Editor’s Note: Make-A-Wish CEO Irene Tan (left) and Make-A-Wish royal patron Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (right) with Luo Yong Wen holding the painting by Make-A-Wish child Nazneen Zofia. — Picture courtesy of Make-A-Wish Malaysia.
IN line with this festive spirit of giving, well-wishing corporates and donors have come together in full force recently – enveloped in the spirit of camaraderie at the Make-A-Wish Malaysia Wishball 2022 – to do their part for charity.
Even amid a looming sluggish economy, RM114,000 were raised when all eight auctioned items were snapped up at the live auction.
Bidder after bidder sportingly joined in the camaraderie of securing many a coveted item ranging from jewellery, branded handbag, exclusive vacation and even a painting by one of the critically-ill children.
Standing out from the crowd of bidders was an unassuming young man who snapped up three out of the eight items at the live auction without so much as batting an eyelid.
Showing up at the Make-A-Wish Malaysia Wishball 2022 as a guest of The Hour Glass, Luo Yong Wen, managing director of Everose Enterprise Sdn Bhd and avid watch collector, had no qualms in parting with a total RM51,000 donation that night.
Winning the final bid for an exquisite pair of Amee Philips’ Blue Topaz earrings at RM25,000, this was a gift for his sister Serena Luo’s 21st birthday which she now shares with their mother.
Luo also successfully bid for a seriously limited-edition Bonia Rainbow Crystal Venice iconic bag – with only eight pieces are made available worldwide – at RM10,000 which he presented to his lucky girlfriend.
Last but not least, he also purchased a painting by Make-A-Wish child Nazneen Zofia for RM16,000 which he kept for himself.
To Luo who runs his own premium gift outfit, gifting comes naturally for him. This meaningful act brought him a lot of satisfaction as what better gift to provide the critically ill children of Make-A-Wish Malaysia than with the gift of fulfilling their dreams.
“There’s a feeling of satisfaction when you do something like this, knowing that the funds would be properly utilised to help children as well,” he told FocusM.
Giving runs in his family
Charity is apparently huge with his family. With his mother also actively doing charity to help the underprivileged. Luo himself has been consistently helping Myanmar refugee children till he has become a well-loved figure among them.
“One should always help each other and people who are underprivileged,” he said, admitting that although he comes from a comfortable background, his innate nature is to help the underprivileged since young.
Surprising the crowd with his understated generosity by successfully bidding for all three items, Luo said he was immensely touched by the painting of Make-A-Wish child Nazneen in which Disney character Princess Ariel looks out to the horizon – which represents hope.
“The painting was the most special item to me because it represents the wishes of Nazneen,” he shared.
“I bid for the painting as obviously for Nazneen, with her condition, she cannot lead a normal life like before. As I empathise with her and admire her determination and her creativity, I decided it’s definitely worthwhile raising funds via this bid.”
Nazneen was diagnosed with a brittle bone disease and had her wish granted when she way eight years old. In the spirit of giving back, she has now – six years later – donated this painting to help raise funds for other children’s wishes.
Not discounting the tough times ahead, the young entrepreneur deems corporate gifting as the perfect gift to usher in the true spirit of Christmas and the year-end festivities. And, by stepping up on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, society benefits.
“True, we are in the business world and tough times are upon us. We all know that times are getting hard now and I can understand that. But even though this is the case, why not give the gift of heart to the critically-ill children of Make-A-Wish Malaysia. If you have a heart, you would do so,” reckoned Luo.
Malaysia Boleh spirit
It makes sense that corporates would do well to lead the way in contributing to the realisation of dreams for critically-ill children at Make-A-Wish. An added impetus and icing on the cake for Make-A-Wish Malaysia lies in it being recognised as a tax-exempted organisation status.
This exemption which took effect on January 1, 2022 – thanks to the good work of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – will encourage more corporates to realise the dreams of critically-ill children at Make-A-Wish Malaysia.
The snowballing effect makes perfect sense to this young entrepreneur who said that while his contribution was purely to help critically-ill children realise their dream, the tax exemption incentive would encourage other organisations and companies to do so.
And, even if it’s not for certain individuals, at least it’s highly workable for companies as people would attend charity balls and be encouraged to do their bit for charity.
Judging from the resounding success of the annual Make-A-Wishball 2022 in which the annual fundraising event organised by the non-profit organisation made a resounding comeback after a three-year hiatus, the wish granters have had their hands full since the pandemic struck.
Even at the height of the pandemic, the Malaysia Boleh spirit was alive and kicking with as many as a phenomenal 99 wishes executed at a breakneck record as disclosed by Datin Linda Ngiam, chairman of Make-A-Wish Malaysia, much to the amazement even of Make-A-Wish International.
Royal Patron of Make-A-Wish Malaysia Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah who graced the Wishball 2022 expressed her gratitude to sponsors and those who donated items for the auction and lucky draw as well as guests who came in full force to lend their support.
The earth angels at Make-A-Wish Malaysia admitted that although the COVID-19 pandemic did throw a spanner in their good works of fund-raising, it didn’t stop them from their all-critical mission in granting the children’s wishes.
Proving that the power of love far outweighs any concerns of looming economic slowdown, resilience was indeed an underlining running theme for both the non-profit organisations and corporates who overlooked the threatening storms of possibly a looming sluggish economy ahead to grant these wishes. – Dec 24, 2022
Yvonne Yoong is Focus Malaysia’s contributing Property & Lifestyle Editor, seasoned in covering the property beat and other industries.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.