Every society needs – and has – its heroes. The year-end annual charity fundraiser, ChariTrees, will celebrate and honour the heroes among us, who don’t necessarily don a cape and jump over buildings with a giant leap. Instead, they are security professionals who dedicate themselves to the public’s safety and help keep our workplaces and public spaces safe and secure every day, and professionals who volunteer to read to children or teach financial literacy; or who take time off to cook for the hungry. ChariTrees 2018, besides giving Marina Bayfront the festive feel with two sets of main arches and 30 8-feet tall Christmas trees, will fete the heroes we meet on the street or who live right next door to us.The trees represent the coming together of individuals, groups and organisations who have played a part in cultivating people and strengthening communities.Says Mr Tan Puay Kern, chairman of the ChariTrees 2018 Organising Committee: “This Christmas, we intend for ChariTrees to be a celebration of successes that have made a positive impact towards the community. The trees are dedicated to the many individuals, groups and organisations – community heroes that have gone the extra mile to touch the lives of our people.”This eighth edition of ChariTrees sees a change in its organisers. Previously run by Community Chest since its inception in 2011, ChariTrees 2018 will be organised by not-for-profit arts organisation and charity with IPC status, The RICE Company Limited. The event will be a fundraiser for The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF), which supports children and youths aged six to 19 with opportunities and access to the arts.Certis is the presenting donor of ChariTrees 2018. As part of its corporate social responsibility efforts, Certis seeks to partner organisations to make a meaningful and positive impact in the community. This includes supporting causes that reach out to the disadvantaged children and people with disabilities. At the same time, Certis is committed to establish a safer and secure Singapore, bringing peace of mind to the communities it serves.Mr Tan Toi Chia, Head of Corporate Planning and Group Communications, Certis, said, “As we evolve as an advanced integrated security services organisation, Certis remains rooted in our commitment to make a meaningful difference to the community. We must continue to give back to the communities we serve. By supporting ChariTrees, we seek to empower disadvantaged youths to develop their talents and shine through arts-related programmes and activities.”Certis will shortly be unveiling its transformation from a physical guarding business into an advanced integrated security solutions provider. As a unique specialist ops-tech outsourcing partner, Certis develops, builds and operates integrated solutions for its customers. Its Security+ approach is made possible by its rich heritage in physical security, deep operational expertise, and unique ops-tech capabilities. Mr Alvin Tay, chairman of BT BAF, the beneficiary, noted: “Through ChariTrees 2018, we hope to spread the word and inspire more people to do something good for the community. We are thankful to our donors and partners for their strong support in what we do. Their generosity has been instrumental in enabling our children and youths to pursue their dreams and passion in the arts.”Corporate sponsors of the ChariTrees will also help to build and decorate the two sets of main arches and the trees. Around 50 staff from Certis will be assisting with the decoration together with the beneficiaries in the week leading up to the ChariTrees light-up. Prudential Singapore, who is supporting ChariTrees for the first time, will be conducting a plastic bottle collection drive for the creation of its “Art” Tree. Previous corporate supporters such as Century Evergreen and Arrowcrest Technologies will also be engaging their employees to decorate the trees.During the Christmas festive season, visitors can look forward to a walkway lined with 20 decorated ChariTrees and 10 “Art” trees. It will start from the open area beside The Shoppes at Sands expo and convention centre and runs along the Marina Bayfront. The “Art” trees will be built from recycled materials such as plastic bottles, recycled timber and plant storage drainage cells by the Landscape Industry Association of Singapore (LIAS).ChariTrees 2018 will run for seven weeks, from 9 November, leading up to Christmas, until Boxing Day on 26 December. President Halimah Yacob will launch the light up of the ChariTrees at the opening ceremony on 9 November.