SINGAPORE - More than $1 million was raised at Dover Park Hospice's first-ever virtual charity dinner on Friday evening (Sept 18).
About 250 guests attended the online fund-raiser, which was themed Sweet Summer Nights - guests were taken on a trip to a tropical island from the comfort of their own homes.
The money raised will go towards providing holistic palliative care for the patients and to support their caregivers, said the hospice.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was the guest of honour, said in his speech that, given the economic downturn, many charities are finding it harder to raise funds.
"In such trying times, I applaud the team at Dover Park Hospice for your dedication and hard work in caring for your patients," said Mr Heng.
"I read your most recent annual report, and was inspired by one line - 'Every moment matters, even in the time of Covid-19'. Indeed, you must continue to innovate and provide the best care to your patients despite the circumstances."
Mr Heng said that palliative care has made great strides since the hospice movement in Singapore started in the 1980s, but more can still be done to raise awareness of it.
He added that he was glad to learn that the hospice had expanded its services, such as the opening of its daycare facility in October 2019, and the recent expansion of home care services to also serve non-cancer patients with end-stage organ failure.
Dover Park Hospice chairman Jeremy Lim said: "Though these are certainly very challenging times, we remain steadfast in providing the best care for our patients and caregivers in the new normal. We will have to be more innovative and transform the way we operate."
He added: "We are excited about our move to our new facility at the Integrated Care Hub in 2022 as we ramp up our resources and infrastructure to serve twice as many patients."
The Integrated Care Hub, to be managed by Tan Tock Seng Hospital, will be a 500-bed community facility that will offer a full range of rehabilitation facilities and palliative care services.
Part of the funds raised from Friday's dinner will go towards the hospice's new facility at the hub.
Guests at the virtual dinner enjoyed live-stream performances from radio deejay Denise Tan, who performed a skit and hosted the event, as well as a medley of Abba hits by the hospice's show choir made up of volunteers.
A specially curated dinner from award-winning food and beverage establishments such as Odette and Alma by Juan Amador was delivered to their homes.
Guests also took part in a silent auction, which included items such as a bottle of Hennessy Paradis Imperial, three paintings and a ceramic bowl, as well as a lucky draw.