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Running to help fight HIV in Phuket

Colin Gallagher, an English Lecturer at the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism from the Prince of Songkla University (PSU), recently ran the Laguna International Marathon on June 7. He entered, having never undertaken a marathon before, but wanted to raise money for the Phuket Loves You Club (PLU) who, as well as organising the past 4 years Phuket Pride Week, raise funds to fight HIV in Phuket.

HIV PhuketColin initially entered the half marathon, with a personal target to raise B50,000, however as he started telling people and the PLUs marketing campaign gained momentum, together with assistance from its huge supporter, Class Act Media, the attention, sponsorship and pledges started rolling in, Colin decided he needed to complete the full Marathon at 42.185Km run.

He finished the run in 5 hours 41 minutes and 43 seconds, wearing a specially printed shirt with the World Aids Day ribbon on the front and ‘Fighting HIV in Phuket’ on the back.

Colin raised B151,774 for the PLU, which will be distributed to the Life Home Project Foundation, where the PLU assists with funding for the education of children from extremely poor backgrounds with HIV or with parents with HIV, and the PLU Community Projects which aim to increase awareness about HIV and safe sex in Phuket

Thanks to the generous air time that Class Act Media gave to Colin, he was interviewed prior to the race by Live 89.5FM and Phuket News TV, at 4am before the race began with Tim Newton from Class Act Media and again as Colin crossed the finishing line before he could even sit down, which brought in more donations and pledges. Colin’s first words as he finished the race was “no-one told me about all those hills”

Colin said “I am so pleased with myself for finishing the full marathon, there was a point at which I was not sure, but the support of people cheering me on as they saw the T-shirt I was wearing and knowing how much I would raise by finishing kept me going.

“I am a huge supporter in what the PLU is achieving in fighting HIV in Phuket and I am so pleased to have raised so much money for them. I cannot thank all the people individually who sponsored and pledged that money but, from the bottom of my heart – thank you.”

Ian Phillips the PLU Chairman said, “I would like to thank Colin sincerely for raising so much money for the PLU, and what a fantastic personal achievement for him also.

“It is only through the amazing support we get from the many people like Colin, and for all the people that donate money that we are able to support our chosen charities and Community Projects.

“With this money, it will mean that in just 4 years the PLU has raised over 1 Million Baht to help fight HIV in Phuket” he also added, “I am also very pleased to announce that Karex Berhad, who last year donated 50,000 free Carex condoms and lubricant packs to us, have just agreed to give us a further 100,000 Condoms and lube for this coming year”

The Chairman of the PLU Community project Team, Kenneth Miller, said, “I cannot thank Colin and all his supporters for the large amount raised, it will mean more money being available to spend on our HARP – HIV and Aids RelatedProgramme.

“Our goal this year is to expand our outreach to the Community in Paradise Soi by collaborating with another community donor to provide funding to support Sabaidee Clinic in offering free CD4 testing for people who have tested positive.

“We feel that by partnering with Patong Hospital, Sabaidee clinic, and Phuket’s Health Department, we will reach out goal of reducing the rate of HIV to zero in our local LGBT community.

“Until we reach that goal, we will continue to work towards the goal of assuring that all of our local LGBT community who are positive are able to use the Thai Health System to live a normal and healthy life.“

For information on how to get involved in the PLU and Phuket Pride as a volunteer or sponsor, please email: info@phuket-pride.com.

For up-to-date information about PLU activities and view our Pride 2015 photo gallery visit theirweb site:www.phuket-pride.org

Phuket News

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