SINGAPORE - RED and white filled the air at sunset yesterday, as spheres inscribed with wishes were tossed into the waters of Marina Bay.
Written on the spheres were the new year wishes of 200 beneficiaries from elderly, children's and women's voluntary welfare organisations.
Breast cancer survivor Irene Chui wished for a cure for the disease that has cost her both breasts and ovaries.
Ms Chui, who at 49 is the same age as Singapore, captains the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) dragonboat team. She said: "I hope more women won't have to lose their breasts. I'm also wishing for treatment that's less damaging to our bodies."
Her fellow survivor, Ms Katherine Goh, 46, wished for "continuously tight homefront security."
"When you look at what's happening in the world today, there's so much instability and terrorism. I don't want that to come to Singapore," said the deputy director at a civil service college.
The BCF was one of six organisations at the event, which was organised by the Esplanade and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The other organisations were The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, AWWA Community Home for Senior Citizens, PPIS Student Care Centre (Jurong), Kembangan-Chai Chee Seniors Activity Centre and Thong Kheng Seniors Activity Centre (Queenstown).
Old and young alike penned their wishes for Singapore's 50th birthday. Retired cashier Tan Sein Kiew, 73, wished for a healthier lifestyle. "So I don't have to visit the doctor so often," said the AWWA resident.
Meanwhile, eight-year-old Syarmayne Shahril from PPIS penned a wish for a greener Singapore.
"I don't want my country to be dirty," said the Shuqun Primary student, who also wished for her family "to be very, very happy and to be proud of me."
The 200 spheres tossed yesterday joined 25,000 others already floating in the bay, all of which were sponsored by insurance firm Great Eastern.
The spheres form a giant 50 to mark Singapore's upcoming jubilee.
The event was part of the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown to 2015.