The evening was abuzz with excitement and gaiety. Our guests had just been granted entry to the Liang Wenfu charity concert at the 5000-seat Star Theatre. As they started streaming into the foyer from around 6.30pm, teams of volunteers were promoting concert memorabilia to raise more funds and HCA Hospice was one of the main beneficiaries.
Our presenting sponsor, the very generous Goh Lee Hiang Memorial Fund, had sponsored the sold-out concert, which was a four hour extravaganza of nearly 20 artistes singing with the indomitable Liang Wenfu. The concert had the audience enthralled and singing along with the various artistes. One of our donors said “I am enjoying myself so much that I feel like getting up to dance – do they allow dancing here?” We had to disappoint her and said no, to which she quipped “OK, I’ll try to control myself”.
We had some HCA staff working at the booth to sell concert memorabilia before the concert, at intermission and at the end of the concert, which was just after midnight. Sales were brisk, with the concert goers rushing for Liang Wenfu CDs, autographed posters, plush bears, pouches, pens, key chains and T-shirts. Other HCA staff and friends supported by purchasing tickets to attend the concert and buying the memorabilia. One donor came by to our counter at the end of the concert to purchase 3 CDs and a T-shirt. We packed them into a special edition concert bag and when we handed it to him, he realised that he had not enough cash. As we did not accept credit cards, he asked for directions to the nearest ATM. By the time the last of our guests had made their final purchases and left, our team had to do stock taking, count the remaining items and pack up the remaining items. This was already close to 1am and there was no sight of the donor with insufficient money. The team was optimistic and held onto the package and completed packing the other things. Just after 1am, we saw our donor running towards us, money in hand. We all cheered ever so loudly for him. He put the money into the donation box, happily took his package and thanked us profusely for waiting for him.
One would have thought that that would be the end of the long day for our staff, but no. Our team had to wheel the many cartons and our donation boxes to a common area for further checking. They then brought them down to the loading zone, where a kind volunteer driver, helped to deliver all the items back to our HCA office. By the time our staff completed their duties and got home, it was near 3am.
The concert was a success. It brought in nearly $2 million (excluding matching grants), to be shared by two main and two smaller beneficiaries. I can only say, that besides the wonderful sponsorship provided by Goh Lee Hiang Memorial Fund, I am so grateful for the excellent team spirit and camaraderie shown by the HCA team. I was very touched to see the team working closely together and very importantly cheerfully together, making the day seem shorter and more memorable. I am deeply honoured to have such a great bunch of people working with me in HCA, hand-in-hand, heart-to-heart!
Keep the momentum going, Team! So proud of you!