Thursday, July 09, 2020

Toon runs again – this time for Isaan hospitals

Jun 15. 2019
Photo credit: Kao Kon La Kao Foundation
Photo credit: Kao Kon La Kao Foundation
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By The Nation

Artiwara “Toon” Kongmalai kicked off a series of charity runs in northeastern Nong Khai province on Saturday to raise funds for small hospitals to buy much-needed equipment.

Artiwara led his friends from the entertainment business to begin the run in Nong Khai’s Muang district at 5am under the title of “Kao Kon La Kao – Kao Tor Pai Duay Palang Lek Lek – Isaan (One Step Each by Each Person – Move On With Small Force – Northeast).

The latest run began at the Thai-Lao Friedship bridge with Nong Khai governor Ronchai Jitwiset chairing the opening ceremony and Artiwara speaking about the goal of the run.

Artiwara led the first lap of the run for 10 kilometres before handing over the task to another actor.

During the first hour of the run, donations worth of Bt15 million poured in, the Kao Kon La Kao Foundation announced on its Facebook page.

The first run of the Isaan charity run series organised by the Kao Kon La Kao Foundation will cover a distance of 175 kilometres from Nong Khai to Khon Kaen with the goal to raise funds for eight hospitals.

The eight hospitals to receive the share from the proceeds will be Khon Kaen 2 Hospital, Pala Hopital in Khon Kaen, Kumphawapi Hospital in Udon Thani, Nong Han Hospital in Udon Thani, Sa Khrai Hospital in Nong Khai, Sang Khom Hospital in Nong Khai, Na Wang Chalerm Phrakiart Hospital in Nong Bua Lamphu, and Bueng Kan Hospital in Beung Kan.

Artiwara became a national hero following the huge success of his epic 2017 charity run “Kao”, which took him and other participants all the way from Thailand’s southernmost to northernmost points.

By the conclusion of that drama-filled effort, Kao had not only raised more than Bt1 billion for hospitals in need, but also catapulted Artiwara to the status of national hero. That run has even become the subject of a Netflix documentary film.

Artiwara’s Kao project raised more than Bt1.6 billion in total for hospitals between 2016 and 2018. On May 8 this year, the project officially evolved into the Kao Kon La Kao Foundation.

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