Running for a noble cause
YOU need not be a regular jogger to join Run for Love 2017.
Taking part with a sincere heart to help raise funds for restorative care to the ailing will suffice.
This message has gotten across loud and clear to Mirians.
Since registration for the 10km event in aid of the Palliative Care Association Miri (PCAM) began in June, support from people from all walks of life in the division has been pouring in.
“I was touched by the photos the Palliative Care Association Miri, uploaded on Facebook,” said Jolene Pang, a faithful supporter of PCAM charity drives.
“Without further thought, I donated to its Run for Love event,” she added as she came to PCAM Centre at Piasau Garden early one morning to pass a personal cheque to the staff.
Many runners as well as nonrunners, well-wishers, big and small towkays, first timers or long-time supporters have rallied to help PCAM, a small but special non-profit organisation in Miri.
This year, the association is organising its third Run for Love event on Oct 1.
Since 2005, PCAM has been holding half marathons for runners and supporters. Last year, a huge group of 1,500 runners turned up and this year, a similar number is expected.
Cecilia Sia and Liew Shiao Ling teach Line Dancing at the Sunflower Centre in Miri on Wednesdays and Fridays. The two have been helping PCAM in the last few years by not only raising funds on the side but also taking part in the run itself.
They have never hesitated to donate. In fact, their donations have been increasing over the years.
Sia and Liew have been sponsoring 15 children from the Methodist Children’s Home Miri for the run. They will be doing the same this year – apart from giving a big donation.
Sia told thesundaypost, “Running for love is a kind of purpose in my life. The Run for Love event should create more awareness of providing healthcare and more people should join to raise funds for such a noble cause.”
This year Sia’s daughter, Belinda, is also making a donation.
“I’m not a running person but charity runs appeal to me, so I am joining. I will be doing a bit of charity and exercise. That’s good. We must try our best to help others.”
Another avid supporter is former bank manager Zainuddin Ibrahim, who now manages an oil and gas engineering company.
The well-dressed executive, who is also a popular emcee for Miri events, is always there for the run.
“Joining the Palliative Run is a simple way of helping people in need. Not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love.
“There will be much joy and fun during the Run for Love. Besides, as our heart beats while we are running, we are filled with this great concern for charity and, in a way, we feel grateful for being able to contribute,” he said.
Zainuddin said PCAM appealed to him because the organisation is run by very kind-hearted people, adding, “Being human, we are not perfect but we can improve ourselves by giving with sincerity. Salam sehati sejiwa.” Deeply touched Whenever donations and sponsorships come in for the association, the daycare patients, staff, and volunteers are deeply touched by the generosity, friendliness and care of the benefactors, many of whom are first timers.
Some donate for the run or sponsor other runners while some register to take part.
Victor Hii is a well-known cross-country runner from Miri who has been participating in marathons all over the country.
He is hearing-disabled but he and his wife form a formidable running team and will run to raise awareness and funds for PCAM.
Hii, a member of Grace Methodist Church, has been inspiring people to run with him for charity.
A good friend of his commented, “Victor is a good man who loves running. We learn sign language from him and it’s a blessing to be associated with him. His enthusiasm is catching. We need people like him in Miri!”
Rose Lim has set up weekend registration booths for the run with her friend Ho Chui Ting at Imperial Mall. She is upbeat about getting people to register.
“We need everyone to contribute as we are not just looking for big donors. Every ringgit and sen counts. Some people drop RM10 into our donation box from time to time. And that goes a long, long way,” she said.
She also said they set up the booths to get more people to register, adding that some people may pass by and ask what is the meaning of ‘palliative’ and they would explain.
“After listening to us, they may not immediately donate but an awareness has been raised. Somewhere along the line, they may realise they need help and call us up.
“We have a few people who ‘discover’ us and come to the centre for help. And we tell them that’s what we are there for. We help those needing special nursing, oxygen concentrators, rippled mattresses and hospital beds. We also lend out wheelchairs, commodes and walking frames,” she explained. Supportive media Volunteer Veronica Wong was at the centre when reporters came to take photos.
“The media have been very supportive by publishing photos from time to time before October to create more awareness about our charity run. Hopefully, in this way, more runners will sign up,” she said.
“We don’t use an event management company. And though we are very few in number, we try to promote the run by calling up friends, visiting associations to deliver letters, knocking on the doors of small and big businesses, and setting up booths all over Miri when given the opportunities.”
She noted that Mirians had responded by returning to take part in the event year after year and “may God bless them”.
Two other volunteers are the Sim sisters and this year, their cousin, Eva Sim Tze Hua, will again run with her family.
“We are bonding as a family and donating at the same time,” Sim said.
Three-time organising chairperson JS Wong disclosed VIPs like Datuk Lee Kim Shin and Datuk Sebastian Ting and Miri Mayor Adam Yii will be among the runners along with some kapitans and penghulus.
“All the runners are important to us as they all help raise funds for our association. I’m very thankful to all who support us,” he said. More should join A runner, who wished to remain anonymous, would like to see more people joining events like the Run for Love. A member of his family was a lung cancer victim and he said running for charity has allowed him to do something to help those in need.
He said he was sure his “loved one was smiling in heaven” when he ran last year.
He will run again this year and has been training for the event with his children and nephews, saying, “I want make sure they grow up with a big heart for charity and good causes.”
Meanwhile, Datuk Ling Suk Kiong of Dayang Enterprise, Miri, made a special commitment when PCAM members paid him a visit recently.
He told thesundaypost although he could not take part in the run, he promised to sponsor a portable, easy-to-use oxygen concentrator.
He remembers how his mother needed oxygen in her last days and the hospital loaned him an oxygen concentrator of a rather large and inconvenient size.
He is happy that with technological advancements, oxygen concentrators can now be just plugged into a power point and are light enough to be carried by a nurse.
“PCAM is doing a good job,” he said, wishing Run for Love 3 all the best.
Running for charity is uplifting physically and spiritually. One gets something back in return – a fitter, healthier and more caring personality.
Miri is becoming a healthier city as more and more people are seen jogging in the morning, evening and even at night.
The Palliative Care Association of Miri hopes to meet their targeted number of runners this year, at the same time, raise enough funds to carry out its healthcare programmes.
By participating in this special charity event, the runners can provide considerable care to patients needing palliative care.
Indeed, running for charity is becoming a key contribution Mirians are making towards the well-being of their Resort
Joining the Palliative Run is a simple way of helping people in need. Not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love.
Line dancers help raise funds for PCAM every year.
Victor Hii will take part in the run with his wife.
PCAM now has 100 patients and this oxygen concentrator will come in very handy.
Datuk James Ling Suk Kiong (second right) presents a donation to PCAM members.
Cecilia Sia will lead a group of line dancers for Run fo r Love 3.