A table will be set up for The Emma Yong Fund at the 13th Life! Theatre Awards on Monday, July 1, 2013.

The fund, which was established to aid critically ill theatre practitioners, has raised more than $400,000 to date.

It was named after the late actress Emma Yong, who died of late-stage stomach cancer in May last year at the age of 37.

She clinched a Best Supporting Actress award at the 2009 Life! Theatre Awards for her role as a gutsy countryside girl in the Mandarin musical Shanghai Blues (2008).

Emma Yong Fund to aid critically ill theatre practitioners


Theatre director and comedienne Selena Tan, 40, who sits on the fund’s committee, tells Life!: “It made sense to have a booth at the awards because the fund was set up to benefit practitioners in need of funds in case of cancer and other critical illnesses, so this seemed like a good opportunity to get it out there.”

She is more interested in this case in letting the theatre community know that the fund exists  although donations are still much welcomed and a donation box will be made available.

Thus there will be representatives on hand to answer any questions the practitioners might have.

So far, the fund has helped at least one theatre practitioner. Lighting designer Suven Chan, who was diagnosed with lymphoma and leukaemia last year, has received $20,000 from the fund for illness-related expenses.

The fund is managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore.

Raising a further $650,000 for the fund within the next few years will help to keep the initiative going for as long as possible.

In addition to providing financial assistance to those who need it, $50,000 from the fund has been set aside for the Singapore Cancer Society to help educate theatre practitioners on cancer and how to protect themselves financially.

This education and awareness programme will be run by the Community Foundation of Singapore in conjunction with the Singapore Cancer Society.

The fund also aims to eventually help defray the cost of CPF Medishield and Medisave schemes for the theatre community, and subsidise other approved insurance schemes, on a needs basis.

Details are still being worked out with the Community Foundation of Singapore.

Tan says: “I think Emma would be happy that she’s able to use her experience to get people to do what’s necessary, and get insurance.”

For more information on the fund and to donate, go to www.emmayongfund.org. Make cheques payable to The Community Foundation of Singapore. Write your name, IC number, contact number, address and The Emma Yong Fund at the back of the cheque and mail it to 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, 04-88 The Central, Singapore 059817.

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on June 25, 2013. For similar stories, go to sph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.