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Jocelyn Lee
Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014

Showbiz

Local acts and beneficiaries join hands at President's Star Charity 2014

The New Paper | Jocelyn Lee | Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014

The President's Star Charity 2014 saw collaborations between the beneficiaries and local acts for the first time in 20 years.

Home-grown band The Sam Willows performed a touching original composition, For Love, on stage with 17-year-old Sophie Soon, a visually-impaired violinist.

Miss Soon told The New Paper: "At first, I didn't know what to expect as I play classical music and we were working on a pop performance.

"But I feel that we did a lot better than expected. The music blended really well."

The Sam Willows member Jonathan Chua, 24, said: "We practised together for four hours and had our own rehearsals on top of that. We had a lot of similar topics to talk about with Sophie, despite the age gap."

Member Sandra Riley Tang, 24, added: "Sophie is so cool and so lovely. It was great working with her. She is someone we want to hang out with."

The show also saw other collaborations, including an item put up by members from voluntary welfare organisation Ain Society and local Chinese orchestra Ruan Xian Ensemble.

Together, they performed a unique rendition of American pop singer Katy Perry's Roar with 10-year-old singer Mahirah.

Other highlights included energetic performances by local stars during the charity show.

Actress Jayley Woo, 22, who put up a sexy K-pop dance routine with fellow starlets Julie Tan, Bonnie Loo and Seraph Sun, told TNP: "I have no dance experience before this, so it was very difficult.

"I was very nervous before the performance but most importantly, we enjoyed ourselves."

Local deejay Joakim Gomez did a sleek Michael Jackson dance performance with stars Ian Fang, James Seah, Jeremy Chan and Gurmit Singh.

'SUCH AN HONOUR'

The 25-year-old said: "It's such an honour to be doing this for charity. It's a nice feeling, especially when we are also paying tribute to the late Michael Jackson on stage."

Seah, 24, added: "I have no dance background, so when I heard that we were going to dance to Michael Jackson's songs, I was like, 'Are you serious?'

"I did face some challenges, but the others really helped me a lot. I felt that it was a job well done tonight."

Popular Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna drew one of the biggest cheers of the night, singing her hits Rescue and Escape.

The 27-year-old, who recently worked with superstar Pharrell Williams, told TNP after her performance: "This is the first time I am performing at a charity show in Singapore, and it is so important to me because I believe in doing good and helping others."

"The two songs I sang are about being confident of yourself, and empowering other women. They are my favourites, and I think they are perfect for this charity event."

The President's Star Charity 2014 raised $6.32 million at the end of the 2½-hour show at MediaCorp Theatre last night. The money will go to 64 selected beneficiaries.

The figure raised includes corporate donors, telepolls and online donations.

Viewers can continue to pledge their donations till midnight on Nov 9 by calling the hotline numbers 1900-112-8821/8822/8823 for $5, $20 and $100 donations respectively.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam said: "President's Challenge 2014 will also fund pilot programmes to address service gaps and experiment with new services for selected groups.

"This year's fund-raising effort is particularly important because the Government will match a dollar for every dollar donated under the Care and Share scheme."

jocelee@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Nov 3, 2014.
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