Real estate entrepreneur Sing Lim Yeo dedicates time and money to many causes, but he has a special relationship with Mount Saint Joseph Hospital
By Michelle Hopkins | Photography by Claudette Carracedo and Jonathan Evans
Born in Malaysia and educated in Singapore, Sing Lim Yeo immigrated to Canada to give his four daughters the opportunity for a better future. Before long, the savvy entrepreneur built the internationally recognized Royal Pacific Realty Group into the largest independent real estate brokerage in Western Canada. At the same time, Yeo lived an ethos: that business and philanthropy went hand in hand.
So for more than three decades, he has tirelessly devoted his time and energy to raising money and awareness for health care, social, multicultural, and heritage programs and international disaster relief.
In particular, Yeo and his wife, Patricia, have contributed to many life-saving improvements at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital since the early 1990s. The couple continues to build an incredible philanthropic legacy at this Providence Health Care site through the annual signature Scotiabank Feast of Fortune gala.
Peggy Chiu, board director at St. Paul’s Foundation, can attest to this. She has seen first-hand what Yeo’s commitment to this gala means. A key founding member of the Scotiabank Feast of Fortune in 2008, Yeo’s unwavering dedication goes well beyond financial contributions; he is renowned for putting in countless hours serving on the gala’s committee.
In addition, Yeo is known for using his generosity to encourage his community to lend their support to Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. As a founder and committed champion, he has been recognized for stirring others in the Chinese community to volunteer for this important cause. The 2018 event alone raised a record $900,115 to purchase a state-of-the-art digital mammography machine for the hospital.
“Sing is a dedicated philanthropist known for his long-term commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to invest time, energy, ideas, and knowledge to make a difference in the community,” Chiu says. “He is very influential in the Chinese community as he sits on various foundation boards. He is a visionary and influential leader who leads by example; people can feel his sincerity and passion. The way he sees things in a broad perspective stimulates and inspires people.”
His commitment doesn’t end there. With Yeo’s leadership and generosity, other organizations such as BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, the SUCCESS Foundation, the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver, and St. John Ambulance have all benefited from this incredible man’s giving nature.
“As an immigrant to Canada, I was fortunate to raise my family and run my business smoothly,” says Yeo, who has received numerous awards for his charitable work, including the Order of British Columbia, the Order of St. John, and the coveted Giving Hearts Award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser for 2011 by the Vancouver Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). “The next step was to better our communities, which became my driving force for the past 30 years. This has allowed me to raise more than $20 million to support the causes I deeply care about.”
His legacy will live on in his family and for generations to come. “The single most important thing he has taught us in philanthropy is perspective,” says his youngest daughter, Hui Yeo. “Know that you can help others but be humble enough to learn from them too. It doesn’t matter if it is a big or small gesture, through financial means or time, but the difference it makes is worth it, as you will always get back more than you give.”
To the next generation of philanthropists, Yeo says this: “My advice to the younger generation is to give back in any capacity you can. It is the ultimate show of appreciation in a country where we can enjoy the freedom of change by a small group of people.”
Join us on January 26 for the 2019 Scotiabank Feast of Fortune when Yeo will be honoured for his unwavering commitment to Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. Get more information at helpstpauls.com/feast-of-fortune.