Music to the ears as the community rallies behind a worthy cause

The RICE Company Limited (TRCL), which manages The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF), and local disability charity SPD, are joining hands to hold a fundraising gala, titled The [...]

The Blue Charity Gala aims to raise $600,000 for persons with disabilities and young persons with aspirations in the arts

SINGAPORE, 18 July 2019 –The RICE Company Limited (TRCL), which manages The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF), and local disability charity SPD, are joining hands to hold a fundraising gala, titled The Blue Charity Gala at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) on 30 August 2019.

Aptly themed Stand By Me, the fundraiser calls for individuals and the business community to rally behind the beneficiaries of BT BAF and SPD. Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance will be the Guest-of-Honour at the event.

Says Mr Tan Puay Kern, Chairman of The Blue Charity Gala Organising Committee: “This is the first time two charities are coming together to raise funds for persons with disabilities as well as underprivileged young persons interested in the arts.  In a big show of support, and consistent with the value of care and share, the talented and renowned Singapore Police Force Band have volunteered to stage a concert for the occasion.  We would like to thank the men and women in blue for their extraordinary efforts to add pomp and splendor to the evening.”

The programme line-up features The Singapore Police Force (SPF) Band performing classic Broadway tunes, as well as a collaborative segment between the band and beneficiaries from BT BAF.

“For persons with disabilities and economically underprivileged children to fulfil their potential, we need the support of the community to stand together with these individuals. We hope more Singaporeans will come together to do our part for less privileged individuals” said Mr Alvin Tay, who sits on the Board of The RICE Company Limited that manages the BT BAF, and is also the co-chair of the SPD committee overseeing this fundraising dinner.

Ng Xiu Zhen is one such individual who has benefitted from the support of the community.

The 35-year-old para-sailor with cerebral palsy also has partial hearing loss. Xiu Zhen’s disabilities affected her studies and job opportunities, but she has always wanted to be independent to support herself. With the assistance of SPD’s employment support services and an inclusive employer, Xiu Zhen is now hired in an administrative role and balancing her busy schedule between family, work and training. She has competed in the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games and the 2015 ASEAN Para Games and won the bronze medal in the first South East Asia Para Sailing Championships in 2018. She also recently realised her dream of walking down the fashion runway in the televised SPD Charity Show 2019.

Another young person who is shining brightly despite all adversities is 13-year-old Aniq Irfan. Aniq faced troubles in school and home, and required counselling to support his social and emotional development. Thus, he was referred to The Little Arts Academy (LAA), an established arts training centre for the beneficiaries of BT BAF. There, he found support from mentors and peers who not only helped him with his school work but also helped develop his confidence to express himself through music. Aniq has performed in various BT BAF events and will once again demonstrate his percussion skills at The Blue Charity Gala.

“The stories of individuals like Xiu Zhen and Aniq continue to spur us to do more so that more lives can be transformed. This is the first time that we are working together with TRLC and a number of like-minded supporters who share our vision. We hope these successes will encourage more community partners to come on board,” said Mr Abhimanyau Pal, Chief Executive Officer, SPD.

Leading advanced integrated security services provider and Diamond Donor Certis, is a strong supporter of The Blue Charity Gala.

“We are pleased to be part of a meaningful initiative. Through our participation in The Blue Charity Gala, we are supporting the aspirations of many budding young artists and empowering them to pursue their passions to the fullest. As a corporate citizen, we also encourage the community to come forward and support this worthy cause. Together, we can make a positive impact on these young artists’ lives and move one step closer towards building an even more inclusive society,” said Mr Paul Chong, Group Chief Executive Officer of Certis.

The dinner is set against the grandeur of RWS – Official Venue Partner for The Blue Charity Gala – and will welcome 600 guests to its ballroom. Besides performances by The SPF Band and beneficiaries from BT BAF, Adelyn Koh, an aspiring singer with visual impairment, and veteran vocalist Robert Fernando will also be performing at the fundraiser.

The Blue Charity Gala aims to raise $600,000 to empower persons with disabilities and support the aspirations of underserved children and youth through the arts.

Tables are priced at $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. Donations will qualify for 250% tax deduction and funds raised will go towards SPD and BT BAF. For more information on purchasing the tables, please contact Ms Joyce Lee at Tel: 6579 0794 or e-mail, or Ms Sum Wai Ying at Tel: 6835 8209 or e-mail

Jointly issued by SPD and The Rice Company Limited

Photo caption: Performers from BT BAF practicing for the performance at The Blue Charity Gala.