Walking, cooking and eating for a cause

Participants and volunteers can look forward to quite a treat at the finish line of this year’s Project Happy Feet Slipper Race.

The fifth instalment of the annual charity event will take place for the first time at Palawan Beach, Sentosa, on Nov 14. In addition to this year’s race, organiser Project Happy Feet (PHF) will be bringing back its popular Chefs For A Cause (CFAC) event on the same day in a landmark double-event special. Said chef Jimmy Chok of JC Concepts, who initiated the project in 2009: “CFAC has always been about local chefs coming together to support children-related causes and because we are very grateful to be able to do what we love (which is cooking), we want to use that to give back to society and help empower our future generations. ”

Chok is referring to 20 local chefs, including himself, Benjamin Tan from The White Rabbit, Robin Ho from The Prive Group, Pang Kok Keong from the Sugar Daddy Group and Forest Leong from the Forest Cooking School, who will cook up a storm for an expected crowd of 3,000 participants in an open carnival at Sentosa’s Port of Lost Wonder. This is an increase from last year’s 13 participating chefs. They will be assisted by culinary students from Temasek Polytechnic in a bid to delight guests with their signature dishes, which include bak chor mee pasta, kong bak burgers and sweet desserts such as kaya ice cream with baguette rusk and gula melaka cremeux.

The first edition of CFAC, held six years ago with support from Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel, was in aid of MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) and Project Happy Feet’s beneficiaries. Led by Chok, 10 notable local chefs whipped up a three-course meal for 600 underprivileged children, who were served by 100 staff members of Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel and Project Happy Feet volunteers. The same chefs also lent four of their own recipes to put together the Recipes From The Heart cookbook, produced with support from Miele, which helped raise more than S$82,000.

The target for this year’s joint initiative is to raise S$250,000 to support education-related initiatives in both Singapore and Cambodia. The race itself is also a reminder of why the organisers and volunteers do what they do. The walking route of 2.4km is aimed at allowing participants to “briefly experience the life of a child in Cambodia, who usually walks at least 3km a day to get to school”, said a statement. Many make the journey bare-foot, as they do not have enough money for slippers.

That said, 80 per cent of the proceeds from the two events will be channelled to The Community Chest’s Special Education Financial Assistance Scheme, which provides financial assistance to needy students from special education schools run by 20 voluntary welfare organisations. The remaining 20 per cent of the proceeds will go to This Life Cambodia’s Lower Secondary School Development Programme. This Life Cambodia is a not-for-profit, non-government community development organisation.

Entertainment at the CFAC event will be provided by local hip-hop collective Grizzle Grind Crew’s Charles ENERO and LINEATH, and local singer-songwriter Jill-Marie Thomas, who will also be performing the 2015’s Project Happy Feet theme song that she wrote. DON MENDOZA

Registration for the race is S$52 per person (inclusive of admin fee) and S$52 (comprising S$50 coupon value and admin fee) for the CFAC event. Both must be made online at http://www.projecthappyfeet.org/cfac2015/.

Source: TODAY