Rotary Club of Kuala Lumpur DiRaja
Community Service 2008-09

Charity Fund Raising Dinner-Show: For Taman Megah Disabled Children's Home

Efforts for this event began as early as April 2008 even before the Rotary Year 2008-09 started. PE Francis, at that time he was not yet Club President, and I visited the Taman Megah Disabled Children's Home or Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah (PPKKCTM). Reflective of Rotary International's adherence to strict governance, we made as many as 6 surprise and unannounced visits to PPKKCTM to conduct preliminary audits on the Home's treatment of children under its care and its accounting cum legal processes. Once Rotary's exacting standards were met, the Club committed to assist the Home with its fund-raising initiatives.

In June 2008, the idea became more concrete as versatile performer Dato' Leonard Tan volunteered his singing talents to assist in a major charity dinner-show. We were then triple-blessed when renowned comedienne Ms Joanne Kam Po Po and respected choreographer Ms Farah Dato' Sulaiman's Junior Sayang dancers agreed to participate too.

By July 2008, when our present Board started its term, the initiative for this fund-raiser was already well underway. We had even received the support of the Inner Wheel Club of Kuala Lumpur, pledged by President Linda Lim. These generous, talented individuals and groups all played tremendous roles in making the dinner-show a resounding success by any measure. At that point, we had selected 9th November 2008 (Sunday) as the auspicious date for our dinner-show at Crowne Plaza's Nirwana ballroom.

Over the months of July to October, our Club's members and its supporters met over 20 times to plan, rework and solidify the arrangements for the dinner-show. For our Club, President Francis, Club Service Director Steve Lau and many others played major or minor roles to keep the wheels turning towards the n ight of the dinner-show.

From content design, public relations and press (where Datin Krystyn Tan and Ms Angie Teoh lent invaluable assistance) to d¨Ścor, ambience and food (where Inner Wheel ladies took the lead through President Linda, Datin Regina, Datin Linda and To'Puan Lee Pin), every step, every minute went like clock-work due to the volunteerism of the Club's members and supporters.

We were also extremely fortunate that our Honorary Rotarian YB Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye was available the grace the occasion as our Guest of Honour for the night. He kindly went on stage to kick off the event with a short but inspiring talk on social philanthropy. After which, the food began streaming into Nirwana ballroom and the guests were regaled with wonderful repartee from Ms Joanne Kam who admirably hosted the evening with hilarity and laughter.

Dato' Leonard Tan then provided the highlight of the evening with his amazing range of vocal talents. The audience was enthralled as he show-cased his ability to sing in so many different "voices". His talents were well supported by dances delivered by the Junior Sayang Dancers (beautifully choreographed by Ms Farah Dato' Sulaiman) from the Broadway version of Charles Dicken's "Oliver Twist" and also the children from PPKKCTM.

This event raised over RM126,000 from table sales, advertisements and donations. The cost of fund-raising, which was primarily food-related and publishing expenses, totaled a little more than RM47,000. So the net funds raised from this effort was about RM80,000.

Our Rotary Club then topped up the donation to PPKKCTM from monies accrued from interest in its Kuala Lumpur Rotary Charity Foundation and presented (through YB Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye) a mock check to PPKKCTM for RM100,000 during the dinner-show. This generated good publicity for the Club through 4 press articles in major newspapers like The Star and The New Straits Times.

Since that star-spangled night on 9th November 2008, our Club has received and audited detailed expense receipts from PPKKCTM for the period of January to May 2009. We then disbursed the RM100,000 against these receipts in support of the operations of the Home. The final check was written on 13th May 2009 to fully pay out all the committed funds to PPKKCTM.

Our Club is proud that we have orchestrated this effort which enabled our Club to:

Provide significant service to and gather financial aid for the community (especially the segment of disabled and underprivileged children through PPKKCTM).
Generate strong positive publicity for and awareness of Rotary through cooperation with the main-stream press (kudos to The Star "Metro" and The New Straits Times "Streets").
Further the Rotary ideal of fellowship by working closely with Inner Wheel Club of Kuala Lumpur and our local artiste community (helmed by Dato' Leonard Tan, Ms Joanne Kam Po Po and Ms Farah Dato' Sulaiman).
Finally, RC KL DiRaja wishes to thank all the kind and generous donors and contributors to this fund raising dinner-show on 9th November 2008. Our achievements are merely a reflection of your unbridled philanthropy - thank you again!