His performance at a showcase here is believed to have cost organisers a quarter of a million dollars.
Gary, of South Korean hip-hop duo Leessang, is after all one of the seven hosts of the hugely popular Korean variety TV show, Running Man. So having the star come here to perform for free is no mean feat. Naturally, a group of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students are over the moon at having achieved it.
Gary will perform on Aug 16 at the NTU Fest, which aims to raise money for an endowment fund for needy Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students.
Held at the Padang and open to the public, the full-day event will also see K-pop singer Jung In join Gary on stage for a rendition of their latest collaboration, Your Scent.
NTU Fest is the brainchild of organising chairman Wu GuoYi.
The 22-year-old, who will be starting on her final year in chemistry and biological chemistry next month, told The New Paper that she came up with the idea for NTU Fest 10 months ago. She wanted an event that would bring together NTU's students and alumni and decided on her cause after talking to a fellow NTU student who was from the ITE and had financial difficulties putting herself through school. So far she, 50 committee members and 200 volunteers have already raised $100,000 by "hard-selling" their campaign to NTU's board of trustees, alumni and other donors.
It was during one of these charity drives that she met one of the trustees, who only wanted to be known as Mr Kwek.
Said Miss Wu: "After (Mr Kwek) heard that we were trying to raise money for needy ITE students, he said that he has contacts who may be able to help us bring Gary in.
"We couldn't believe it at first because Gary is such a big K-pop star. It was only when we were involved in discussing his performance schedule and after he signed the contract that it felt real."
She added: "When we heard the good news, we tried to keep calm. So many times we thought we were going to faint."
Before the evening concert next month, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat will officially launch the carnival at the Padang and flag off the 4.8 km 5TYLO MILE-O Run.
NTU Provost, Professor Freddy Boey, said: "This festival is a great way for our students to take the lead by being role models for current and future NTU students to care for our community by raising money for needy ITE students."
This article was first published on July 05, 2014.
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