Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Million Hectare Challenge

Last Sunday, November 21 was a big day for us Haribon Foundation employees, volunteers and partners. It was the staging of our first-ever fun run to raise funds to restore the Philippines' rainforest, dubbed as the Million Hectare Challenge 2010. The fun-pledge walk/run was held at the Venice Piazza at the McKinley Hill in Taguig City.Many joined the event, from individual participants such as our employees, members and supporters to team participation composed of family members, group of friends and officemates to organization teams such as the contingent from the National Grid Corporation, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Army, Mead Johnson Nutrition Phils., 3M Phils., UST-Global, Malayan Insurance. School organizations were also well represented. Teachers and students from the Ateneo de Manila University, the San Beda Mountaineering Society, Miriam College, Xavier School, Brent International School joined in to support the cause.

Private companies sponsored the event to show their support for Har
ibon. GMA7, Manila Times, Business World, Aquabest, Mega Publishing Group and the RadioPartner were some of the major sponsors. Other sponsors were MegaWorld for the venue and San Miguel coffee, Rebisco crackers, Coppertone, Mizuno, Pascual Laboratories, 3M Phils., A&F Magazine, TaiChi, LiteWater, Honda Phils., Acer and for the freebies.

Private personalities also shelled out cash to help support the cause. Mr
. John Lesaca, a Haribon Board of Trustees shouldered the food supply of all Haribon staff and volunteers during the event. Miescor through Mr. Jesus P. Francisco, Haribon's Chair donated a good sum of money to cover some expenses. The Rotary Club of Midtown Diliman represented by its President Mr. Randy Tan graced the event by handing to our COO their check donation.

Danny Dematera served as the race director together with his UP
Mountaineer team who acted as race marshals. Runningmate supplied the race chips as well as the software for a more accurate running time for all runners. Volunteers from the Southern Police District was there to aide in the traffic flow of not just the runners but also the vehicles plying the McKinley Road. Two medical teams with two ambulance from the PCSO were there give first aid to participants who might need them, good thing no one needed their services. Forerunner supplied the sound system and electricity during the whole event. ColoursPhotoShoppe graciously supplied the photo booth that catered all participants and visitors of the event.

Local celebrities such as Suzie Abrera and her 3 pretty daughter
s graced the event. They too ran to show their support for the cause. DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman and family likewise supported the cause by participating in the run. Yco of Unang Hirit lead the warm up exercise and DJ Tom Alvarez hosted the event's program. The Sex Bomb dancers added fun to the program by rendering 2 sexy dance numbers.

Hector & Dinky Soliman crossing the Finish Arch

Sex Bomb Dancers

Aside from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for male and female for all the 3 categories (3K, 5K and 10K), participants were also treated with special prizes. Highest number in terms of corporate/company team was awarded to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines with a more than 200 participants. Highest number for a family team went to MaxB team of the del Castillo clan. Oldest registered participant went to a 77 year old man who took the 3K challenge - Mr. Benjamin Elgincolin while the youngest registered participant went to my dear Mita Ysabel "Maia" Ponce at 7 months old. Face of the day - male and female are yet to be awarded as well as the individual and team participants with highest amount of pledge raised.
Oldest registered participant

Start & Finish set-up

Warming up

Philippine Coast Guard in their bright orange uniform

Prof. Blas Tabaranza, Jr. Haribon's Chief Operating Officer
welcoming and thanking all those who supported the run

With the positive and encouraging comments we've been getting during and after the event, we're now looking at how to improve next year's Million Hectare Challenge. Cheers to Haribon Foundation and the Philippine Rainforest!


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