The show featured live performances, a mental health skit, and the end of a 2,000-km relay race.
The amount raised for beneficiaries under the President’s Challenge by the annual President’s Star Charity (PSC) gets higher and higher each year, and 2019 was no exception, with last night’s (Nov 10) star-studded extravaganza ending with a whopping S$10.4 in donations - S$2.1 million more than last year.
This year’s programme featured something a little different: in addition to the live song and dance items, external events were also organised outside the show with the sole purpose of raising funds for the President’s Challenge. One of them was Relay Majulah, where 200 runners from all walks of life - including some with disabilities and special needs - collectively covered a 2,000-km relay over the course of 200 hours.
The last 10 km of the relay was completed by Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan Jin, who finished the race by running straight into The Theatre at Mediacorp and proudly passing the baton to President Halimah Yacob on stage. The record-breaking feat was one of the biggest contributors to the donation tally, raising a cool S$1.6 million.
One touching performance that brought back memories was that of Evelyn Tan and Kym Ng, who recreated their PSC 1999 rendition of Teresa Teng’s iconic ballad ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’ with Mediacorp Young Talents Project 2019 winners Adrian Tang, Michelle Zhu, and Toby Tan. A clip of their original performance, which featured PSC founder and late former President Ong Teng Cheong on the piano, was also shown in the backdrop.
“I’m still feeling just as honoured as I was 20 years ago,” said Evelyn. Kym concurred, adding, “What’s most precious to me is that the act of giving has endured for more than 20 years, and I hope we can continue to do better each year to show we care.”
Things then took a light-hearted turn with a skit on mental health starring Chua Enlai, Suhaimi Yusof, Wang Weiliang, Udaya Soundari, Xixi Lim, and Richard Low. While the mini play was funny and full of gags, it also contained important messages aiming to dispel misconceptions about mental illnesses and urge the public not to trivialise or mock the condition.
Guest performers from overseas included Filipino opera-singing sibling act HK Sisters, who showed off their stunning vocals with ‘The Prayer’ and ‘Flower Duet’; British-born Hong Kong singer Tien Chong, who sang her own single ‘Carousel’ as well as a cover of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Oscar-winning duet ‘Shallow’ with local crooner Shak; Malaysian rocker Amy, who powered through emotional classics ‘Isabella’ and ‘Rozana’; and Japanese contemporary dance group Fabulous Sisters, who opened the show and later returned for another energetic performance with TTYL, Singapore’s own group comprising starlets Tay Ying, Denise Camillia Tan, Hazelle Teo, and Kayly Loh.
By the time the last performance of the night - a cover of ‘A Million Dreams’ from The Greatest Showman’ by KIN stars Jasmine Sim, Rachel Wan, Brian Ng, and Timothy Lee with the Aureus Academy Choir - came to an end, about S$2.6 million had been raised, before the addition of corporate cheques and Relay Majulah’s contribution brought the total amount of donations to the final figure of S$10,471,294.