Cerebral palsy alumni elated to reunite at Christmas event

Ng (in orange) with Valliammal (left) and behind her, Tan, joining the association members, former residents and guests during the live band performance at the Christmas event at the Penang Club.

FIFTY former residents of the Cerebral Palsy (Spastic) Children’s Association of Penang and their families enjoyed an early Yuletide treat at the Penang Club in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town.

Organised by the association, the Christmas Party and Tea Dance was held outside the association’s premises after a lapse of nearly three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Association president Ng Fook On said the children with cerebral palsy had missed out on many festive celebrations due to the pandemic.

“After a couple of years being cooped up and celebrating the festivities at the association, we thought it would be a nice change to bring them out to celebrate Christmas at Penang Club, and enjoy the cool breeze from the sea,” he said.

He thanked the club for providing the venue and sponsoring the refreshments for the event.

He also thanked sponsors such as Micron Technology, Sam Groceria, Capitaland and well-wishers who helped make the event a joyous one for the children, former students and their families.

Some 20 volunteers from Micron Technology were at the event to help out while Sam Groceria gave away 10 gift vouchers and Capitaland sponsored the gifts for the children.

Retired policewoman R. Kalavali, 61, accompanied her daughter R. Visalatchi, 27, who has suffered from Athetoid cerebral palsy since birth.

She said her daughter had been looking forward to the event.

“Ever since she left the association, she has wanted to meet up with her old friends.

“But these past three years have been difficult as the pandemic did not allow my girl to meet her friends,” she said, adding that Visalatchi was elated to see her friends at the party.

Ooi Wan Chean, 24, a former resident who joined the association from the age of three to 12, said she was happy to be able to meet up with her friends and ex-teachers.

“It is nice to be able to regroup in the community. We must always let the society see that we are part of it, too,” said Ooi, who is now employed as a clerk in a company in Batu Maung.

Her mother Teh Bee Lim, 55, said she was proud of her daughter who took the second spot in this year’s Para Sukma Games in the boccia sports (BC2 individual female category).

Ooi’s friend Lim Chun Tian, 21, who is a livestreamer, clinched the first place in the same sport at the Games.

The plucky lass, who scored four credits in her SPM examination, said she had applied to the local universities to pursue her studies in Multimedia Design.

She had gone to the association from age two to 10.

Her mother Yeoh Ghooi Lean, 58, said her daughter had been looking forward to the Christmas party as she had been missing out on attending festive celebrations.

“She also made the effort to dress up and do her hair for the occasion as she was excited to meet her friends and ex-teachers after so long,” said Yeoh.

The children and guests present were also delighted when they received Christmas gifts from Santa Claus, who made his way around distributing presents.

A live band led by singer Joseph Pragasam also performed a medley of upbeat songs from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s which got the guests on their feet.

Also present were association deputy vice-president Tan Leong Theng and secretary A. Valliammal.

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Cerebral Palsy , Penang Club , Yuletide , treat


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