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An All Out Fun Filled Carnival Just for Children

"Children, children everywhere" was the general synopsis for Hong Leong Foundation's latest charity carnival for children held in 3K Sports Complex in USJ, Selangor Darul Ehsan on Saturday, 6 March 2010. The plan was to turn the colourful event into a mad, crazy, and zany fun filled morning for the 400 children from 13 charity homes in and around Kuala Lumpur.

It took roughly 100 volunteers from various operating companies, many weeks of meetings and planning, hundreds of man-hours and other resources to put together a fun event which was by far the largest ever organised by the Foundation. After much effort and sweating, the team finally put in place a variety of fun-inducing elements that consist of 5 huge inflatables, 25 game stalls with 500 over almost-sure-to-win prizes, A&W kiddy meals, yummy buffet food, ice-cream, cotton candy stall, music, clowns, stilt walkers, face painters, magicians, wandering Hollywood characters complete with very realistic costumes and gears, bursting goody bags and last but certainly not least presiding over the whole event was 1000 blown up helium balloons, bobbing along in multi-coloured splendor against the blue morning sky.

Just as the organising team was about to pass the balloons out to the children to take home at the end of the event, several sneaky pint sized serial balloon releasers foiled the original plan. These sneaky but nonetheless cute kids quietly picked at the knots and then ran off with the prized loot before sending them up into the sky with a cry of "Look, see! Look, see!", this was really the theme of the day - a day for the children to do whatever they wanted.

Well, the day actually started out wet, soggy and antagonistic. It rained in floods and then in dribbles and then a thunderous roar back, as John Lam, our organising Chairman, looked into the sky and piteously asked for an immediate break. Thankfully, the sky heeded his sincere call and the sky gradually cleared and fully stopped an hour later.
The children from Ti-Ratana performed a lion dance to kick off the event. There were children as young as five taking part in the dance, and skipping happily around the field in tiny dragon (or lion?) costumes. It was very sweet sight to behold. The event was eventually declared opened and it was no holds barred thereon. The children ran and made a mad dash first to the colourful inflatables that came in different shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, we had some trouble with the electricity resulting in the inflatables going flaccid a moment later. The sight of one child disappearing down the middle of a quickly deflating castle made us laugh. When we pulled the child out a moment later, he was unperturbed and cried out "Again! Again!"

This setback did not deter the children as we had enough games and food to amuse them while the crew and venue manager tinkered away with the power supply, and managed to get them erected again just when our prizes ran out. Perfect timing!

Some of the senior management staff who attended the event opined that it was good that we can do good from time to time. We could only do good on such a scale and time line with the help of all our volunteers, committee members and GRMC chairman John Lam who organised and put together a fantastic day for the children, someone from the homes said, "Our kids enjoyed maximum, it was really superb! The food was good and plenty, the games were excellent, the prizes and goody bags were absolutely generous." The charity homes in attendance were Ti-Ratana Welfare Home, Rumah Nur Salam, Women's Aid Organisation Shelter, Victory Home, Kepong Center, Sunbeams Home, Hope Worldwide, Persatuan Rumah Amal Cahaya Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, House of Joy, Persatuan Kanak Kanak Istimewa Kajang, Karunnai Illam and Praise Emmanuel.

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