Friday, September 25, 2009

An Enchanting Evening - Charity Dinner In support of 1823 Fund

The RPA Charity Dinner in support of 
RI’s 1823 Fund was successfully held in the RI School Hall on 15 August 2009.  The organising committee comprising members of the RPA Management Committee and parent volunteers, spent 3 months organising the event.  More than 40 corporate and individual tables were taken up at $2,000 and $1,000 each respectively.  Art and jewellery pieces were donated by the school as well as friends of Rafflesians’ parents for the silent auction.  Parents who could not turn up for the dinner event, gave outright cash donations.  Through the strong support of parents of Rafflesians, the event raised at least $70,000 for the fund.  This is more than double the initial target of $30,000 set by the Organising Committee.

The Guest-of-Honour for the gala event was Mr Wong Siew Hoong.  Currently the Director of Schools with MOE, Mr Wong is an Old Boy (1972-1977) of Raffles Institution and Headmaster of RI from 1999 to 2004.  RPA Chairman, Mr Chua Wah Ann, and his Executive Committee, welcomed Mr & Mrs Wong upon their arrival at RI at 6.30 pm, amidst salutations and music rendered by the Bagpipers of RI Boys Brigade.

After the guests were seated, the RPA Chairman, Mr Chua, gave his welcome address.  He emphasized the importance of RPA’s close partnership with the school.  The organisation of RPA Charity Dinner was a prompt response to such a cause.

Following that, Mrs Lim Lai Cheng, Principal of RI, was invited to give the opening address.  In her speech, Mrs Lim drew excerpts from an article written by Prof Koo Tsai Kee, a Rafflesian & Minister of State for Defence.  In the Straits Times, Prof Koo wrote about his admiration for his “secret” hero : an ex-neighbour and senior in RI who forewent tertiary education due to financial constraints, even though “he could easily have done so”.  Mrs Lim drove home the message that RI is a place where students are given equal opportunities to excel in all areas of education; no one student deserves to be sidelined because they are poor, under-privileged and/or who require financial assistance.  For this cause, the 1823 Fund was initiated to help these students to “augment their education”.

A sumptuous 10-course dinner followed.  Guests were entertained by a line-up of performances by the RI JC Chorale, the Quartet, the Ex-Dee Band, the RI JC Dancers, and the R-Project Runway (a fashion show of sorts with students taking to the cat-walk in outfits creatively designed with old and used clothes.)  The silent auction sold paintings, jewellery, and art pieces donated by sponsors, well-wishers and students.

RPA would like to thank everyone who participated and contributed to the cause.  Especially noteworthy is the generous support of all the well-wishers and parent volunteers.  RPA would also like to express their appreciation to Mrs Lim and all her staff, teachers and students for the stellar performances staged during the dinner event.  A big “Thank You” goes to the RI staff and students, prefect ushers, photographers and videographers who helped with the requirements of logistics.

RPA Chraity Dinner Organising Committee

Three cheers to the well-wishers, Raffles Institution, and Raffles Parents Association!

Auspicium Melioris Aevi

report written by:
Ng Chai Seng, Julie Chew, Serene Khoo