KHON KAEN, 17 June 2019 (NNT) - The 172-kilometer charity run Kao Khon La Kao, from Nong Khai to Khon Kaen ended yesterday, having raised an impressive 52 million baht in donated funds for the support of eight community hospitals in the northeastern region.
Thai singer, Athiwara Khongmalai, best known as Toon Bodyslam, reached the finishing line of the charity run at Khon Kaen Central Stadium yesterday evening, marking the end of Kao Khon La Kao charity campaign along a 172-kilometer route from Nong Khai to Khon Kaen which took the runners 48 hours from 15th June. The campaign run was held to raise funds for eight community hospitals in the northeastern region: Khon Kaen 2, Phon, Kumphawapi, Nong Han, Sa Khrai, Sang Khom, Na Wang, and Bueng Kan hospitals.
The last 11-kilometer section from Khon Kaen Provincial Town Hall to the central stadium created a new record as the mini-marathon event with the biggest number of participants in the northeastern region. Many villagers gathered along the track cheering the runners on and making their donations.
Toon Bodyslam has given an interview thanking all the Thai people who supported the campaign, adding that donations can still be made until 31st July, after which all proceeds will be donated to the hospitals.
"We didn’t think it would be this much. We have a 10-baht donation via SMS option for everyone. We wanted to communicate that even small amounts of money that many may think is not enough to save any lives is actually worthwhile if they are all combined into a big amount, enough to save lives and purchase good equipment to be distributed to community hospitals in the northeastern region in useful quantities, that will actually save many lives. I wish to thank all Thai people who supported the campaign and helped on this occasion. We actually think we will continue to keep the donation campaign open until 31st July, before closing it, and delivering the money to the hospitals."
Toon Bodyslam had earlier met with Khon Kaen Governor Somsak Jangtrakul at Khon Kaen provincial hall, where the governor thanked Toon Bodyslam for creating interest in exercise and healthcare among Khon Kaen villagers and people of the northeast. The governor then delivered a silk cloth signature to the province made in Chonnabot district of Khon Kaen.
Toon said he wants to hold similar campaigns in all regions, each for two days, adding that he doesn’t anticipate big donations, as more important than the money is the awareness of exercising by villagers, such as a daily run in the park instead of strolling around shopping malls, as a healthy lifestyle will prevent unnecessary hospital visits. The most common causes of premature death among Thai people, are mainly diseases such as diabetes and hypertension which can be prevented by exercises that help make a healthy lifestyle, which is better than just donating money to hospitals.