Yesterday (21 June 2012), CARIF or Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation celebrated their 10th anniversary at Sime Darby Convention Centre with a gala dinner. It was certainly a dinner of a different kind for me. It was posh and everyone came in suits, dress and evening gowns. And with a simple but yet powerful tagline for the evening, "Hope Lives Here", it shows that cancer can actually be beaten and we celebrate that this evening.
6 years ago, I bought a set of suit in conjunction with Danny's wedding back then. And that was the only time that I actually wore that set which includes the leather shoe as well. And so when I knew of the dress code for the gala dinner, my worry was, will I still be able to it into the suit? Luckily I was able to and the sole of the leather shoe did not come off. Phew...
And so, I arrived really early hanging out just outside the Grand Ballroom before meeting up with some friends of CARIF. Soon, more and more people arrived and so did the 4 people from CARIF that I work closely with being Professor Teo, Sook Yee, Katrina and Peter. Katrina and Peter both introduced me to many people, some of them being well known doctors, surgeons, deans and scientists. It was certainly nice and fruitful to have exchange conversations with them. At some times, I was embarrassed myself too as many knew who I was and I actually do not know them!
The reception and art exhibition...
And there were also an art exhibition and also auction where paintings inspired by our human body, anatomy and cancer research is being painted out. I really like one of the paintings but just couldn't afford it. Therefore, I bought a 2013 calendar which has the pictures of the paintings on it. Besides, I also bought some merchandise which is for a good cause as all proceeds will go towards cancer research.
In the grand ballroom, there was a presentation being played on on 2 gigantic screens. It showcases the history and achievements by CARIF. And out of a sudden, I saw my Comrades Marathon finishing photo! Was pretty shocked to actually see it there and at that time, I hope no one notice me standing at one corner.
We were all then ushered into the ballroom to our table to await for the VIP guest arrival's which was YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah. A short speech by the founder and trustee of CARIF, YM Tungku Ahmad Yahaya and dinner was served along with some on stage performance. By the way, I was seated together with Katrina, Peter and Benny.
Dinner was actually very good with the first 2 dishes being prawn and salmon. Soon, it was Professor Teo's turn for her speech which was just inspirational. Her speech was really creative and powerful. Then came YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir's turn after a short presentation. As many will have known, he did not need to prepare a script for what he is going to say and that what just what he did. And he delivered his speech so well that it was entertaining at the same time. All of us laugh!
Tun Dr. Mahathir giving his speech...
Time passes by and dessert coming in the form of a chocolate cake served with either tea or coffee is served. I could not resist the temptation of having something chocolaty despite still experiencing migraine hence in went the cake while enjoying performance by renown pianist Bobby Chen.
And with the end of the performance, comes and end to the dinner as well. We all proceeded out to the reception hall for some catching up. I loitered around for a while trying to catch Professor Teo. She was one busy lady but in the end, I managed to. And at the end of everything, it was already close to midnight.
It was certainly a unique evening not to be forgotten. Truly a first experience of this kind for me and also meeting our former Prime Minister in person. Totally enjoyed myself and certainly learnt so much more, I would like to sincerely THANK to Professor Teo and everyone and CARIF for inviting me to this celebration of hope.
And if you would like to know more about CARIF or even what can you do to help out in cancer research, do visit www.carif.com.my. Of course you can always pop a message to myself too and I will be happy to share with you what I know.
My charity haul for the night...