“If I can’t attend the National Day Parade (NDP) as a viewer, I will attend it as a participant!”
That’s how much passion and love Candy Loke, 41, has for the NDP.
In 2008, Candy came across an opportunity to volunteer as a TOUCH NDP motivator mentor and decided to take it up in order to be one step closer to the NDP. She would spend her Saturday mornings mentoring and training the TOUCH youth motivators in crowd engagement skills, public speaking skills, balloon sculpting, and the choreographies for the parade.
“I enjoy working with youths and I love attending NDP. So, I decided to volunteer as a motivator mentor to have the best of both worlds!”
That same year, by a stroke of luck, she managed to secure tickets for the actual day parade. As she was occupied with motivator mentor duties, she passed the tickets to her then-boyfriend, now husband, Kenny Foo, 42.
Inspired After Attending the NDP
“Kenny was inspired after attending the parade. He could feel the efforts and passion of all the participants, and he wanted to be a part of it too.”
Thus, from 2009 onwards, the couple started volunteering for the NDP and has continued their involvement till today.
This year, Candy is one of the two lead choreographers who work closely with the organising committee to teach the motivators. Kenny is part of the main committee overseeing the operations and welfare of the 400 motivators involved. It is also the first year that they are volunteering as a family.
Incorporating Family Time with Volunteering at NDP
“Once we had kids, we realised the importance of having family time during weekends. But we still loved volunteering at the NDP. Thus, we decided to include our sons in an activity that we both love doing.”
Since May, their two sons, aged 6 and 8, have joined them in their weekly Saturday sessions when they were training at Keat Hong Camp.
Growing as a Family through Shared Experiences
“We have noticed subtle changes in our sons over the past weeks. Our older son who used to be shy is now more confident speaking to strangers. Our younger son also understands the notion of boundaries and will be patient when he needs our attention.”
By bringing her sons together with them, Candy and Kenny hope to share their love for the nation, the NDP and instil a sense of national pride in them. At the same time, they hope to build stronger family bonds through shared experiences.
Since 2000, TOUCH has been part of the annual National Day Parade, training over 400 students from various Institutes of Higher Learnings (IHLs) to engage the crowd as motivators.