Susanna Han goes all out for the arts. Since 2012, she’s been on the W!ld Rice Ball committee and has helped them raise about $800,000 every year.
Han, a major shareholder of Singapore Food Delight, says the ball typically sells around 60 tables at $8,000 to $25,000 each. In 2018, it brought in $792,370 from such sales and cash donations. The money raised allows W!ld Rice to plan its programmes; if more funds are needed, the committee sources for sponsorships, such as spa packages and hotel stays, for auction.
Han started raising funds for various charity organisations including W!ld Rice in 1994, and continued to be active even after retiring from her post as vice president of Sincere Fine Watches. Her experience in the luxury sector means she enjoys close ties with brands like Lamborghini, which sponsored tables and invites their clients to the gala.
“There are many galas, so it’s important to organise one that everybody enjoys and supports its cause. The entertainment, food and décor all have to reflect the theme of the evening,” she says.
“Through W!ld Rice’s contacts, local entertainers such as Pamela Oei and Hossan Leong perform out of goodwill, as do international artistes and celebrity chefs. We always keep our fundraising efficiency ratio at 30 to 70 or better.”
This means the committee must keep costs low via obtaining subsidies and sponsorships. Being an IPC (Institutions of Public Charter) “lends credibility to the organisation and helps motivate people to donate”. With W!ld Rice’s new theatre opening in end-2019, Han continues to contribute through its Plant a Seat and W!ld Angel initiatives.
Han’s heart for charity extends to other charity organisations such as Kidz Horizon Appeal, M.I.L.K. Fund, The Eye Ball, Aware Singapore and Yellow Ribbon Project. She is also a supporter of Rainbow Centre, which will open its third campus in 2022. Last year, she helped her husband Han Seng Juan, a principal shareholder of Centurion Corporation, organise a charity golf challenge to raise funds for this third campus.
“I helped him canvas for lucky draw sponsorships and gifts for goody bags for the event, which raised a total of $832,416. I also co-hosted a lunch with Roger Vivier for my friends, where part of the proceeds from the sale of shoes and bags were donated to the centre.”
This story first appeared in the July issue of A.