Friday, July 23, 2010

A Race from a Different Perspective: AMG Fun Run and PGH Outreach

HP AMG, or Application Management Group, holds an annual fun run which started last year. All proceeds from the event go to a charitable institution. It's one of our company's ways to give back to the community; we're an IT company with a heart.

This blog is a two-part entry - the running event and the charity event.

PART 1: The Race Day
June 6, 2010 - Piazza Mall, McKinley Hills

The AMG Fun Run had three race categories - 3k, 6k and 9k. The route is fairly simple: from Piazza Mall, which is the starting point, runners head to the C-5 road intersection and do their first U-turn there. They then return back to Piazza Mall and continue on the opposite direction, this time heading to the U-turn slot at Lawton Avenue intersection. Once they get back to the Piazza, that completes the 3k route. The 6k and 9k participants just had to do 2 and 3 loops to complete their respective categories.

Surprisingly, as addicted as I am to running, I've decided not to run in this event. I wanted to experience the race on a different perspective, that is, the race marshall's point-of-view.

We arrived 3:30am at the venue to do the race preparations - set-up the race organizer's table and the sound system, prepare the drinks and granola bar giveaways, set-up the water stations as well as the race markers. Delegation of people on who would man particular areas was done. JM and I were assigned at the Lawton Avenue U-turn, with the task of handing out the race necklaces runners would wear, as proof they finished the lap.

Here's a photo of me with runners Dada, Rap and Mils, before we went to our designated spot. Yay to my first race marshall ID!

I brought my digicam with me and I decided to make my own version of Photovendo, taking pictures of runners as they make their U-turn. JM took my picture before participants began to arrive.

During the race, JM and I particularly enjoyed mocking participants who were walking the uphill path. It was a very challenging terrain. You could see the difficulty on the runner's faces on the photographs I took. Lucky me, I didn't run!

Everyone was praying for a rain-free event and thank God He heard our prayers. The race ended, the rewarding ceremony finished, we were able to pack-up, and most of the participants have already gone home before the heavy downpour at McKinley that day.

The event was a big success! Overall, we raised P85,000 which would surely go a mile for our planned charity event. Congratulations to the race organizers!

Part 2: The Charity Event
July 10, 2010 - Philippine General Hospital Pediatric Wards 9 and 11

All proceeds from the AMG Fun Run will go to our chosen institution which is the PGH Pediatric Wards 9 and 11.

During our work shift, we were preparing our giveaways for the kids - boxes containing toiletries and some toys. Here are a few of the volunteers during our packing session:

Most of us are working North America shift, so after our Friday work, with little or no sleep, we proceeded to PGH. We were briefed on how the program would go - visit Ward 9 first then mingle with the kids and their guardians. Hosts from Jollibee would then hold some games, then the Jollibee mascot would make his appearance while we are handing out food to everyone. Finally, we would donate the boxes of medical supplies to the hospital management (most are boxes of syringes which are a big hospital need). We'd do the same things all over again in Ward 11.

It was heart-breaking to see all those kids there in pain. One of the guardians cried when we approached her, telling the story of how she was the only one taking care of her niece, Angelica who had a liver problem. "May mga tao pa palang gusto lang tumulong, tulad nyo," she told us ("There are still people who are willing to help, like you"). Here are some pictures captured with two of the ward patients:

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” The experience left me a heavy heart, but it also gave me such a fulfillment. Thank you AMG, for giving everyone the opportunity to give, even in our own little ways.

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