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Happee Day

Happee Day

We’re gonna have to go away..and dream it all up again.

I’m still recovering from the aftermath of Happee Day. You know what event planning and giving birth have in common? They’re both hardcore – the adrenaline you get from the experience is totally intense.

Also, if you think about it, the actual event is very much like delivering the baby and all that post-event coverage, that’s like delivering the placenta. Unless you had a c-section, then that’s just like taking a nap while getting high.

It was all worth it, though, and so heartwarming to see everyone going all out to make it happen for the kids. The event ran like clockwork because everyone worked together in perfect symmetry, some arranging tables, others blowing bubbles, giving out ice-cream, sharing brownies and slapping hi-fives. I know I’ve said thank you many times but if it’s worth saying once then it’s worth saying again.

At one point while we were up to our eyeballs in all the planning and coordination, we did wonder if one day would actually make a difference. We’re not curing cancer or anything, and some might just call it mucking around.

But I think having fun is underrated. If life is made up of a series of moments, then these are the moments that we’ll look back at and remember.

Like there was this little boy in a beanie hat at the Rockband gaming booth. He was on the drums and the music from the DJ console was so loud he couldn’t hear a single note from the gaming console. But he was rocking out like he was drumming for U2 at Madison Square Garden. It was just a bunch of tiny flashing lights on a TV screen but he made it look so awesome.

And the kid who felt like he was a real pirate for a day, in a world where he was fighting baddies next to Ironman. And the kid who chased down The Flash and caught him so he could go to school and tell everyone how he ran faster than The Flash (come on, that’s some serious street cred right there). And the girl who made the prettiest cake in the whole wide world.

Some of you asked if we’re doing this again. At first, we weren’t sure if this first one would even take off but having met the kids, if just one of them went home feeling like a superstar, then hell yeah, we’re doing this again. Maybe not in the exact same way because we’re already thinking of how to up the ante for the next one.

If there’s one thing I learnt from this, it’s that people have heart and they want to make a difference. I’m truly awed to have done this together with you.

Happee Day

It was a very Happee Day.

First of all, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who came down for Happee Day. You guys made it a huge success and to all the families from CCF who took time to be there, I hope you had as much fun as I did. Thank you for letting us be part of your world.

The turnout was spectacular, with 50 kids from CCF (and 34 accompanying adults) and over 150 volunteers who came by to Hort Park yesterday. It was like a year’s worth of awesomeness packed into 3 hours, with mascots, superheroes, a bouncy castle, the best food, desserts and a whole host of activities for the kids. And apart from the 20 minutes of slight drizzle, we also had the most amazing weather for the event.

Ok, I’m just going to show you the pictures instead.

Apparently, the superheroes were a phenomenal hit. By that, I mean the kids were either in awe or terrified. That’s why they made large guns to protect themselves. I tried explaining that Batman was supposed to be the good guy but I don’t think they were convinced at all. Some kids were still intent on maintaining their distance even after we unmasked the very dashing Batman.

Indoors, the booths were all seeing a lot of non-stop action. I think it was a tough call between running wild out on the lawn and checking out all the cool activities indoors.

At 1130, the dancers from O School put up an Ironman dance performance that got the kids all excited. I mean, Ironman. Dancing. And fighting baddies at the same time.

Nuff said.

For the grand finale, Jimmy the Juggler got everyone oohing and aahing with his nifty moves. Due to some constraints, he couldn’t juggle fire but he ended up juggling machetes instead, which was far more badass. If he had caught fire, it would have been easily put out with our on-site extinguishers but if he had sliced off his arm with a parang, that kind of thing is permanent, y’all.

I managed to speak to some of the mothers from CCF and it seems like the kids had a wonderful time. Looking at all the smiles yesterday, all of us felt like it was all worth it.

A final word of thanks to all the amazing partners who helped make Happee Day the success that it was.

1. Hort Park, for the lovely venue. It was the perfect place for the day.

2. Chili Api Catering. The spread was superb and they even had 2 menus – 1 for adults and a separate non-spicy version for the kids. The next time you have an event or if you just need your dose of Peranakan food, give them a call. Trust me, it will be a hit.

3. Lian Yick, who sponsored the logistics.

4. Baby Online Shop for the balloon decor.

5. Bernard Loh, the best emcee and DJ ever.

6. JQ Ong, the man who made the artistic design pop.

7. Hendra Lauw, for taking all those beautiful portrait shots for all the guests.

8. Calvin the Mage, for his balloon sculpting magic.

9. Queenie, who did an awesome job with the face-painting.

10. Kamal and Ruoshi, for their mad caricaturing skills.

11. Brenda, for the amazing cookie art.

12. LPN Art, for the art and crafting.

13. Chai Lee, for the cake decoration booth.

14. Evelyn, for supplying the onsite photography printing.

15. Ice3 (Ice Cube) cafe, who sponsored the yummy ice-cream.

16. Charmaine, for the delicious brownies and cupcakes.

17. Tracy, who made all the stunning journals and photo frames by hand.

18. Global Mascot, who sponsored the Bugs Bunny and Pooh costumes.

19. O School, who drove the kids wild with their Ironman item.

20. Jimmy the Juggler, who literally risked his arms to juggles machetes for the kids.

21. Expressprint, for printing all the stickers and invites.

22. The Wan and Ong families for sponsoring the bouncy castle.

23. Leonard and Mingfen, for sponsoring the busing.

24. Jason and Verlyna, for the welcome Happee Bag.

25. Corsage and her friends, who put together the Activity kits.

26. Newlyweds Tianwei and Jo, who contributed their PS3 Rockband gaming set.

27. My brother, Justin, who loaned me his TV and Wii gaming console.

28. All the volunteers who gave their time to make all this possible.

29. Most of all, THE HUSBAND, who rocked this event because I made him do most of the work. While I stole the credit.

PS. As you can probably tell, I’m still putting up photos progressively. If you managed to take some pictures of the event, send them over at daphne [at] motherinc [dot] org and I’ll update the page.

PPS. Donations will still be open till 7 November.  If you weren’t able to make it but would still like to contribute, donate directly to the Children’s Cancer Foundation. Just click on the donation button below and select Happee Day.

PPPS: Photos thanks to Sean Lee, James Lee and Andy Lee. Not related.

Happee Day

You want to read this if you’re coming for Happee Day. If not, you probably want to go watch some youtube videos instead.

This is going to be quick. I just need to clarify a few things in case there’s some confusion regarding the volunteering for Happee Day. You guys have been awesome in your support and I really want to say thanks again.

While we would like to have as many people there as possible, we do have some limitations with regards to the number of people we can host. Which is why I do need everyone who’s coming down to help us out by registering via email. That will really help us a lot in planning for the food and activities so it doesn’t turn out to be a logistical nightmare on the 31st.

We’ve also gotten 2 sets of stickers printed – one for guests (CCF families) and one for volunteers so everyone who has registered will be issued a Happee Day sticker (yes, even the kids) so we can identify who’s who.

I understand that some of you can only come down at 10 or 11, that’s ok, but just let me know in advance alright? Also, for those bringing kids along and aren’t sure how you can help, your job on that day is to hang out with the guests, mingle and have a blast doing the activities together.

One final request, my very talented art director has requested that everyone come down in a white top (yes, including the kids). Because we’re all supposed to *be* the canvas on that day. Don’t ask me what that means, it’s all very abstract but what I do know is that it’s going to look so badass. You can have prints but the dominant color has to be white, ok? Or if you don’t have white, come in beige or cream or pale white or off white, that’s also cool.

Ok, I did say it’s going to be quick so this is me being quick. See you next Sunday!

Happee Day

We’re almost there…

This morning I woke up and I was telling the husband that we’ve still got 2 weeks to Happee Day and he was all “It’s next Sunday, babe…” which got me into a mild panic attack because with the food poisoning debacle, I’m up to my eyeballs in overdue work and now I realize I’ve got 11 days till Happee Day.

But my coffee fix and deep breathing exercises have restored some perspective so there’s really no need to panic. Besides, I’ve got some kickass updates coming up. Give it up for…

1. Chili Api, who will be sponsoring a mouth-watering spread of Peranakan cuisine for the event. We were really hoping to get them on board because you know how you go for an event and the food is at best mediocre so you do the polite thing and pick at yet another awful springroll and then stuff the rest into your purse when no one is looking? That’s not going to happen here.

Because there will be this.

And this.

And this.

And other incredible stuff that will make you want to skip dinner the night before just so that you can have more. And when you’re done, you’ll want some more and you’ll get them for all your parties and events so you’ll always be able to have more of that Peranakan goodness.

2. Jimmy the Juggler, who will be performing a juggling gig for the closing finale. With fire. Seriously, I’m not making this up. I have never seen anyone juggle fire torches in real life so that knocks an item off my bucket list. He gives new meaning to the term playing with fire and I am so going to get him to autograph my shirt. But don’t get your hopes up ladies, he ain’t gonna be lighting your fire anytime soon because this smoking hot guy is happily married with a 6-month-old boy.

3. Ice3 (Ice-CUBE) Cafe, who will be providing homemade super premium ice-cream for everyone. There are few things in life that are better than having a nice cup of ice-cream on a hot day outdoors. Except maybe 2 cups of ice-cream.

4, Evelyn, who is sponsoring an instant photo printing booth so every kid can get their picture printed as a souvenir.

5. LPN Art School, who will be keeping the kids’ creative juices flowing with a Halloween-themed art activity.

6. Chai Lee, who will be having a cake-decorating booth so the kids will be able to have their cake and eat it. Literally. Right after they decorate it.

7. Charmaine, who’s baking some deliciously sinful brownies and cupcakes for the kids.

I’ve done a first round of RSVP for all the volunteers and if you would like to help out but haven’t registered, let me know soon ok! 11 days, we’re almost there.

Happee Day

More Happee Updates

I promised updates on Happee Day so let’s get right to it. We’ve got more sponsors who agreed to help out with the event and they are really awesome. Most of the booths are shaping up and I’m very excited. I think the kids are going to have a blast on 31 Oct. Can’t wait.

On top of the list of sponsors who have already pledged their support, I’m thrilled to say that we’re also working with the following people. Show them some love, aight?

1. Queenie from Artybody, our face and body painter for the day. Actually, to call her a face painter is a misnomer because she’s not your usual grab some face paint and draw some squiggly lines kind of face painter. She creates masterpieces on faces and other body parts that you won’t want to wash off for days. I mean, there’s even going to be glitter so you can look like a fairy princess or sparkle like Edward Cullen in sunlight (if you’re into that sort of thing).

2. Brenda from Baker’s Club, who is sponsoring cookie art. It’s like art, except on cookies. Kids can decorate it with all sorts of colorful edible stuff and then eat it, which is twice the fun.

3. Expressprint, who are helping to print the invitation cards, stickers, banners and posters.

4. Tracy, who offered to contribute these lovely journals as well as handmade photo frames for the kids. They are so pretty and happy and I am drooling over all the stuff in her craft blog.

5. Sharon (aka. Corsage), and her friends,  are putting together an activity kit for the kids so they have some fun art and craft stuff to do back home. Stuff like Roald Dahl books, tshirts, fabric paint, scrapbooking items and a whole lot more.

6. Jason and Verlyna, who are sponsoring a Happee Bag, sort of like a welcome kit for the kids.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to confirm the rest of the sponsors by this week and we’ll work out the program and assign all the volunteers with time to spare.

Speaking of which, the response for volunteers has been off the charts and I’d like to say thanks again for taking the time to make a difference in these kids’ lives. At the same time, I’m putting out a final call for an RSVP because we will be catering for the food, assigning each volunteer to a specific task and printing the stickers. Yes, all the volunteers (and your kids) will be issued official Happee Day stickers. So we do need to know if you are coming down.

For those who have confirmed your availability, I’ll be contacting you with tasking details soon. For those who are still arranging to be there, do let me know by this week if you can. Registrations will close once we have enough volunteers.

Happee Day

You are all rockstars.

Ok, y’all, thanks for the overwhelming response, the support for Happee Day has been really incredible. Thanks for all the messages, the emails, the Facebook posts, the retweets, the blog posts, the widget posts. I just need to say that it’s an honor to be planning this event with all of you. You guys are rockstars. Seriously.

First, a shout out to all the sponsors and partners who have agreed to volunteer their services for the event. These folks are the best at what they do and they have offered to contribute their talents to put together a day of fun for the children with cancer.

Which means that they are not only talented, they’ve got heart.

1. Hort Park, who are sponsoring the venue. They’ve agreed to let us use the Multi Purpose Hall as well as the Lawn for the 3 hours on the 31st.

2. JQ Ong (jq_ong[at]yahoo[dot]com), who did the artwork for the invite as well as the widget. He will be in charge of art direction and making the look place as happy as possible. Also, he’s a really badass interior designer so if your house needs designing, he’s the guy you should look for.

3. Calvin the Mage, who is our balloon sculptor for the day.  This guy is like Michelangelo, except instead of marble he uses balloons. For real, y’all. His event company is the perfect one-stop shop for all your party-planning needs.

4. Host extraordinaire Bernard Loh, who will be emceeing for the event. See, anyone can hold a mic and get up on stage but few can really deliver. All I can say is Bernard Loh can really deliver.

5. Global Mascot, who are sending over a couple of mascots. This is kind of a secret but I hear Ironman will be making an appearance. I am very excite.

6. Photographer Sean Lee, who volunteered to do a professional outdoor shoot for the families. Also, major props to Hendra, LeonnyBing and Jus who are all trying to make arrangements to be there. I think we won’t have a shortage of awesome photographers coming down.

We are still in talks with several other folks who are keen to be part of this event, like face painters, magicians, gaming consoles, caricaturists, food artists and caterers. We still have a couple of booths to be filled so if you have any ideas and contacts, let me know. We want to make it as fun for the kids as possible.

Also, thanks to all of you who’ve made plans to be there as a volunteer. If you’re able to make it, RSVP with details (like names, contact numbers and how many people will be coming) so we can arrange for the food catering. Please bring along your husbands (1 each), wives (also 1 each), kids (as many as you want), friends (as many as you want). I’m sorry that pets are a no-go due to certain restrictions. Also, some of the kids may be terrified of dogs and we wouldn’t want them to freak out.

If you have a preference on what you would like to help out with, we’ll arrange for that, but if not, we’ll get in touch with you on how you can help once the booths are all firmed up. As a rule of thumb, we’ll assign those without babies to do the heavy duty stuff like booth-manning while the families with kids can do the meet and greet.

Just a note on personal donations. Some of you have kindly offered to contribute actual money to the event but that’s a little tricky because I don’t want to spend time in jail for misappropriating funds. So let’s do it this way. I’m working to get most of the stuff sponsored by the experts so we won’t be paying for the venue or the booths. There are however, some items that do need to be paid for, like the busing for the 30 kids to and from Newton MRT so if you’re keen to donate to the event, it would be better if you could adopt some of these items. That way, you get the invoice for the stuff you’re paying for and my kids don’t have to visit me in prison.

I’ll update you guys with more details along the way. Let’s make it a good one for the kids.

Happee Day

Make it a Happee Day for Children with Cancer.

Happy days, we all like those. We spend our days in the pursuit of happiness, making good things happen so that we can well, be happy. And a lot of us have a lot to be happy about – happy families, healthy kids, good friends, decent jobs, a nice day out. But then not everyone gets to be happy as often as they hope to.

Like families battling childhood cancer.

Childhood cancer isn’t something we like to think about, because it’s scary and it makes you feel helpless and thankful all at the same time. It’s not something that’s within our control, like we can prevent it by feeding only organic food or taking more multivites. We don’t know why it happens to kids and how we can stop it from happening. So we hope and pray that our kids stay strong and healthy and that we don’t ever have to sit in the doctor’s office to hear those scary words, “I’m sorry, it’s cancer.”

Some parents have been through that, though. More than a thousand of them. According to the Childhood Cancer Registry, 1,103 children were diagnosed with cancer between 1997 and 2005 in Singapore, with more than half below the age of 5. That’s over a thousand parents being told that their kids have cancer.

For them, happy days are hard to come by. They’re happy if their kid makes it through another round of chemotherapy or even just another day without puking or needles or mood swings or pain.

So we’re having our first event on 31 October. Mark your calendars, folks, because we are going to make it a HAPPEE DAY. I approached the Children’s Cancer Foundation asking if there’s anything we could do for these kids and they said, “why yes, yes there was. How about organizing an event to bring a little joy to them and give them a reason to smile, even if it’s just for a while?”

That’s why Mother, Inc will be organizing a mini carnival at Hort Park (venue kindly sponsored by Hort Park) for 30 children fighting cancer. There will be mascots, balloon sculptors, face painting, magic shows, a truckload of balloons and tons of more cool stuff.

I know the carnival is just one day of fun for these kids who have to be brave and go through years of jabs and treatment. Thing is, we can’t be there through it all, but one day is a start. To let them know that they’re not facing this alone. That there are people who care and are proud of them for fighting and are cheering them on. It’s a day we get to meet them and spend a morning together.

Here’s where you come in.

1. Be there.

If you’re free on the morning of the 31st, come on by to Hort Park for the event as a volunteer. We’ll need help with the logistics, carnival booths and most of all, to make friends with the families who are attending the event. Bring your kids, who will have a blast at the carnival and they’ll get to make some new friends at the same time. Also, if you have some ideas or skills (like if you can eat fire or juggle chainsaws or sing with helium) that you would like to contribute, just drop me a mail at daphne [at] motherinc [dot] org or via the contact form . That would be so awesome.

2. Donate.

If you can’t make it down but would like to help anyway, you can do so by donating to the Children’s Cancer Foundation. They provide financial aid to families who struggle with the burden of chemotherapy treatments and surgeries and your donations will go a long way in showing that you care. You can donate anytime from now until 31 October. Give a little and make someone’s day a little happier.

Click the donate button and select Happee Day under “Donation For”.

Update: Just to be clear, proceeds from the fund-raising go directly to the Children’s Cancer Foundation and not to the running of this event.  We’re riding on sponsorships and personal donations for that, more updates to come.

Finally, do publicize the event on your blog. You can grab this lovely widget (by the way, the artwork is by my friend JQ Ong, more on that in further updates) to put on your site, blog about the event and share it with your readers, tweet about it, share in on Facebook (you can use my share buttons at the bottom right hand of the page) tell other moms you know, shout it from the rooftops.

Make it a Happee Day for children with cancer

Just copy and paste the following html code on the text widget box of your blog.

<p style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”http://www.motherinc.org/happee-day/make-it-a-happee-day-for-children-with-cancer/”><img title=”HappeeDaywidget” src=”http://www.motherinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/HortParkwidget.jpg” alt=”” width=”160″ height=”300″ /></a><a href=”http://www.motherinc.org/happee-day/make-it-a-happee-day-for-children-with-cancer/” target=”_blank”>Make it a Happee Day for children with cancer</a></p>

Update: Sher Maine from Offsprings has very kindly offered an alternative way of putting up the widget particularly for those of you on the Blogger/Blogspot platform.

1. Save the image of the widget onto your desktop.
2. Go to your Blogger Dashboard
3. select Design
4. select Add a Gadget
5. scroll down and little and select Picture (not Text)
6. Download the image of the icon and then put in the link
http://www.motherinc.org/happee-day/make-it-a-happee-day-for-children-with-cancer/

PS. All the latest updates will be on the Happee Day page.

PPS. As a show of solidarity, leave a comment below!