SINGAPORE - A total of 362 awards will be presented at this year's Community Chest Awards ceremony.
The prestigious Pinnacle Award, the highest honour given to donors of Community Chest, will be given out by President Tony Tan Keng Yam, to 4 organisations who have contributed significantly to the organisation's efforts.
The 4 organisations are Hitachi Group of Companies, Baxter Healthcare SA, Changi General Hospital and Singapore Police Force - Traffic Police Department.
The Hitachi Group of Companies, which is also the main sponsor for the annual Christmas Light-Up Ceremony at Orchard Road for the past 22 years, makes annual donations to support social service programmes under Community Chest. In 2012, Hitachi donated $220,000, which is 10 per cent more than the amount it donated in 2011. To date, Hitachi's donation to Community Chest has totalled $3.8 million.
Baxter Healthcare SA has supported SHARE, Community Chest's monthly workplace giving programme, for 30 years, with an employee participation rate of over 80 per cent. Over the past 25 years, Baxter and its employees have collectively raised $1.4 million.
Changi General Hospital has helped to managed to attract almost 1,500 new sign-ups from its employee pool in the past 8 years. This has raised a total of $2 million since 1992.
The Traffic Police Department promotes SHARE participation and has consistently hit a participation rate of 75 per cent and above since 1985. It has won the Gold or Platinum award every year for the past 20 years.
Community Chest will also be presenting the Chandra Das Great Idea Award to Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) to recognise the airline's popular fund-raising efforts. In particular, panda plush toys were specially produced by SIA and given out to those who donated at least $20 to the charity. A total of $427,000 was raised for children with special needs.
Several first-time Award recipients also displayed their creativity in raising funds for the needy last year. Project Happy Feet Ltd organised the Project Happy Feet Slipper Race 2012, a non-competitive five-kilometre walk in slippers, to raise funds for the educational needs of disadvantaged children in Singapore and overseas.
Another first-time Award recipient, Pernod Ricard Singapore Pte Ltd, raised $110,000 through its Martell Cordon Bleu Centenary Drive 2012. In celebration of its centennial anniversary, Martell gave away 100 exclusive Martell Cordon Bleu Anniversary Gift Sets as tokens of appreciation for donations for this charity drive.
Community Chest will also kickstart the Children's Day Appeal and Youth Day Appeal this year. The 6 schools that will be receiving the awards are Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), Nanyang Primary School, Singapore Chinese Girls' School, Dunman High School, Hua Yi Secondary School and Nanyang Girls' High School.
Beyond the donations raised, these schools encouraged their students to actively spread the message of giving to their peers, mobilised them to organise fund-raising carnivals and hosted students with special needs at their school.