$33,000 raised over four weeks for the Guide Dogs Association of the Blind
Singapore, 11 June 2013 — Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Singapore Philip Yuen presented a SGD 33,000 cheque to Prof. Tommy Koh, Patron of the Guide Dogs Association of the Blind (GDAB) and Ambassador-At-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a presentation ceremony today. The grand total is the result of a four-week fundraiser by Deloitte Singapore including a dollar-for-dollar contribution from the practice.
Deloitte Singapore chose GDAB as its official charity for this year’s J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge and the London Marathon that both took place in April. The adoption of GDAB, a cause for Deloitte, was made in collaboration with Lynn Tan who is a Mergers & Acquisitions associate with the practice and has been supporting this charity in her reign as Miss Singapore Universe 2012.
“The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge has been one of the highlights in our social calendar for a number of years now,” shared Philip. “In addition to the opportunity to share a unique out-of-office sports and social experience, the practice also encourages staff to give back to the local community through its adopted charity this year – promoting freedom and mobility for the blind and visually impaired,” said Philip.
Dr Francis Seow-Choen, Chairman of GDAB, thanked Deloitte Singapore for supporting the Association with its generous gift. “We are very grateful to the staff and management of Deloitte Singapore for their earnest support. The donation will help fund our orientation and mobility training programme, which is basic training to equip the blind or visually impaired persons with skills to move around independently. It is a pre-requisite skill that a guide dog handler must have. We hope more corporate organisations will take a leaf from Deloitte and support us to champion our cause for greater awareness and acceptance of guide dog usage in Singapore.”
Cassandra Chiu, the second person in Singapore to be matched with a guide dog took time off her work as a psychotherapist to be part of the presentation ceremony. Accompanied by Esme, her guide dog, Cassandra shared how life has transformed with Esme to an audience of Deloitte staff and invited guests. “When it comes to guiding me around, Esme is like an extension of myself and we move as a one entity. I cannot imagine going places without Esme now. Of course, challenging situations happen sometimes, like being stopped by clueless security guards or officers from entering a building or premise because of Esme. But I’m confident that awareness and acceptance of guide dogs will gain ground.” Singapore welcomed its third guide dog end of last year and the Association is working towards getting more guide dogs paired with its blind beneficiaries.
More than 600 Deloitte staff participated in this year’s J.P Morgan Corporate Challenge and prizes were awarded to the fastest runners in the partners, male and female categories. Deloitte also had a team of five runners who were gamed enough to race down the streets in a fully-inflated sumo suit. The fundraiser was led by Deloitte’s Corporate Finance Partner Jeff Pirie who ran the Singapore race in a kilt and Clients and Markets Director for Singapore and Southeast Asia James Walton who ran the London Marathon.
Staff at Deloitte Singapore interacting with Cassandra Chiu at the cheque presentation ceremony.
Professor Koh greeting Esme, the guide dog with Cassandra and
Philip, Deloitte’s CEO (left background) looking on.
(From left to right) Lynn Tan, Cassandra Chiu, Prof Tommy Koh, Philip Yuen, Dr Francis Seow-Choen and Alvin Ng
Photo credit: Deloitte Singapore