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Thai rock star Artiwara “Toon” Kongmalai, the lead of singer of Bodyslam, has announced plans to embark on the longest run of his life — a 2,191 kilometer journey from Thailand’s southernmost to northernmost points, with the goal of raising THB700 million (US$21 million) for 11 public hospitals.
Artiwara, commonly referred to as “Toon Bodyslam,” said in a video presentation posted yesterday that he’s asking for pledges of just THB10 (about US$3) from each person willing to sponsor his run from Betong District in Yala province to Mae Sai District in Chiang Rai.
Artiwara is scheduled to start his journey on Nov. 1 and expects to finish on Christmas Day.
“I think I still have energy. My legs and my heart are still strong. This may be my last run, so I think I’ll embark on the longest run of my life — I want to be the first Thai who runs from the southernmost to the northernmost point of Thailand,” he said in the video presentation.
As that quote suggests, this isn’t first time Toon Bodyslam has run for charity. In December, the rock star raised THB85 million (US$2.55 million) for a 40 kilometer run from Bangkok to Bang Saphan Hospital in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. The money went towards the overcrowded hospital, which needed to double its capacity.
He was supervised by a team of doctors and greeted by fans along the journey. Many people also ran along him as he approached the finish line.
In this latest campaign, dubbed “One Move Forward,” donations will go towards 11 regional hospitals across Thailand.
“As much as we want to help everyone, we’re unable to do that for every hospital in the 77 provinces across Thailand. What we can do and what we believe would be best is to raise funds for central hospitals [of all regions],” Toon Bodyslam said in the video.
“The huge fund from the last campaign was one thing, but it also built up the courage of the hospital staff, the doctors who left their home in Bangkok to work where there is medical insufficiency, and the nurses who have to take care of [an overwhelming] number of patients.”
It hasn’t been revealed which province the rock star will pass, but the hospitals have started to accept donations. Those with a Thai cellular phone of AIS, DTAC, and Truemove H providers can text T and to 4545099 to donate THB10.
If you want to donate big bucks, you can make a transfer to the account of Phramongkutklao Hospital Foundation. The account number is 111-393-5263 (Siam Commercial Bank).
The donation is going towards these hospitals: