Mayer & VICOM staff among participants clocking in steps to raise S$400,000 for terminally-ill patients

Doing good together, virtually.

| Fasiha Nazren | Sponsored | November 27, 2021, 10:12 AM

For the second consecutive year, local charity HCA Hospice Care (HCA) is organising this year’s edition of the Vertical Challenge.

For the uninitiated, it is a virtual fundraising event that started last year, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A vertical challenge is when participants climb uphill or trek along nature parks outdoors, or climb up stairs indoors.

Participants raise funds through their networks, by committing to a target vertical gain.

Aim to raise S$400,000

Running from now till Dec. 31, 2021 (registration ends Dec. 12, but participants can submit their results till end of year), HCA Vertical Challenge 2021 can take place both outdoors (at nature parks or hills) and indoors (climbing up flights of stairs).

Participants can choose from five categories: 100m (which is equivalent to 36 floors), 300m, 600m, 900m or Open Category.

For those who are planning to do the challenge outdoors, you’d probably want to know that the

Bukit Timah Hill is 164m in elevation.

In its first edition, the event raised more than S$300,000 to fund more than 1,000 home visits for patients with life-limiting illnesses.

This year, HCA hopes to raise S$400,000 to fund 1,333 free home visits, to terminally ill patients.

Supporters of HCA Vertical Challenge

Among the many supporters of HCA Vertical Challenge, are staff from two companies: Mayer and VICOM.

Despite being a well-loved household brand in Singapore, Mayer has kept a low-profile on the company’s charity efforts.

The company has been a faithful supporter of HCA since 2015, regularly sponsoring electrical appliances for events, raising funds, and organising activities for HCA’s patients.

In 2015, Mayer raised S$65,000 in the year’s Bald & Beautiful campaign.

More than 50 participants from Mayer

Speaking to Mothership, a spokesperson for Mayer shared that they have been supporting HCA, as the organisation provides a “very meaningful service for the community and beneficiaries in the last lap of their life journey”.

“Patients who are facing the end of life often feel helpless and lost, which is why the services HCA provide are so important,” they said.

For this year’s HCA Vertical Challenge, Mayer is sponsoring its staff the minimum sum of S$300 per participant, to encourage them to give back to the community, without feeling the pressure to fundraise on their own.

They added: “We are also encouraging all of our staff to spread the word — it is more than just raising funds, we also want to create more awareness for hospice care.”

To prepare for the challenge, some of the staff have been teaming up in groups of two, to train at the different nature reserves and parks every weekend.

“Our staff, Shinnie Lim and Hazel Toh, have gone to MacRitchie Reservoir, Henderson Bridge and Bukit Timah Hill to clock their vertical gains,” the Mayer spokesperson said.

Toh (right) said she was inspired to join because she loves nature, exercising and going out with friends.

As of the time of writing, 58 Mayer staff have signed up for the challenge.

VICOM volunteered since 2013

Similar to Mayer, VICOM has also been a loyal supporter of HCA’s efforts.

However, the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts stemmed from the personal experience of one of its staff, Ann Tan, who heads its Care & Share programme

Tan approached HCA in 2013 to find out what she could do to help the organisation, having seen the support her family received from palliative care professionals, when her father was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Every year since then, Tan, along with her colleagues at VICOM, have volunteered at various charities and centres, including HCA’s Kang Le Day Hospice.

VICOM staff volunteering at Kang Le Day Hospice.

The past two years, however, have been different as Covid-19 safe management measures meant that events have not been the same.

“For those we’ve already built friendships with, it’s rather sad that we can’t see them,” she said.

Despite not being able to meet as many beneficiaries in person, Tan is glad to be able to help remotely, via the HCA Vertical Challenge.

As of the time of writing, VICOM and SETSCO (VICOM’s non-vehicular inspection and testing arm) have sent two teams, with a total of 18 participants for the HCA Vertical Challenge.

The company had also donated a total of S$10,000 to the challenge, as well as encouraging staff to reach out to their networks to join the challenge.

VICOM staff volunteering in 2019.

Apart from giving back to the community, Tan shared that the initiative is also a good team-bonding opportunity for her colleagues.

“We always encourage our staff to adopt a balanced lifestyle. Presently it is difficult to get together, and the HCA Vertical Challenge is a good way for us to work towards the same goal, on our own time and target.”

Free participation

While registration for the HCA Vertical Challenge 2021 is free, participants are encouraged to raise at least S$300 per person, to fund a home visit.

Participants who have raised the minimum fundraising amount can get a Finisher Pack worth $75, which includes a medal, a t-shirt, kueh vouchers from The Peranakan and a Mayer-sponsored USB fan.

The Mayer USB fan in the Finisher Pack is only available for the first 150 participants who complete the challenge.

More details on the HCA Vertical Challenge 2021 can be found here.

Top image courtesy of Mayer and VICOM.

This sponsored article by HCA Hospice Care has inspired the writer to lace up her running shoes.