TURN­ING GRIEF INTO GOOD

For the group CEO of Courts Asia, char­ity be­gins at home.

The Peak (Singapore) - - Just Cause -

In 2001, Terry O’Con­nor and his wife, Jan­ice, were gear­ing up to throw their an­nual Christ­mas party when he re­ceived news that their good friend – a Sin­ga­porean the cou­ple met in the United King­dom – had died from breast can­cer. “Our first in­stinct was to can­cel the party. But we de­cided to turn it into a fund-raiser for the Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion in­stead,” says the 49-yearold group CEO of Courts Asia.

In­stead of the usual gift ex­change, guests were asked to do­nate a sum of money at the door. “It was pretty in­for­mal. I asked the en­ter­tainer from the Bri­tish Club to sing while some of the ladies put some items up for auc­tion,” he says. That evening, $22,000 was raised.

Thus marked the be­gin­ning of a 16-year tra­di­tion to date, which saw the an­nual gar­den party cum fundraiser ex­pand­ing to the point where it fi­nally out­grew the cou­ple’s home. In 2010, the yearly event moved into larger venues such as golf and coun­try clubs. To date, the O’Con­nors to­gether with Courts Asia have raised $4.5 mil­lion for 24 lo­cal char­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Down Syn­drome As­so­ci­a­tion, Chil­dren’s Can­cer Foun­da­tion, and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. “Most of the char­i­ties we’ve worked with have be­come good friends and even help us to or­gan­ise fund-rais­ers for other ben­e­fi­cia­ries,” says O’Con­nor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.