Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Seri Mengasih's Food Fair 2008

Participated in numerous fund raising over the years. Mostly only involved in setting up stalls in the fair and coupons selling. 
This Seri Mengasih food fair was the first time I went in as an organizing committee (consisting of parents and teachers of the centre) and found out what an entirely different ball game that was! 
From conception to the actual event, it took so much planning, organizing, manpower and most of all, the goodwill and generosity of so many supporters and donors in kinds, cash and sweat. You learn fast on the job as to what are the avoidable and unavoidable pitfalls and to be prepared for all eventualities.  
We started off in February and submitted our food fair permit application to the relevant government authority intending to hold the food fair on the 18th May 2008. 
That was the first hurdle we encountered. When constant enquiries as to the outcome of the permit yielded no response we had no choice but to postpone the event to the 15th June. Without the permit we could not proceed to the next stage, which is to print and distribute the coupons which had to have the permit number issued by the relevant authority. 
Distribution of coupons and collection would required a minimum of two months for the amount we hope to raise. 
Meantime we concentrated on finding donors to set up stalls in the fair.  
We then encountered a gigantic hurdle, the unexpected Sichuan earthquake on the 12th May. Every kind hearted person was donating towards the disaster relief team and we felt very petty asking for donation for another cause at this time with the constant TV news broadcast of the disaster.  
We were finally granted the permit on the 15th May and had the first batch of our coupons out on the 19th May. We managed to let out more than half of the coupons, mostly to the parents in the school. Sales of coupons were slow but looking good.
Then came the next hurdle (the expected but didn't think it would happen that soon), the shocking fuel price increase of almost 40%! That put a real damper on our fund raising activities. When came together with family or friends, it was (and still is) the only topic that came up which made it doubly hard to bring out the coupons to sell or to ask for donation.
The never-say-die atittude of our committee members got to be the only reason the food fair ever got off the ground.  
Despite all the hurdles, it was a very enriching and fulfilling experience. It is heart warming to have met so many big hearted and generous souls. Their kindness and supports truly give meaning to this word 'HOPE' to our children in Seri Mengasih.

Four days before the day. The DBKK were requested to come and help give the school compound a makeover.
Trees pruned, lawn mown, hedges manicured and the school was looking good.
One of our biggest supporters for years, Kathy Ong fully sponsored about 20 hugh tents plus 60 tables. The tents went up in one day and gave the school's compound an instantaneous festive mood.

The day before. Donated goods started coming in and with the many hands of  the volunteers, stalls began to sprout like mushroom overnight all over the school compound. 

On the day of food fair, as early as 6 am the volunteers were already busy preparing the stalls for business. There was a very jovial mood with smiling faces and laughters heard from stalls to stalls.

To each and everyone of you out there that was involved (in any way, big or small) in this worthy cause, our sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude. Without you there would not have been such a successful food fair.
Once again, THANK YOU!! 

Note : All the pictures on the day of the food fair was taken early (before 7 am) before the crowd and the rain that decided to pay the fair a visit at about 10 am. Luckily it didn't stay long and it helped to cool down the place. The crowd kept coming at a constant stream right until closing at 2 pm. 


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Chairman Sario on a successful food fair!! hehe..love Don.

PS: my Blog something wrong, i cant log in to mine..so at the moment im still figuring it out..

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

i felt the same prob selling the coupons...didn't ask many ppl actually bc of all the things u mentioned, plus i was also holding coupons for a church bazaar. despite all the hurdles, u guys had a great time n a successful bazaar, so pat urselves on the back! i got a msg tt there was a huge traffic jam, so i decided to go later. n then it poured!i wish i went.

a feast, everyday said...

Don, sorry only managed to send ur things 2day...

terri, i was looking out for u... expecting some fruits mochi hehehe but alas, had to settle for roast lamb @ my sis's stall. There were 5 whole roast lambs n they sold out in less than 3 hrs!

DonDon said...

Thats ok, as long as everything is all packed. so how long will it take for them to send it over here?