Using their voices for a good cause


  • Metro News
  • Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019

Ritchie (third left), Koay (black shirt) and other members at the birthday cake-cutting ceremony to mark the association’s 40th anniversary.

THE Mental Health Association of Penang’s Sing For Joy Charity Concert was an uplifting affair that raised over RM100,000.

Held in the historic setting of St Jo’s in Gurney Paragon Mall, it featured the melodic voices of The Messengers Choir led by conductor Khoo Hooi Lay.

Festive tunes such as Joy To The World, Hello Christmas and O Holy Night were well-received alongside pop culture hits like Fly Me To The Moon, Mamma Mia and The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

In between, the 25-member choir gave sterling renditions of local classics Setia and Getaran Jiwa as well as some Chinese numbers.

Several soprano pieces like Exsultate Jubilate, Angels’ Carol and Song of Mary were also met with rapturous applause from the hundred-strong audience.

Mental Health Association of Penang president Datuk Mary Ritchie said the concert also marked the association’s 40th anniversary.

“It was established back in 1979 with the primary objective of promoting the prevention, control, treatment and rehabilitation of mental illness in the state of Penang, ” she pointed out.

In 2004, it further established a 2 Way Centre to serve the needs of children and adolescents with various developmental, communication, learning and other related challenges.

“Since then, the centre has assisted 2,314 youngsters including those suffering from Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Dyslexia.

“Provision of emotional support to people in distress or feeling suicidal as well as suicide survivors, were extended in 2015, ” Ritchie further highlighted.

She thanked the crowd and donors for the generous support that allowed the fundraiser to surpass initial targets, especially in this challenging economic time.

Major donors included Boon Siew Group and the Kuok Foundation which each contributed RM20,000 while MGL Industrial and Constructions Sdn Bhd donated RM10,000.

The Whyte House Education Group, Tan Sri Tan Kin Yan and Datuk Jimmy Sukarno Tun Sardon chipped in with RM5,000 each.

Organising chairman Andrew Koay Say Loke assured the crowd that the donations would be well-utilised to continue to fund the association’s meaningful activities.

In line with the season of giving, part of the overall collection was also donated to the Wisma Yatim Perempuan Islam Pulau Pinang, and the Peace and Harmony Home for old folk.

Present to witness the recent handovers was Pulau Tikus assemblyman Chris Lee.

Ritchie and Koay were also joined by association members in a cake-cutting ceremony.

“Credit to The Messengers and Khoo for this inspiring performance that not only brought happiness for the festive season but also allows us to help the poor and needy during these challenging times, ” Koay added.

All donations, big or small, are welcome. Contributions of RM500 and above will be given tax exemption receipts. Make cheques payable to ‘The Mental Health Association of Penang’.

For inquiries, call 04-2260811 (9am to noon, Mondays to Fridays) or email pmha1979@yahoo.com.my.

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