In fourth year, Petronas charity run beats fundraising target by a mile

Kenneth Tee
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (third left) joins the 5km Fun Ride during annual Orchid Run and Ride 2018 at KLCC September 23, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — The annual Orchid Run & Ride 2018 organised in collaboration with Petronas successfully raised over RM400,000 for charity groups, wildly surpassing its initial target of RM250,000.

With a turnout of over 7,000 participants, Association of Wives and Women Staff of Petronas (Petronita) president Puan Sri Dr Azura Ahmad Tajuddin said today's attendance surpassed her expectations and expressed hope that this would be bettered next year.

“We had only 3,000 participants when we first started in 2015 and today's support is more encouraging than ever,” she said at the run themed “United For A Cause ― A Day with Petronita” held at Persiaran KLCC today.

Azura said this year's collection also beat last year's collection of RM340,000. The two main running categories — Men’s and Women’s Open 12km, and the 5km Fun Run and Fun Ride — were also fully subscribed.

“Our wish is to raise awareness for the less fortunate and encourage the public to unite in contributing towards a noble cause while promoting a healthy lifestyle through the run,” she said.

Youth and Sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who attended the event, said the success demonstrated Malaysians’ appetite for physical activity and philanthropy as well as the synergy of marrying both.

“The combination of sports and charity is definitely a way forward for the country which the ministry would like to pursue further.

“We want to get more people involved in charitable causes while performing sport activities similar to today’s run,” he said on the sidelines after flagging off the participants.

Syed Saddiq who expressed pride at being part of the event, thanking organisers for holding the run that he said would provide a benchmark for others to follow.

Also present were Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and Petronas chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.

Four beneficiaries, the Institute of Ear, Hearing and Speech (Institute- HEARS) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (RM80,000), Universiti Teknologi Mara Centre for Special Care Dentistry (RM100,000), Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (RM100,000) and Home Equipment Loan Programme by PPUMCare (RM120,000) were selected to receive the funds raised.

Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia president Ranjit Kaur said her group’s portion will go towards helping women, especially in rural areas, to undergo free breast cancer screening.

Ranjit said in addition to free checkups, her association is also planning to pay for breast cancer survivors to obtain prosthetics needed following mastectomies.

Universiti Malaya Medical Centre Department of Medical Social Work chief Rodhiah Zakaria said the funds received will benefit more patients under the Home Equipment Loan Programme as this would allow a greater number to recuperate in the comfort of their own homes.

“Most of these patients suffer from respiratory problems and need the special equipment to continue living.

“With the special equipment in their home, they can benefit more from a familiar environment and the care of their family,” she said.

Participants were also treated to live performances by local talents Altimet and Drum Circle.

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