Take Heart, Transform Lives

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A quote once goes, “Life is like an ocean. It can be calm and still, or rough and rigid. But in the end, it’s always beautiful.” Like the ocean, the world that we know holds boundless potential for growth. Overcome those challenges, and you will come out a stronger person. The question is: Are you ready to take that dive?

Finding courage to make a change for the better is the crux of this year’s Heartware Network Fundraising Gala Dinner theme, ‘Take Heart, Transform Lives’. It is a sentiment that resonates deeply within our youth, who are not discouraged, and display resilience in the face of adversity. Through giving back to the community, they learn to rise above their circumstances and create positive change in their own lives and the lives of the people they reach out to.

SEE also: Where will your purposeful decisions to do good lead you to?

To celebrate the many achievements attained by our youth for their work in the community, a Fundraising Gala Dinner was held at Mandarin Orchard Singapore on 3 July 2017, with Guests-of-Honour President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam and Mrs Mary Tan gracing the evening. Funds raised during the Dinner will sustain the various meaningful and noteworthy activities at Heartware Network.

EZ0C9895Heartware Network Fundraising Chairman Mr Anthony Lim greeting His Excellency President Dr Tony Tan as he arrived at the foyer of Mandarin Orchard Singapore.

EZ0C9805Guests took the opportunity to broaden their network and catch up with long-time friends.

EZ0C9971An opening dance number by Greendale Primary School, one of Tuition Programme’s beneficiary partners.

The night was embellished with uplifting stories of personal journeys and transformations of both volunteers and beneficiaries from various Heartware Network programmes.

One of the speakers of the night, Joan Cheong traced her journey as a 15-year old novice in the aRWSome Apprenticeship 2015 with Resorts World Sentosa, knowing close to nothing about providing service to others, to eventually mustering the courage to volunteer as part of the Home Team Show and Festival 2017 Hospitality Management. She quipped that “life becomes more meaningful once you know that you are the cause of something great, and how many people you can leave an impact on”.

And indeed, experiencing and leaving an ‘impact’ is a running motif in all the sharings. Priyadharshini, a current Youth Planning Committee member in the National Day Parade (NDP) Hospitality Management 2017 attested that the dedication of her leaders in past NDP events had inspired her to step up and take heart when facing challenges during volunteer deployment. On the other hand, volunteer Erika Eden Ong from Tuition Programme was transformed by her tutees who displayed resilience in conquering their weakest subjects. Confessing to living in a comfort bubble sometimes, Erika urged all to open their eyes and hearts to others in the community who truly need a helping hand.

SEE also: Their inspirational speeches in full!

Compilation of Speakers From L to R: Joan Cheong, Priyadharshini, Erika Eden Ong

The night took on an intimate and soulful turn with two star-studded performers, pianist Joseph Frederic and 14 year-old Dunman High School flutist Ong Yiting. The duet played a medley of songs which include Csardas, Memory and My Heart Will Go On.

EZ0C0016Pianist Joseph Frederic and Ong Yiting performing as a mesmerizing duet.

As the Dinner also commemorates the unique talents of Heartware Network’s volunteers, one of our most dedicated volunteers, Foo Shun Rong, rose up to the occasion to perform a very engaging one-man skit! Despite only having dance background, he took on acting for the first time (though with apprehension), and recreated animated facial expressions well.

EZ0C0162Shun Rong mimicking a National Day Parade volunteer usher greeting incoming guests.

The skit titled ‘The First Step’ tells the story of a junior college student from a disadvantaged background, who works part-time as a barista to relieve some personal expenses and tuition fees. In his spare time, he volunteers in 3 events: Tuition Programme, Support Our Pioneers, and National Day Parade. The narrative follows the character’s thought processes as he uses these volunteering platforms to give love, feel appreciated, and at the end of it, overcome the difficult situations he face. Shun Rong has also recently been appointed as a member of the Youth Volunteer Council – a committee set up to support Heartware Network in furthering its mission of inspiring, coaching and mentoring youth; and deepening the ties between past volunteers, the community, and the charity.

EZ0C0171A highlight speech of the evening was brought on by Executive Director Ms Tan See Leng, who shared her rich experience working with the Heartware Network youth for the past 8 years.

Guest-Of-Honour President Dr Tony Tan also gave a rousing speech on the importance of nurturing the youth of Singapore. He mentioned that the youth are our hope and leaders of tomorrow and that they are the driving force of change. While we train their minds, it is equally important to develop their character, which is Heartware Network’s mission. He urged the youth to venture out, and have an enterprising spirit to try out new ideas and opportunities. Indeed, it is this very spirit that can bring Singapore to greater heights.

EZ0C0200President Tony Tan delivering his speech on the importance of nurturing youths for a brighter future.

EZ0C0293Tokens of appreciation to Guests-of-Honour Dr Tony Tan and his wife Mrs Mary Tan.

A big thank you to all past and present supporters of Heartware Network , some of whom were graciously presented certificates of appreciation during the Dinner. If you would like to make a donation, follow this link. Your ardent support in youth development will help to create a new legacy of community champions.

At Heartware Network, all our staff and volunteers are driven by one common faith – if it is not from the heart, it is not worth doing. The many inspirational sharings that filled the dinner was a true exemplification of the hard and Heart work of our youth volunteers. They make up the heart and soul of Heartware Network. Here’s to a prosperous future in volunteerism!