On June 30 we celebrated one of the most significant dates on our calendar; the birthday of the US. As members and guests of the American Association of Singapore (AAS), we came in our droves for this momentous occasion at Singapore American School (SAS), who co-hosted the event with AAS.
The playing field was awash with red, white and blue, and the atmosphere was electric; full of fun, laughter and friendliness. There were carnival games a-plenty for both adults and kids who swarmed the stalls, deftly manned by staff, volunteers and representatives from sponsor, Expat Dental, in the hope of winning one of the many awesome prizes. Our sister organizations were out in force in the American Organizations tent, getting into the festive spirit. Kids wore themselves out on the bouncy castles and squealed with excitement at the dry-ice spilling from the Mad Science booth, while parents browsed the Marketplace.
We ate, we drank and were merry, enjoying tasty treats, craft ales and wines from our fabulous vendors which were ferried back to picnic blankets scattered across the field, only for us to burn it all off, line dancing in perfect unison under the guidance of Zumba Instructor, Elkin Bedoya, and his team. Band on the Run’s 10.seconds kept the momentum going, ramping up the party with modern classics and golden oldies for everyone to groove to on the grass.
Appetites sated and thirsts quenched, it was time to observe the formal section of the evening. The Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific/CTF73 Color Guard, presented the colors under a coral sunset and recent SAS graduate, Migs Dimayacyac, treated us to a beautiful performance in singing both the Singaporean and American national anthems.
Our special guest speakers Angela Wylie, Senior Finance Manager, SAS; Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., US Embassy, Singapore; and Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific & Singapore Area Coordinator, Rear Admiral Joey Tynch, then spoke warmly of the sentiments behind the 4th of July to rouse patriotism among the crowd.
Finally, AAS Treasurer, Michael Borchert, closed the formal ceremony, at which point the sky was ablaze with a luminous display of fireworks; arguably one of the highlights of the evening.
The celebrations continued with more live music and then the eagerly awaited winner announcements of the LOVE, NILS charity drive raffle and Lucky Draw, in which winners were presented with fantastic prizes; from airline tickets, courtesy of American Airlines; to private island getaways; to luxury gift baskets.
With smiles all round, it was time to wish everyone a final Happy 4th of July and safe journey home. The AAS team agrees unanimously that it is the people that make events such as these a success, and so we would like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who attended and helped to make it the occasion it was.
We are beyond grateful for our army of volunteers with their tireless energy and hard work they brought to the day. Our VIPs could not have been more well-catered for, and so massive thanks goes out to TD Ameritrade, who sponsored the tent, with Jerry’s Barbecue and Grill, Brewerkz and Century Cellars who kept everyone fed and watered. We’d also like to offer our endless gratitude to our generous sponsors and prize donators, without whom the event would not be possible. Huge thanks, also, to everyone who donated to the fireworks; in particular our major fireworks sponsor, SAS. Finally, we are indebted to Isaac Benjamin and his SAS security team for facilitating such a wonderful day.
Photo courtesy of Erick Lo Photography