Media Release | 04 Jun 2003
Great Eastern Raises $100,000 for The Courage Fund Within 5 Days
Singapore, 4 June 2003: Within hours of Great Eastern announcing its proposal to raise money for The Courage Fund, donations from staff and agents flooded in. Some 70% of Great Eastern's 700 staff responded to the call, in addition to some 336 agents (or life planners as they are now called in Great Eastern).
Chairman of Great Eastern Holdings Limited, Mr Michael Wong Pakshong, rallied the staff and life planners (agency force) of Great Eastern to show our appreciation and gratitude to the healthcare workers of Singapore. To lend further support for a good cause, the Chairman said that the Company would pledge $2 for every $1 donated by its staff and life planners.
Mr Wong explained: "It was moving to see our healthcare workers give their all, including 5 who gave their lives, to help those who have been afflicted by SARS. Their compassion stirred in me the need to recognise the sacrifice made by these healthcare workers. Pursuant to our role as a responsible corporate citizen, we started raising funds for The Courage Fund."
When accounts closed about a week later, the Company tallied a total donation amount of $30,954, coming from some 464 staff and 336 agents. And instead of matching the donations on exactly a 2 for 1 basis, the Company decided to round the total amount up to $100,000.
The Three Big Donors
Three Group Sales Managers donated all their entitlement from their GE Honours Club 2003 Awards. They are Tan Koon Chuan, his brother Tan Koon Lek and Colin Ong, each pledging more than $1,000 to the Fund. Despite the tough economic climate, Great Eastern's agents have stepped forward to do their part for charity.
Mr Tan Koon Chuan, one of the Group Sales Managers who donated in full his share of the award said: "Being in the financial services industry where our roles and responsibilities revolve around life planning, we hope that this small gesture can bring much needed encouragement to our "heroes" and "angels" who have sacrificed so much in the area of healthcare. When Great Eastern took the initiative to support this worthy cause, my brother Koon Lek, Colin Ong and I gladly supported the initiative and pledged in full our donations."
Great Eastern's Community Activities
Great Eastern has always taken very seriously its role as a responsible corporate citizen. It has undertaken numerous community projects, including raising funds for its 2 main community projects, i.e. ChildrenCare founded in 1987 to support at least five charity homes for the less privileged children and GoldenCare founded in 1993 to benefit at least five charities for senior citizens.
For these two projects, Great Eastern has raised more than $6.1 million to date. We have received for the 11th consecutive year the Special Event Award that is given by Community Chest to organisations that have helped to raise at least $300,000 a year for their charity organisations.
This year, Great Eastern is organising a Charity Golf Challenge in the third quarter to raise funds for the elderly homes under Community Chest. It is targetting to raise $150,000.
Cheque Presentation to The Courage Fund
A simple cheque presentation ceremony was held on 4 June 2003, where Chairman of Great Eastern Holdings Ltd, Mr Michael Wong presented a cheque to Mr Michael Lim, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for The Courage Fund. The ceremony was witnessed by agents, staff, the National Healthcare Group and media representatives. Chairman Wong said, "It is Great Eastern's dictum to help the needy. We believe that being in this industry, besides providing security for the health and financial needs of our policyholders through our products and services, we should also take care of the needs of the less fortunate, hence, our fervent support for the homes under Community Chest. Helping the SARS patients and the healthcare workers combating SARS is also something we should do, having started as an insurer that advocates the need to protect one's own health. I am also very pleased that the staff and life planners subscribe to the corporate culture of making life great for everyone."
Mr Michael Lim, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for The Courage Fund received the cheque on behalf of the Board. He said: "I am very touched by this effort from Great Eastern and its staff and agents. You have shown the same spontaneity that is the hallmark of donations to The Courage Fund giving with a generous, open heart. Our healthcare workers gave very willingly of their experience, professionalism, training and dedication. It is from this kind of spontaneous support that Great Eastern and its agents have shown that our healthcare workers feel that they are not in this fight alone."