Over a breakfast meeting at the Camp Aguinaldo Golf Course Restaurant in the early part of January 2010, Joshua Suarez, a runner-applicant who was invited to run the 2nd edition of the BDM 102k Ultra Marathon Race, explained to me that he is going to run and finish the BDM 102K Ultra Marathon Race to raise funds in behalf of the scholars of the Real LIFE Foundation. It was in this meeting that he explained to me about the programs and projects of the said foundation.
I immediately approved on the request of Joshua and he was able to finish the race. He was cheered and supported by the scholars/students on those hot, humid, dusty, and exposed kilometers of road on the last half of the course. I guess, he was able to raise a lot of funds to support the scholarship of those students who belong to the marginalized families in Pasig City and other parts of Metro Manila.
Little did I know that Joshua recruited another four (4) runners immediately after he finished the BDM 102 and asked them to train for the 3rd edition of the BDM 102 with the same purpose of raising some funds to support the scholarship of selected students under the administration of the Real LIFE Foundatioon.
Paul Pajo, Ferdie Cabiling, Junn Besana, and Alden Meneses diligently atttended the Ultra Marathon Clinics/Lectures and participated in some of the PAU Races held last year as part of their preparation for the 2011 BDM 102K Ultra Marathon Race. Joshua Suarez became their point man and leader of what they dubbed as the “Bataan LIFE March 2011”, a charity project to raise funds for the scholars of the Real LIFE Foundation by running and finishing the BDM 102.
These five runners were able to finish the race and were able to raise funds amounting to P 500,000+ from pledges and contributions from donors, here and abroad. I am sure this money will go to the projects and programs of the Foundation with the main aim to provide hope and better future for less-fortunate and poor children for them to attain education and develop good values in the process.
These 5 runners became instant “heroes” to the scholars of the Real LIFE Foundation. And in a fitting ceremony, each of them received medal and plaque of appreciation from the Board of Trustees of the Foundation as represented by the Executive Director, Lynn Nawata.
I was also awarded with a plaque of appreciation and a gift for being the Founder and Race Director of the BDM 102K Ultra Marathon Race. My heartfelt thanks to the Board of Trustees for having me invited to such memorable event and for the award accorded to me.
I will always remember this program/ceremony. The testimonials of the graduates of the foundation’s scholarship program made me cry! It later sink in to my mind that I created an event, the BDM 102K, as a platform and instrument for people to be able to help the poor.
It is a motivation that will keep me doing my best to sustain the yearly conduct of the BDM 102!
If you want to be a part or donor to this foundation, please visit www.igivetolife.com.