Celebrate with us towards a good cause. There is an appeal from WAO. They are facing closure of their Refuge and Child Care Center if they don’t get help. How to contribute? It’s simple! Put on our dancing shoes/boots/platforms and party the night away!
The anniversary dinners at SIPJ which I had attended so far were either quite elegant, sedate affairs – with 1-2 tables of members and friends or a fun casual night out at the karaoke bar. This year, being our 15th anniversary, we thought we’d do a little fund raiser for Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), having received a plea from them for financial assistance towards the end of last year. We thought 7-8 tables of friends and SI sisters. And we’d charge a slight premium to raise funds for WAO. Puan Sri Siew Yong smsed over one evening – how about mamma mia theme? I said but SI Bangsar already had done that theme. Undaunted, Puan Sri then suggested how about Mamma Mia, the SI-quel? The idea was immediately unanimously adopted and there it was.. we’d simply dress up in our best 70s gear, have a fab dinner and raise some funds.
Or so we thought.
President Elect Ooi Geok Ling was the lead organiser for the anniversary dinner and she, Sham and Datin Manjeet came up with the idea to tailor some mamma mia lyrics to suit SI. Geok Ling went home and feverishly churned out excellent lyrics for the club. In between, WAO also agreed to perform, and a couple of SI sister clubs too. Then Christmas came and our members all were travelling all around. New Years came and suddenly – we had 8 days to practise! And practice we did. Practically every evening in that week, there were rehearsals at my house. Furniture pushed to the side to make way for impromptu choreography – mostly masterminded by Geok Ling. And masterminding more than 10 strong minded women with busy schedules and families during the festive season was a challenge!
We had an unexpected boost – we suggested that Dato’ Anusha do the ‘Does your mother know’ number with a few of our ex-SIPJ CBA (Charity Bachelor Auction) participants. One of them, Carliff Carleel, who brought the house down when he showed us his pole dancing talents in 2007 readily agreed. Already busy with shooting Phua Chu Kang and starting his own talent company, Carliff nevertheless stepped up to the plate when asked and also offered to bring in Andrea Fonseka, ex-Miss Malaysia and TV host, to emcee our event. He also agreed to sponsor the appearance of Malaysia’s own amazing mind magician, David Lai, to provide some magical entertainment. Not only that, he also bought a table and successfully asked a couple of his friends to buy tables too.
Faizal Ismail, SIPJ Bachelor of 2008 also sportingly agreed to participate in Dato’ Anusha’s number and both our bachelors really did us proud.
There were the usual hiccups and obstacles when one is doing any kind of good work and this event has its fair share. We were not professional performers nor event managers and there were many things we overlooked but made up for with heart. It’ll be alright on the night, they say.
Well, on the day itself, our sound and lighting people were horrifically late. Geok Ling’s blood pressure went into the stratosphere. And in the dry run before the actual show, quite a few singers blew their lines, blew their timing, blew their steps. Geok Ling almost blew her mind.
But when the lights went down and the night began, everything (almost) went like clockwork. And the parts that didn’t – oh well, let’s hope no one noticed. Super Trouper was the highlight of the night – with President Fariza of SIKL, Nadia from SIAmpang and Puan Sri Siew Yong from SIPJ.
The whole event was a great celebration of sisterhood, teamwork and everything for a good cause.
To end, let me thank again:
Carliff Carleel, of Filmbox Media for the sponsorship of appearances by Andrea Fonseka and David Lai, and of course appearing in the show himself!
Faizal Ismail, our second SIPJ Bachelor who participated very sportingly!
Howard Childs, photographer extraordinaire from New York no less, for the fantastic shots of our event. Please come back!
SI Sisters from Bangsar, Ampang, KL for being so sporting to put on a show and other SI sisters for coming from all over Malaysia to attend. We had seven SI clubs – Bangsar, Ampang, KL, Seremban, Johor, Shah Alam and of course SIPJ at this event!
Our own SIPJ sisters who made this whole event such fun!
All our supporters and friends – new and old – who attended and celebrated our 15 years together with us.
Watch this space – we’ll have the video soon!