ChildAid concert raises $2.12 million as it marks 15th year | November 21, 2019 11:08 PMSINGAPORE - The 15th anniversary of ChildAid ended on a high on Thursday (Nov 21), with the announcement that this year's ed

ChildAid concert raises $2.12 million as it marks 15th year

ChildAid concert raises $2.12 million as it marks 15th year

ChildAid concert raises $2.12 million as it marks 15th year

ChildAid concert raises $2.12 million as it marks 15th year

ChildAid concert raises $2.12 million as it marks 15th year

ChildAid concert raises $2.12 million as it marks 15th year
ChildAid concert raises $2.12 million as it marks 15th year
  • By: straitstimes.com
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SINGAPORE - The 15th anniversary of ChildAid ended on a high on Thursday (Nov 21), with the announcement that this year's edition of the annual fund-raising concert raised $2.12 million.

This brings the total raised for charity over the concert's 15 years to $22.71 million.

Guest of honour President Halimah Yacob joined the 132 performers, as well as representatives from Singapore Press Holdings, sponsors and partners, during the cheque presentation on stage at the end of Thursday night's show.

Mr Warren Fernandez, editor in chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English, Malay and Tamil Media Group and editor of The Straits Times, received four cheques.

The main sponsors were United Overseas Bank, which donated $1 million, and Citibank Singapore, which donated $652,000.

The other two cheques were from platinum sponsors MHC Asia Group ($100,000) and Singapore Plastic Industry Association ($138,000).

The funds raised will go towards The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF), which provides pocket money to students from low-income families, and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which helps fund arts training for underprivileged children and young people.

More than 1,600 audience members at Thursday's gala of ChildAid 2019 were treated to a diverse line-up of performances at the concert, themed Sing! Play! Dance!.

The performances ranged from classical cello pieces such as Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 performed by 11-year-old Michelle Zhu, to upbeat dance sets such as hip- hop dance-offs between two crews, Stylo Mylo and Danz People.



Michelle Zhu performing Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suite No. 1. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Husna Humairah Muhammad Hairie, 10, from Singapore Chinese Girls' School, who sang Jessie J's Domino with three other performers, said: "I used to perform in my school's shows but ChildAid is the biggest show for me."

Paying tribute to ChildAid's history and impact since it started in 2005 were multimedia clips of interviews with beneficiaries and past performers.

One of the clips featured a former STSPMF recipient, Mr Ronn Kay, now 29, who is living in Melbourne and working as a landscape architect.

 
 
 

Mr Kay, who faced financial difficulties while he was still in school, remembered receiving STSPMF assistance from 2002 to 2006, and getting $5 a day to buy food at recess time.

The clips also featured past performers sharing their memories of former ChildAid artistic director, the late musician Iskandar Ismail, who died in 2014.

He had had a hand in ChildAid since its second edition in 2006.

He was referred to as a father figure by Ms Amni Musfirah, 25, a local musician who was introduced to the arts scene by Mr Iskandar through ChildAid in 2008.

In the second item of Thursday's 110-minute show, all the performers - aged six to 19 - appeared on stage and also walked down the aisles singing the ChildAid theme song, A World To Imagine, which was composed by Mr Iskandar.

Among this year's performances was one by the show's creative director, singer-songwriter Dick Lee, singing Bunga Sayang (Malay for Flower Of Love) and Home solo, and Fried Rice Paradise with the young performers.



Among this year's performances was one by the show's creative director, singer-songwriter Dick Lee, singing Bunga Sayang (Malay for Flower Of Love) and Home solo, and Fried Rice Paradise with the young performers. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

This was his first time performing at ChildAid, though he has been helming the show behind the scenes since 2017.

This year's concert, staged over two nights on Wednesday and Thursday, was held at the Esplanade Theatre.

The gold sponsors were China Taiping Insurance (Singapore) and Suntory Beverage & Food Asia, and Tote Board. Kiss92FM was the official radio station.

Produced by Dick Lee Asia, the concert's production partners were Cosmoprof and Unusual Productions.

The main venue partners were Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and The Pavilion.

12 winning designs from the National Gingerbread House Competition that really are good enough to eat

12 winning designs from the National Gingerbread House Competition that really are good enough to eat

This holiday scene won first place in the teen category.
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This holiday scene won first place in the teen category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

  • 226 competitors entered their epic edible designs in the 27th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition, and the winners were announced in Asheville, North Carolina on Monday.
  • The winning design by Gail Oliver, from Tennessee, shows wild animals hanging out at “The Water Hole.”
  • In the child category, Adair Cary, from North Carolina, took home the top prize with a life-like polar bear design.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you need some inspiration for your gingerbread house design this holiday season, look no further.

More than 220 bakers from across the US entered their edible designs in the 27th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition, and the winners were announced at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, on November 18.

Competitors used power tools, moving mechanical parts, melted sugar, and a whole lot of creativity to cook up some truly epic designs.

Keep scrolling to see the winners of this year’s competition.


This incredibly detailed design showing animals at “The Water Hole” took home the grand prize.

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The winning design.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

It was made by Gail Oliver, from Johnson City, Tennessee. While she had entered several times before and even placed in the top 10, this was her first win.


Oliver’s design includes a monkey, a flamingo, and a toucan.

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The winning design.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

The figures in the design were sculpted out of ginger clay consisting primarily of ground gingerbread.


On the other side of the gingerbread house, an alligator lazes in a hammock.

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The winning design.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

Some of the houses can take up to 600 hours to create, according to the organizers. While Oliver did not track the hours she put in to her design, it took her “months and months.”


The artist, Gail Oliver, poses with her beautiful design.

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Gail Oliver.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

She topped the list of 226 competitors with “The Water Hole” and won a $5,000 check. In total, more than $25,000 in cash and prizes were awarded at the event.


This mind-bending design took second place in the adults category.

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Second place.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

It was designed by Beatriz Muller from Innisfil, Ontario, in Canada.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges including celebrity chef Carla Hall, James Beard Award-winning chef Cheryl Forberg, and Mark Seaman, the master sugar artist for chocolate company Barry Callebaut.


In third came this realistic-looking wagon sitting on snow.

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Third prize.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

It’s the brainchild of Larry and Julia Vorpahl from Ellijay, Georgia.

Incredibly, every design featured in the competition is 100% edible – and the judges check.


In the teen category, this festive winter village took the top prize.

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First place, teen category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

This detailed Christmas scene was the work of students in the German program at Courtland High in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

It’s the sixth consecutive win for the school’s program.


This design of a vegetable truck took second place in the teen category.

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Second place, teen category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

It was created by Sarah and Jenna Rhinehart from Columbia, Tennessee.


This snowy cabin snagged third place in the teen category.

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Third place, teen category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

The Institute of Innovation in Gaffney, South Carolina, created this beautiful design.


This design, a nod to “a coat of many colors,” took first place in the youth category.

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First prize, youth category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

The youth category is for artists aged between 9 and 12. This design, which showed a modern and a biblical interpretion of “a coat of many colors,” is by Anderson Adams of Raleigh, North Carolina.


A wooden piano, complete with a rug, sheet music, and pot plants took second place.

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Second place, youth category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

It’s by Evalyn Routh of Climax, North Carolina.


Caroling penguins came in third.

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Third place, youth category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

It’s the work of Emma Rhinehart from Columbia, Tennessee.


In the children’s category, this polar bear and fairy took the top spot.

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First place, child category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

Adair Cary of Marshall, North Carolina, was named the winner of the child’s category, which includes designs by children aged 5 to 8.

Unlike the other categories, competitors in the child category aren’t allowed to sculpt with melted sugar.


A warming fireplace decorated with trees, gifts, and elves came in second.

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Second place, child category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

It’s the work of the Tinker Kids from Lexington, Kentucky.


This candy land came in third in the children’s category.

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Third place, child category.
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Courtesy The Omni Grove Park Inn

It was made by the Glitter Girls of Blue Ridge in Georgia.

All of the winners will be on display until January 4, 2020, at the Omni Grove Park Lodge in North Carolina.

eBay launched an authentication program that makes it safer to buy and sell big-ticket items like watches, designer handbags, and collectibles on the site — here’s how it works

eBay launched an authentication program that makes it safer to buy and sell big-ticket items like watches, designer handbags, and collectibles on the site — here’s how it works

eBay authenticate

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eBay

  • eBay Authenticate helps users shop for authentic luxury items like watches, handbags, jewelry, and collectibles like comic books, sports trading cards, and gold coins.
  • Every item listed with eBay Authenticate is meticulously inspected and verified to be authentic by experts and is already in eBay‘s possession when you purchase it. That way, you can shop without worrying about getting scammed or being sent a fake.
  • Below, I break down how it works for both buyers and sellers.

I know it’s widely accepted that eBay has a bit of a reputation for being fishy, filled with scammers and counterfeit goods. But I want to clear something up here: With all the strides the company has made to protect buyers, that reputation is undeserved.

While there have, in fact, been instances of fraud and fakes on eBay (unfortunately, you can expect that on any platform where independent buyers and sellers have the autonomy to do business without a ton of oversight), the company has made amazing strides to improve the user experience for buyers and sellers and ultimately drive smoother transactions. From having plenty of brands sell products directly through the site to offering extensive buyer protection, eBay is a surprisingly safe place to shop.

Now, the brand is continuing its safe-shopping efforts with a new program called eBay Authenticate.

As a sub-section of the site, eBay Authenticate was designed to help users shop for luxury items like handbags, watches, and jewelry and collectibles like gold coins, sports trading cards, and comics with 100% confidence. Each item listed for sale has been verified to be authentic by an expert and is fairly priced based on factors like condition, rarity, and current market value.

eBay

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eBay/levitatestyle on Instagram

To fully understand eBay Authenticate, it’s best to learn how it works as a seller first, because that’s where the inventory you will shop as a buyer comes from.

Here’s how it works as a seller:

Let’s say you have a designer handbag that you want to sell. The first step is to check if your item is eligible to be sold on eBay Authenticate by entering the brand, item type, and condition. If your item is eligible, you can then send it into eBay for authentication using a prepaid shipping label. From there, independent experts authenticate, price, and list your items for sale on eBay Authenticate. When your item is purchased, you get paid and eBay handles shipping the item to the buyer.

It’s worth noting that eBay takes a 20% transaction fee when authenticated items are sold. Although that’s quite a bit more than eBay’s standard 10% transaction fee, it’s worth it. You will find that the verified authenticity almost always makes it easier to sell your item, rather than listing it yourself – or using another avenue of sale. Buyers want to shop with confidence, and this is an easy way for them to do it.

eBay authenticate

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eBay

Here’s how it works as a buyer:

If you’re accustomed to shopping on eBay, using eBay Authenticate isn’t much different – you shop, pay, and receive your items in the mail. However, there are several key benefits that alleviate the concerns associated with buying big-ticket, rare, or collectible items online.

Since all of the items are professionally authenticated and in the possession of eBay at the time of your purchase, you can guarantee that the item you receive is the same item in the listing. There’s no chance of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars only to never hear from the seller again or to receive a counterfeit item in return (granted, there are protections for that, but it doesn’t make getting scammed any less frustrating).

In the rare instance that you do have doubts about the authenticity of an item you’ve received, you can contact the seller, return the item in the same condition you received it in with the eBay Authenticate tag still attached, and the experts will re-authenticate your item. If they can’t confirm the authenticity of your item, you’ll receive a full refund. This is a major benefit as some sellers on eBay don’t offer returns. If you purchase something on eBay outside of eBay Authenticate and it turns out to be counterfeit, you run the risk of being stuck with that item and not getting your money back, unless you ask eBay to step in and they’re able to remedy the situation.

The best part is that shopping on eBay Authenticate costs you zero extra dollars. With all of the added benefits, there’s really no reason not to shop – or at least browse – on eBay Authenticate for those high-end luxury items and collectibles you’ve been nervous about buying online.

eBay Authenticate

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eBay

How eBay Authenticate can save you money:

Generally, the safest way to get authentic items is to buy it directly from the manufacturer’s retail store or website, but that’s usually not the best option – or an option at all. For example, if you want a Rolex watch or a Chanel handbag, you will absolutely spend more at retail locations compared to shopping on eBay, since the items listed on eBay are generally going to be lightly used.

eBay Authenticate

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eBay

The bottom line

I’ve never purchased a high-end watch or designer handbag on eBay, but I have made many successful purchases on the site in the past. My personal purchases mostly include collectible sneakers and rare BMW car parts, and much of my confidence in buying those things came from my own expertise.

Before I learned about this program, I would have steered clear of buying a watch, bag, or anything else that’s highly collectible simply because I’m not an expert in those areas, but with eBay Authenticate, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it.

If you’ve come to terms with never owning your dream watch or designer handbag because of an egregious retail price, eBay Authenticate can make it a feasible reality. You’ll also find many giftable items for the upcoming holiday season.

Start shopping on eBay Authenticate now

Blood pregnancy tests can detect pregnancy sooner but are less convenient than at-home urine tests

Blood pregnancy tests can detect pregnancy sooner but are less convenient than at-home urine tests

Blood tests are more sensitive and can tell you if you're anywhere from 6 to 14 days after conception.
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Blood tests are more sensitive and can tell you if you’re anywhere from 6 to 14 days after conception.
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Rido/Shutterstock

  • There are two main types of pregnancy tests: blood and urine tests.
  • Blood tests are more sensitive and can tell you if you’re anywhere from 6 to 14 days after conception.
  • Most home pregnancy tests advise you to take the test after you miss your next period, which could be anywhere from 14 to 18 days after conception, depending on when in your cycle you conceived.
  • This article was reviewed by Karen Duncan, MD, who is an assistant professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

You have two options when it comes time to see if you have a baby on board.

The most common is an at-home urine pregnancy test, available over the counter, though you can take a urine pregnancy test at a medical clinic. Another option is a blood test performed at a medical clinic.

“Both tests check for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG,” says Crystal Newby, MD, of Kansas City Ob-Gyn. “This hormone is produced after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus.”

The egg typically attaches 6 days after fertilization, at which point, hCG levels in your blood and urine will increase for the next 6 to 10 weeks. Once hCG levels are high enough, you can expect an accurate reading, but not before then.

Blood pregnancy tests (6-14 days)

Blood tests for pregnancy are more sensitive to hCG than home pregnancy tests. They can detect this hormone in low quantities and tell you if you’re pregnant sooner than a home test.

Depending on a woman’s cycle, a blood test can detect pregnancy between 6 and 14 days after conception and is considered by doctors to be 99% accurate.

While blood tests can provide results sooner than home pregnancy tests, they are usually more expensive and take longer to provide results because the blood must be sent to a lab for analysis.

If the lab is in-house then it will take a few hours. But if the lab is at a different location, it could take several days to learn the results.

Home pregnancy tests (14-18 days)

Home pregnancy tests can provide results faster and be more convenient than a blood test. But you’ll probably have to wait longer to receive accurate results.

Most home pregnancy tests advise you to take the test after you miss your next period. If you have a standard 28-day cycle, you’ll be most fertile two to three weeks before your period. So if you get pregnant during that fertility window, you’ll need to wait at least 14 to 18 days after conception to take a home pregnancy test.

If you follow directions, home pregnancy tests are an estimated 97% to 99% accurate. Yet if you get a negative result and suspect you’re pregnant, check the instructions on the box. Home pregnancy tests typically recommend retaking the test 5 to 7 days later, when the hCG levels in your body will be higher.

This type of result is called a “false negative.” Sometimes you can receive a false negative result if you take a pregnancy test too soon when your hCG levels are too low for the test to detect them accurately.

Moreover, recent miscarriages, fertility drugs, and rare hCG secreting tumors can interfere with the results of at-home urine tests. If you receive conflicting results after taking a home pregnancy test multiple times, doctors recommend a blood test.

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