SINGAPORE: In a first for the two-decade-old President's Star Charity, the public can give back to the community by doing more than just donating.
"This is the first year that the show is actually going out to the community," its producer Lee Chew Yen said. "We want to mobilise residents to actually come out and participate with our artistes and become part of the show."
During the 24th edition of the annual show, which will take place on Dec 10, people will be able to join up with radio personalities like Joakim Gomez and Sonia Chew to pack and distribute goody bags to needy families.
The show is working with the South West Community Development Council to identify where these families live and ensure they get what they need. The distribution location has not yet been announced.
"Hopefully residents can come down and participate in the packing and sharing," Ms Lee said. "We have our own volunteers but we need a lot more hands on the ground."
This message will be pushed out during the show itself and through artistes' social media profiles, she added.
In another first, President Halimah Yacob will be making her maiden appearance as guest-of-honour on the show.
"The President’s Star Charity is a valuable fund-raising platform to help the less fortunate in society," Mdm Halimah said.
"Over the years, it has inspired and rallied Singaporeans from all walks of life to come together to help others in need."
This togetherness is in line with the theme for this year's show, "It takes all of us", a multi-cultural approach that Ms Lee hopes will remind every Singaporean of the "people amongst us that really need help".
"Every member has a part to play in helping the community, and together we can build a more caring and inclusive society," Mdm Halimah added.
The President's upcoming debut has gone down well with artistes like veteran local singer Rahimah Rahim, who will be making her fifth appearance on the show.
"I feel really honoured and proud to be performing in front of President Halimah Yacob," she said in Malay. "I hope my performance will help the charity and entertain viewers."
Indeed, this year's show will feature a star-studded line-up that includes local and international celebrities like Rebecca Lim and Grammy Award-winner Daniel Powter, best known for his chart-topping hit Bad Day.
And in the name of charity, the artistes will team up with music groups and cultural organisations to perform a medley of multi-cultural items.
For example, artistes Pierre Png, Glenda Chong, Paige Chua and Paul Foster will partner the Gunong Sayang Association to perform a dance while serving traditional Peranakan desserts.
Actress Rebecca Lim will go on the piano with the TENG Ensemble, a group that blends traditional and contemporary tunes, to perform four childhood songs in Mandarin and Malay.
"I always look forward to the President's Star Charity because I feel that I’m in a very blessed position," Ms Lim said. "I think it’s a responsibility for us to spread a certain kind of positivity, not only to the people that we love but just everyone around us."
"I really hope that everyone who watches the President's Star Charity will donate generously," she added.
The public can call in to make donations of S$10, S$50 and S$100, or donate any amount online or through the Dash app. Proceeds will go to 52 charities under the President's Challenge.
The President's Star Charity 2017 will be shown live on Channel 5 and Toggle from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.