Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Classic car ride for the little "Elks"

Parents Without Partners /Jumble Station brought a total of 11 poor kids for the recent vintage car ride, wholly sponsored by Elken Malaysia which is touted as one of the top players in the direct selling industry in Malaysia.

By the way, Elken is a made-in-Malaysia success story beginning in 1995 with strong foothold in Asian nations including Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore. Elken encourages its members touching lives in a more meaningful way and the vintage car ride last Saturday was a case in point.

The ride saw vintage car owners collaborating with Elken to bring joy to the little ones firstly via the stimulating, wind swept car ride from the Old Klang road right through the busiest parts of Kuala Lumpur and in the heart of the KL business centre where Elken’s Japanese restaurants were located.

The ride itself was as usual pretty exhilarating for kids and single mum Jacky who had never rode in such classic cars but the Japanese food was truly an enigma to many of the little passengers – most hardly touched the artistically beautiful food – finding it too strange for their liking and opted mainly for the mushroom soup which they could swallow.

Which was a pity because to see the fried prawns, the salads, the rolls all left untouched was a waste, perhaps the organisers should have realised that kids from poorer neighborhoods would have preferred simpler meals like fried rice, fried noodles and fried vegetables.

The other strange feel is that while the poor, marginalised kids were supposed to be the VIPs for the day, it turned out that the vintage car owners were the ones feted more than the kids themselves. From the start, while the kids waited for more than an hour for the event to start, the vintage car owners were the first to be invited to have their breakfast of sandwiches and fried spring rolls, no one remembered to feed the hungry kids.

By the time yours truly went to remind the organisers, the breakfast spread was no more and Elken staff had to make do with little satchets of biscuits and cookies instead. Again when it came time to giving out the goody bags, the car owners took precedence over the kiddies making one feel like the underpriviledged kids were just an after thought and not the key reason for the entire vintage car ride.

Ah well, Elken assistant Vice President Group HR Dr Henry Yeoh saved the day by being such a nice sport himself, taking time to chat with the little ones, walking up to many of the cars to get to know the special passengers and generally making himself available for many a photo opportunity. So kudos to Elken for its first ever vintage CSR project and hopefully, they will learn to be better than the best, the next time around.

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