In the heart of Orchard Road, the beautiful grounds of YWCA Fort Canning played host to the YWCA Charity Carnival on 12 November 2022. Three floors were transformed that Saturday into a fun carnival ground, where community groups and volunteers showcased their talents and homemade produce through food and games stalls as well as lively performances, to help raise funds for YWCA’s community programmes.
As this was the first time that the much-anticipated YWCA Charity Carnival returned after a few years of absence during the pandemic, we were extremely heartened to see a record turn-out of children, families and our YWCA volunteers and members. It was a great day of family bonding and fun whilst doing something good for our community.
The excitement and energy that filled the atmosphere were infectious! Kicking off the event was a series of performances by the 9 centres of our YWCA Preschool.
Our talented YWCA Preschool children braved the stage, singing and dancing to the likes of “Fight Song”, “听我说谢谢你”, and “Jesus Loves Me”, to name a few. For many of our children, this was their first performance on a grand stage, some of whom were only 3 or 4 years old! Yet, all of them displayed great stage presence, truly displaying the YWCA Preschool core values of Confidence. Parents beamed with pride and joy at what their young children had achieved, a testimony of the wonderful coaching and nurturing from the YWCA Preschool teachers. It was indeed a heartwarming moment for all of us at the YWCA, and we could not be prouder of our children.
YWCA Preschool children performing on stage
The K2 children at YWCA Preschool @ Marine Drive impressed the audience, too, with their magic show performance. They engaged the audience with mind-boggling tricks. Kudos to our YWCA Preschool children who certainly had more than a few tricks up their sleeves!
Magic show performance by YWCA Preschool @ Marine Drive
Such was the vibe at the YWCA Charity Carnival, where many heartwarming moments were peppered throughout the day. Upon finishing her performance on stage, 6-year-old violinist, Kai Le, waited patiently with a smile as her 2-year-old sister toddled up the stage to present her with a bouquet of flowers. And that is why the YWCA Carnival will always be such a special event for us – a precious time for us to celebrate family love.
Our young violinist, Kai Le, performing on the grand stage
Meanwhile, the foyer was getting busy with people patronising stalls set up by our staff and volunteers. One such contributor was Addict Bakers. In collaboration with Bakery Brera, an artisanal bakery well-known for its indulgent bakes, Addict Bakers brought a range of freshly baked croissants, cruffins and sourdough bread, which were a hit as they quickly flew off the shelves and became one of the top fund-raising stalls! Thanks to our YWCA President Ms Janet Tan for blessing us with your beautiful bakes!
Addict Bakers– a group of baking enthusiasts comprising of Ms Janet Tan, President of YWCA (right), Thrina Low (not pictured), owner of Bakery Brera, and a few friends.
Besides Addict Bakers, our carnival-goers also had the opportunity to indulge in decadent Nyonya pastries made by Mrs Maureen Nguee, a director on YWCA’s Board and Founder of Mrs Kueh. At Mrs Nguee’s stall, business was brisk, as her popular Kueh Salat was sold out by noon.
Another crowd favourite was our very own YWCA Café Lodge’s Laksa with Abalone. People who tried it for the first time relished the authentic “lemak” flavour and were pleasantly surprised to discover a mini abalone in each bowl of laksa! This dish is a mainstay on Café Lodge’s menu, so you can still enjoy our signature laksa at the café even after the carnival!
YWCA’s Fort Canning kitchen staff serving Laksa with Abalone
Over at the lobby, the Green Corner set up by Ms. Pauline Boey was a soothing sight to behold. When you walk into her booth, it feels like you have stepped into an enchanted garden surrounded by lush greenery and tiny succulents.
A first-time volunteer and contributor with the YWCA, Pauline conceived the idea of a green corner and rallied 10 friends to help in propagating beautiful plants just in time for the carnival.
However, her story does not end here. Pauline shared with us how this event also turned out to be a blessing for one of her biggest contributors, Aunty Irene. Aunty Irene is 88 years old and used to be an active volunteer for her church. In recent years, she became isolated from social activities and was mainly homebound during the pandemic.
When invited to help with the Green Corner, Aunty Irene got on her feet and spent all day in her garden propagating plants. Her daughter described her as “coming alive again”. Aunty Irene has since returned to her active lifestyle, socialising and being busy with her newfound hobby. Thank you, Aunty Irene. You remind us of what the YWCA is about—that through our little contributions, we can be a blessing to others, and be blessed in return. You remind us also that every one of us have been blessed with gifts and talents and are empowered to contribute, whatever our age!
Pauline, at the Green Corner
Another therapeutic retreat at the Carnival was the stall set up by our team from the YWCA Weaving Programme. At the Coasters Weaving Experience, participants received a crash course on weaving on a Saori loom and got to take home their very own unique piece of a handwoven coaster. The regular weaving workshop is usually 2.5 hours long, so a crash course like this was a rare and unique experience that our carnival-goers had the chance to experience!
Participants received a crash course on weaving
Back at Sophia Cooke Ballroom, Ronald and Friends were stirring up feelings of nostalgia as the audience grooved to familiar old tunes like “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John and “When You Say Nothing At All” by Ronan Keating. Although first-time volunteers with the YWCA, Ronald and his friends were no strangers to the stage, having performed at other charity events. We thank Ronald and Friends for hyping up the carnival with your great music.
Our live band, ‘Ronald and Friends’
During the stage performance interval, a young chap confidently stepped on stage with a ukulele and serenaded the audience with popular hits like “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. If he looked familiar, it was because he was a proud alumnus of our YWCA’s Workz-on-Wheels programme. We are so glad that Brayden (who joined our Workz-on-Wheels when he was just a mere boy at age 11) has now blossomed into a fine young 18-year-old man, and has returned to give back to the YWCA, volunteering not only for the carnival but for the Workz-on-Wheels programme as well. Thank you, Brayden, for truly exemplifying the YWCA motto of “By Love Serve One Another”.
Brayden, serenading the crowd with his euphonious voice
At the back of the ballroom, the energy in the air was heightened as children squealed with delight, being treated to unlimited fun at our giant bouncy castles and art activities.
Children enjoying themselves at the bouncy castles
Children participating in glue art
On the 3rd floor, excitement filled the room as children and adults were treated to a range of carnival games. There was even a game console corner where the kids could indulge in popular multiplayer digital arcade games, whilst munching on popcorn and candy floss.
A group of children playing Mario Kart at the game console corner
The biggest attraction of the Charity Carnival was the Sure-Win Raffle. For $5 per try, participants were guaranteed a prize with each spin. Thanks to our generous sponsors, prizes such as bicycles (sponsored by Menarini Asia Pacific), Kiztopia tickets (sponsored by Kiztopia), a Nespresso coffee machine, Swarovski jewellery, branded fashion items, children’s toys as well as home appliances were given out throughout the day. The grand prize was won by a mother-daughter duo who were rewarded with a 2D1N staycation at the suite room at YWCA Fort Canning worth $500 (sponsored by YWCA Fort Canning). Winning a prize, whilst donating for a good cause, what a great way to end the Charity Carnival.
A mother-daughter duo’s win: a 2D1N Staycation sponsored by YWCA Fort Canning
The YWCA Charity Carnival was also a magical day for our beneficiaries. Thanks to the kind donation of carnival tickets by the YWCA Board and Committees, we sponsored a group of beneficiaries to an all-expenses paid fun-filled day and many were excited they had a chance to enjoy the carnival!
Our beneficiaries were invited to attend the carnival
“By Love, Serve One Another” – the people behind the scenes all had one thing in common—a heart to serve. The Carnival activated close to 40 volunteers and brought the YWCA staff from across our National Office, YWCA Fort Canning and YWCA Preschools together to ensure everything went as smoothly as possible, with everyone working with passion and solidarity for the single purpose of serving the YWCA communities.
The YWCA Charity Carnival could not have been such a resounding success without your support! We managed to raise more than $120,000 (thank you to the dollar-for-dollar matching by Tote Board), and we are so grateful for every one of you who came and made a difference. The monies raised from this Charity Carnival will surely go a long way in benefitting the communities we serve!
We hope all our beneficiaries and the attendees at the Carnival have been blessed, for this was also such a blessing for all of us here at the YWCA to have served.
By love, serve one another.
The camaraderie among YWCA staff in serving and bringing joy to our beneficiaries
All net proceeds from the carnival will go towards supporting the following causes:
Financial Assistance Scheme
A big Thank You to our sponsors: