camaraderie, how it changes people's lives."
And of course, the compulsory head shave.
So when the deejay, known as the Flying Dutchman (FD), was challenged on air by fellow presenter and executive producer Andre Hoeden to have his head shaved, he gamely said yes.
But he had one condition - he will shave for $10,000 for the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund (SPMF).
The fund provides pocket money to students from low-income families, with per capita gross monthly income of $625 and below, for them to buy food during recess and pay for other school-related expenses.
The SPMF helps about 10,000 students a year.
HOW TO HELP
DONATE: Search One FM on www.giving.sg
SUPPORT FD: At Great World City's Atrium on level one on Saturday, June 2, at 2pm.
FD has not only met his goal, but has more than doubled the amount due to a $20,000 donation from Bengawan Solo. The total collected was $27,550 at 6pm yesterday. "Growing up, I always wished I had done more. So you can say this is my way of making amends," he said.
Said Hoeden: "I think it's painful for parents not to be able to provide their kids with pocket money, sending them off to school hungry."
Charity aside, FD hopes to share a common experience with full-time NSmen by shaving his head. Said producer Shaun Tupaz, 30: "He's not a true Singaporean male if he doesn't do it. It's a rite of passage."
SPMF general manager Tan Bee Heong said: "This is an exemplary example of how anyone can be involved in helping others with simple fund-raising ideas, garnering support from friends and partners, and challenging others to step forward to make a difference."