Marina Bay Sands’ annual Sands for Singapore Charity Festival ended on a high note, with more than S$3.5 million raised in support of 80 local charities. First launched four years ago, the annual festival – a key signature event under Marina Bay Sands’ corporate social responsibility program – aims to raise funds and awareness for local charities, and is among a myriad of days that the Integrated Resort gives back to the local community. Besides working with designated charities like Art Outreach Singapore and Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN), Marina Bay Sands supports other charities in the area benefitting youth and education.
Each year, the festival features fun-filled activities that take place at the iconic attractions across the property. The festival also provides a platform to raise the profile of the designated local charities under the Sands for Singapore program and encourages new and additional funding from a variety of stakeholders, including guests and partners of Marina Bay Sands. This year, the festival saw volunteers taking part in 22 activities that all gave back to the local community. From Scoops of Hope, a pop-up booth that served gelato crafted by the celebrity chefs to the Community Chest Family Carnival at the Event Plaza, the public was treated to a host of exciting and meaningful activities that helped raise funds and awareness.
A highlight of the festival was the Play It Forward charity race, which saw 222 participants on 37 teams competing in a series of challenges around Marina Bay Sands. A team of psychologists and social workers representing Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre (AMKFSC) Community Services Ltd. beat 36 teams to take home the top prize of S$7,500 for the charitable organization. All team won in the end as Marina Bay Sands donated more than S$120,000 worth of cash and prizes to 22 local charities on behalf of the participating teams.
“Play It Forward is a fun and innovative way for us to contribute to charity instead of just doing normal fund-raising activities,” Psychologist Ms Liew Shi Hui said, who was part of the winning team from AMKFSC. “It was our team’s first time participating and we felt that it was a good chance for us to get together and bond while giving back to the community at the same time. It feels surreal to be the winner. All of us are very proud.”
In the week leading up to the festival weekend, more than 1,900 Marina Bay Sands Team Members lent their support to various fund-raising and community events, clocking more than 4,000 volunteer hours, with an 81 percent increase in volunteerism and a 47 percent increase in volunteer hours compared to last year.
“The Sands for Singapore Charity Festival is the annual highlight of our corporate social responsibility efforts,” George Tanasijevich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marina Bay Sands, said. “During this period, I am always proud to witness our Team Members, charitable partners and the public coming together to participate in the festival activities, all for the common objective of giving back to the community. It is thanks to the passion, commitment and enthusiasm of all those involved that we are seeing yet another successful run of the Sands for Singapore Charity Festival.”
In addition to Scoops of Hope and Play It Forward, the festival included entertainment at the Event Plaza, which came alive with free movies and live band performances. Families and friends came down to catch the screenings of Jurassic World and Fast and Furious 7 and dance along to the performances by local bands VOX, Shirlyn & The UnXpected and Jive Talkin’. There was also a doodle wall and charity booth, where local artist group Band of Doodlers illustrated a compilation of drawings that celebrated the value of giving back and images relating to the property and Sands for Singapore. This was later used as the backdrop of the festival’s charity booth. The booth was placed at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands for visitors and shoppers to donate money to support Community Chest. At the end of the festival, the black and white Doodle Wall was covered with colorful stickers that donors pasted to mark their contribution to the community.
The Sands for Singapore Charity Festival concluded with the annual Community Chest Heartstrings Walk. Organized by Marina Bay Sands and Community Chest for the sixth consecutive year, the walk drew more than 7,000 corporate partners, volunteers, beneficiaries, social service organizations and members of the public and raised over S$1.9 million. Designed around the theme of creating an inclusive society for the disabled, the event’s highlights included a 4 km Fun Walk around Marina Bay, followed by a Race to the Sky Vertical Marathon up 57 levels of Marina Bay Sands Tower 3. The walk ended with a fun-filled Family Carnival at the Event Plaza, which featured games, activities and experiential booths for people to enjoy.