STAFF and students of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) raised $25,373 for the President’s Challenge, a week-long charity event which is held every year.
The bulk of this sum was raised through a “Heart Bus” – a SBS Transit bus service No. 196 plastered with colourful hearts representing donations from the 2,000 students and staff of the school.
At a colourful ceremony at the school on Aug 30, 2002, President S. R. Nathan was presented with a $24,000 cheque representing the school’s collection up to the day before the ceremony.
The President was all smiles as he took the “Heart Bus” from the ACS (I) entrance into the school grounds. He was greeted with a roar from the school as he stepped out of the bus when it came to a halt near the assembly podium.
Trumpeters from the ACS (I) Band “announced” his arrival with a fanfare. The ACS (I) Bag Pipes Band then played a medley of National Day songs.
Staff and students had contributed at least $5 to initial one heart for the “Heart Bus”. SBS Transit then laminated and stuck the hearts on the bus. Bus service 196 plies along Dover Road where ACS (I) is situated.
It was obvious that the staff and students of ACS (I) have won the heart of President Nathan with their efforts in raising funds for charity.
He told Methodist Message: “It is a wonderful gesture. It is wonderful that as a Christian school, the staff and students are practising the basic tenets of their faith.”
The “Heart Bus” was not the only unusual sight at the school on Aug 30. The students left their school uniform at home and came in their favourite clothes. They were taking part in the “Be Yourself Day”, and the school parade ground was a sea of colours. For the opportunity to wear clothes of their choice for a day, the students donated at least $2 each to the President’s Challenge.
Adventurer Khoo Swee Chiow, ambassador for the event, told the students that the “Be Yourself Day” was not just about fun. “We hope to inculcate a sense of social responsibility early on, getting everyone to think about the world around them,” he said.
“We need to spare a thought for those who do not have the opportunity to wear the fancy clothes we have, or even the privilege of wearing a uniform and going to school,” he added.
‘It is wonderful that as a Christian school, the staff and students are practising the basic tenets of their faith.’
— President S. R. Nathan on the fund-raising efforts of ACS (I).