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Sep 14, 2008
5th MYP Award Ceremony (13th Sept)

Hi folks,

The 5th Maximize Your Potential Award Ceremony was held @ Geylang Methodist Primary School on 13th Sept, 10am.
Click here to see all the event pics:

It was attended by the award recipients, their parents and sponsors & friends of the Run For Funds movement.
The event was graced by GMPS's principal Miss Mabel Wee.
Recipients Jacky Thng and Lim Su Ru kicked off proceedings bidding everyone welcome and introducing the MYP programme.

MYP attendees                                       Jacky and Su Ru, our little MCs

GMPS then gave an update on the progress of the MYP students.
In the past 5 years, the MYP and pocket money fund @ GMPS have supported more than 50 students.
The current batch of primary 6 batch have done well in their academic results, achieving average scores >75%.

This year, we celebrate the influx of new talent into the MYP programme.
There are 8 new MYP award recipients from primary 3 and 4.
If they continue to excel in both academic studies and CCA, coupled with good behaviour, MYP will continue to sponsor them through their primary school education.

Below are the pics of awards (@ $200 posb voucher, $50 book voucher, $100 training grants) handed out by Miss Wee:

Benjamin (P6)                                          Su Ru ((P6)

Xiang Wei (P6)                                          Jacky (P6)

Zhiguang (P5)                                            Angie (P5)

Quan Fang (P4)                                         Joyce (P4)

Kelvin (P4)                                               Kok Kwang (P4)

Jee Hui (P4)                                            Hui Ci (P4)

Jun Hsian (P3)                                         Yi En (P3)

I congratulated the students on a job well done and encouraged them to keep up the good work.
I shared with them why doing well in school is like running a marathon:  One needs to train hard, be well prepared and NEVER GIVE UP.

I also thanked their parents for working hard and continuing to create the best possible environment to nurture their children's talent, despite challenging financial circumstances.
I related the story of how Chinese philosopher Mencius' mother moved house 3 times to ensure Mencius had the best environment for studies.
I urged the children to thank their parents for their labour of love and honour their parents (as per the 5th commandment that was given to Moses @ Mount Sinai).

Miss Wee presented the friends of RFF with a memento, in appreciation of our contributions.

The "old" batch of MYP winners also presented RFF friends a card, expressing their thanks.

Below is a group pic of the award winners, their parents and teachers.
I'd like to draw special mention to 2 special people, without whom, MYP and pocket money fund @ GMPS would not have been possible.
  -  Jessie Soh (front row, extreme right)
  -  Theresa Thong (extreme left).

I thank them for their dedication and love for the kids.

Parting words, (which I shared with RFF friends @ MYP ceremony):

RFF is a private movement and will continue to stay this way.
We will not raise funds from the general public but from friends and family.
It is my wish that more Singaporeans will start their own charity movements to help the needy at times when they need it most (ie. when our government system of support cannot assist).
To do so, there are 2 criteria:

1.  It starts within: Be the change that you want to see in the world.  There needs to be a compelling desire to evoke a change.

2.  It extends outwards:  Making a difference in the lives that you touch. Find a cause that you can identify with and let your desire and passion to help those in need flow through.

Start small.  You can't save the world.
How the plans will be executed will come naturally when the above criteria are met.
You will find like minded people (like Mabel, Jessie and Theresa @ GMPS), who will help you further your cause.

Well, that's all folks. 
To friends who attended the ceremony, thank for making time.
For those who couldn't make it, there's always next year :-)


Posted at 08:37 pm by meepoktah
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Sep 12, 2008
Update: MYP Award Ceremony (13th Sept, 10am @ GMPS)

Hi folks,


GMPS has informed me of a change in venue.

The MYP ceremony will be held at the AVA room (level 4) instead of the conference room, level 3.

GMPS will be putting up signs to guide you.

And you can always call me if you get lost.


This year, there will be 15 recipients of the MYP award.


For those who have responded +vely, thanks.

See you this Sat.

For those who have not, come lah..........  :-)


Have a good weekend.


Posted at 10:01 am by meepoktah
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Sep 2, 2008
Run For Funds Maximize Your Potential Award Ceremony (13th Sept, Sat, 10 am @ GMPS)

Hi folks,
The annual Maximize Your Potential (MYP) award ceremony is here again.
Date: 13th September (Saturday)
Time: 10 am
Venue: Geylang Methodist Primary School (3rd level conference room).
Address: 4 Geylang East Central.  S(389706)
Come meet the GMPS kids, some of whom you've sponsored for the past 5 years.
Learn about their academic progress in school and how they've excelled in activities outside their schoolwork.
Also use the opportunity to interact with their parents.
I'm sure they'd appreciate a pat on their backs for bringing their kids up well, despite their financial challenges.
As there'll be friends visiting the MYP award for the first time, I will be giving a short briefing on Run For Funds (RFF), its goals (what we're doing @ D'joy children's centre and Sembawang Pri School) and the state of finance.
If you have friends who are keen to start something on their own to help the underprivileged in S'pore, invite them to this event.
If friends of RFF can do it, anyone can J
As GMPS will be catering light snacks for the event, I'd appreciate if you could RSVP by 6th Sept (Sat).
You can also sms me
Thanks all and have a blessed week at work.

Posted at 08:48 am by meepoktah
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Jun 30, 2008
Run For Funds Update (June 2008)

Dear folks,


The final cheque for RFF 2007 arrived in June from an Australian friend.

Accounts are officially closed.

Through your generous contributions, a total of $13,390 was raised for D’Joy Children’s Centre.

Thank you for your generosity.


Below are the latest updates.


1.  Closing of RFF EDB Chapter Account

Since our last update, I received the official receipt from Geylang Methodist Primary School (GMPS) confirming the receipt of $16,228.82 from the EDB Chapter of RFF.

(Note: $16,160.59 was raised.  The incremental account was interest earned).

This money will be used for the continued support of the Maximise Your Potential Programme and Pocket Money Fund @ GMPS.

This also means that accounts for EDB Chapter of RFF is closed as all monies raised by EDB has been channeled to charitable purposes.

I’d like to thank Julian Ho for being an excellent custodian of the EDB Chapter funds and I wish the EDB-ians all the best in their charitable work.

I’m glad RFF was able to ignite the EDB-ian’s passion to contribute back to society.



2.  Financial Status at 29th June 2008

As per the Oct 07 update, available RFF funds (excluding EDB Chapter funds) were $36,942.52

As the monies were kept in a current account, I’ve applied a 1.0% interest per year (2 years) for unutilized funds and rounded up the figures to $37,700.

You’d also recall that funds for D’Joy will be used exclusively for D’Joy.


Carry over RFF funds from 2007 (non D’Joy): $37,700 …….(1)

D’joy Funds: $13,390 ……. (2)


(1) and (2) will be managed separately.



3.  Updates @ D’Joy


The first phase RFF assistance @ D’joy has been targeted at (1) creating better teaching tools (2) setting up an emergency medical fund.

To date, RFF has purchased, amongst other things, a Compaq notebook, Epson LCD projector, Mipro portable PA system, teaching aids and helped pay for an eye checkup for a child from D’Joy.

Total expense: $3,875.90.


You’d recall that D’joy, while extremely well kept and tidy, is in need of a fresh lick of paint and facility improvement.

The remainder of the RFF funds (for D’Joy) $9514.10 could be depleted to fund centre renovation works.

Djoy has applied for state subsidies for these works.

For approved projects by government (MCYS), Djoy is still expected to fork out a percentage of the cost.

RFF will aim to cover this cost.


D’Joy has appointed a new centre director, Charis Ng.

I’ll be working with her re the management of the funds.

Donna Tsang, her predecessor, has been posted Bethany Methodist Nursing Home.

I thank Donna for the help and dedication @ D’Joy.


4.  RFF goes to Sembawang Primary School (SPS)


After several meetings with the school welfare staff and principal, I’ve assessed them to have the passion and compassion to help needy students.

As such, RFF will be providing financial assistance to SPS in the following areas.


a.  Day care for needy kids


SPS welfare co-ordinator (Jen) shared with me 7 cases  (1 pending assessment) that the school is sponsoring, post MCYS grants.

I trust the school’s judgment in sponsoring these cases and I recognize that this will be a huge strain on the school’s finances.

RFF is prepared provide 50% subsidy (up to max of $6,000) to cover 12 months (July 08 to June 09) of day care service for these kids.

Why have I not committed to a longer term?

I believe the kids are placed there due to extenuating circumstances and there is a lack of short term solutions to alleviate their problems.

12 months should be ample time for the families to sort out their difficulties.

It should also buy them time to seek other governmental assistance (if any).

It should also give SPS time to seek other sponsorships to meet this need post June 09.



b.  Maximise Your Potential (MYP) programme


This has been implemented successfully at Geylang Methodist Primary School (GMPS) for the past 5 years and will be extended to SPS.

For SPS, Jen and I agreed to pick students from P3 and 4 from the top classes (5 from each standard)

Funds will be set aside to see this batch of kids through primary school.

Ie. For one pri 3 kid, $350 x 4 years ($1,400) will be set aside.

If I assume the max funding based on 10 kids all Pri 3 (assuming no P4 kid is identified), the total funding will be $14,000.

If there are less than 10 kids identified, it’s fine.


We will also have a yearly award ceremony where the principal, teachers and sponsors get to meet their kids and their families.



c.  Drop in centre for kids at risk


A drop in centre @ SPS will be set up to house kids at risk after school hours.

Jen showed me the breakdown of costs for setting up the centre.

RFF will sponsor fixtures ie the table and chairs + shelves ($1,500).

I’ll also source for a table soccer and paying using RFF funds.



d.  Medical bill fund + pocket money fund


Details need to be provided and assessed based on the need of the school.

So akan dating here.


If you have further queries or ideas to better aid needy kids, please give me a call.


God bless you all.



Posted at 08:48 am by meepoktah
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Feb 3, 2008
Run For Funds Update (Feb 2008)

Dear friends,
It's been a busy month of January for me.
Other than work, I've been called away for 2 weeks of holidays at SAF's Choa Chu Kang resort.
Was also given the opportunity to enjoy SAF's Lim Chu Kang's nature reserve, sleeping under the stars.
Am now back to civilisation.
I've been in contact with Donna (Director @ D'Joy) to discuss how the funds ($10k++) will be best used.
Part of it will go to upgrading of teaching aids / equipment.
Part will go to enrichment programmes and offering financial support to students who can't afford the fees.
The remainder may go to facilities repair.
Will keep all of you posted on how the funds will be deployed.
I aim to close the contribution collection for D'Joy by end Feb 08 and start using the dedicated funds in March 08.
Will also send you all a note to confirm the total unds collected in end Feb.
Thanks all.

Posted at 09:18 am by meepoktah
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Dec 9, 2007
Marathon report: My 5th (and last?) marathon

To me, there are 3 categories of runners.

There are those who are born to run like the wind……
Example: Singapore Marathon 2007 winner, Kenyan Elijah Mbogo in a time of 2h 14 min.


Then, there are those can run really fast but never bothered to try .....

Example: Run For Funds supporter Dr Beh Swan Gin.


He completed his first marathon in a staggering 4h 5 min.

This places him in the top 8% of the runners for the marathon.

Swan Gin – I salute you. Kowtow, kowtow.


Finally, there are those who simply cannot run but insist on doing so……


My finishing time: 5h 52min.

I finished @ the 63rd percentile, ahead of turtles, men running backwards wearing flippers etc.

This is the slowest time I've clocked in the past 5 years.

Many of you sms-ed me to check how I did and more importantly, did my 5th battle to the finish line with the ah pek materialize.


Re ah pek, I did not see him.

I'm pretty sure the ah pek was already on his way home when I crossed the finish line.


For many reasons, compared to previous years, I was happiest and most relieved when I crossed the finish line this year.
Here are some of them.



1.  Finished under target time of 6 hours.


My promotion to papa-dom on 9th Nov posed a huge constraint on my training schedule in the final 6 weeks before the marathon.

The lack of sleep also took a toll on my physical well-being.             

I was Mr Grouchy (still am), really !


2.  Comeback from injuries


Back, shoulder, thigh and calf strains were common since June 07 despite me taking adequate precautions.

The most serious one happened in end Oct, after my US trip.

Tendonitis of the left knee due to overexertion using the gym Nordic ski machine.

The ski-action was not something I was used to and it caused a severe strain.

My left knee swelled and I couldn't walk properly for several days after consulting a sports injury specialist.

Thank God, I was able to recover in 9 days to resume light training again, by which time was set back a few weeks.


3.  Running blind - My heart rate monitor strap broke


Since 2002, I've used the heart rate monitor for my training runs.

This is to ensure that I do not over-exert myself during training and the actual marathon - I kia-see (scare to die) lah.

During this year's run, my heart rate monitor chest strap gave me a lot of problems.

It started slipping off at 3 km intervals in the first 21km.

I easily wasted 10 min stopping to readjust.

At the 22km mark, the strap finally snapped.

So from that point, I was running "blind".

I wasn't sure if I was running optimally based on my heart rate.

But to prevent damage to my heart (yes, I do have one), I decided to use the Roxette's rule ie. "Listen to your heart".

Each time, if I listened carefully, when my heart was saying: "Why the heck are you torturing me?", I slowed down or walked.

Hence when I finished, I wasn't tired at all.



4.  The weather was scorching !!


The sun was blazing down on the slow runners like me from 8 am (2.5 hrs from the starting time).
Many less experienced runners collapsed along the way due to heat exhaustion.

Coupled with my "running blind" problem which slowed me down significantly, I had lapsed into "slow grill" mode.

I'm pretty sure people who overtook me smelled me frying in my own lard.

I also checked to ensure that people behind me didn't slip on my "oil leak".

At the 26km mark (around 8.30 am), I called home.

My wife was still sleeping in the aircon comfort of our room.

That broke my will and for the first time, I considered giving up.

Again, with the grace of God, I overcame that severe test and continued plodding along, running from shade to shade, drink station to drink station.
When I crossed the finish line, my face was sunburnt.



5.  I have 1.5 nipples left


You see, abrasions are BAD news to runners.

Male runners suffer from nipple abrasions from shirts and groin abrasions from shorts.

I use "nip guards" to prevent nipple abrasions.
There is REALLY such a product. 

See website:

This year, due to papa duties, I didn't have time to buy them.

So I nicked several pairs of nipple concealers (NC) from my cousin who uses them when she wears bare back dresses.

Clearly, that was a bad idea ….. remember I wasn't getting enough sleep and hence clarity of thought was an issue?

The NCs don't stick well after mixing with sweat.

After 10km, I experienced excruciating pain in my nipples and saw, to my horror, to 2 streaks of blood on my running tee.

Luckily, I wore a red running tee so the streaks weren't obvious.

But I tell you, they hurt with every step.

At the 23km mark, I stopped at a public toilet for 10 minutes to use some micropore tape (for taping my feet) to tape my chest / nipples.

That held out for another 10 km but the pain came back again.


So when I crossed the finish line, I reckon I had worn off a quarter of a nipple each side.

Lucky for me, I heard nipples regenerate J


Funds Raised So Far


Having experienced the abovementioned, the real reason that kept me going was I was running to raise funds.


I'd like to thank my generous sponsors.

As I type, contributions have exceeded $9,000.

I'll be closing the books in end Dec and will be in touch re payment.


Stay tuned as I share how the monies will be used to help D'Joy Children's Centre.





Posted at 11:08 pm by meepoktah
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Nov 23, 2007
Run For Funds 2007: Running my last marathon for D'Joy Children's Centre


Yep, folks, I've decided to join the obese couch potato club.

But seriously, this year's 42km run could be my 5th and my last.

2 major reasons:


1. The arrival of my baby daughter in Nov 07.  Those of you who are parents can empathise with me. It's really hard to dig into my energy reserves to train in the midst of round the clock feeds for the baby.


2. I'm using more ko-yok (medicated patches) than an 80 year old ah pek.  I cannot but admit that age has finally caught up.  My temple, I mean  … body, is approaching ruins (like Angkor Wat).  I've become rather injury prone and it takes me longer to recover from muscle aches after training runs.


Coupled with my promotion to Papa-dom and demotion to Ah Pek-dom, the demand of my training time for the marathon becomes too much.

=>  I typically have to spend an average of four 2hr sessions each week training for the run, 6 months a year.


Ok, enough of my sob story …. Who knows, with blue (ahem!) pills and exotic animals parts (yep, the unmentionables), I may be able to run the full 42km in 2008 J

Now, on to RFF 2007.


This year, unlike other years, my Superfriends and I will be running to raise funds solely for the non-profit D'Joy Children's Centre @ Blk 1, Maude Road near Mustafa Centre, near Jalan Besar Stadium.

Why D'Joy?

  • D'joy runs day care services for up to 120 children from ages 2 to 14 from the Jalan Besar neighbourhood.


  • They cater to children from low income, single-parent or dysfunctional families.  A number of them are referred by the MCYS (Govt agency that oversees social welfare amongst other things), social service agencies and schools with problems ranging from social behaviour, learning difficulties to physical and emotional abuses.


  • D'joy receives no operational funding from the Government.  Finances are raised through the nominal fees charged for daycare services, donations from well wishers and charitable organizations.  The centre faces many challenges managing a shoestring budget and to make ends meet.


  • The facilities are basic, clean and extremely tidy.  But, to me, the centre is rather run down and could use a fresh lick of paint and some upgrades.  However, budgetary constraints limit the maintenance work that can be done.  Recently, I found a good Samaritan in my friend Jerry O' Sullivan, who mobilized other good Samaritans to repair leaking toilets, rewire the lights and other repair jobs for free.


  • If D'joy doesn't stay afloat financially, the good work that is done there ceases.  The children lose a safe haven and will be left to their own devices and may be exposed to undesirable influences outside school.


Click here to see D'Joy's write up by Donna Tsang, Centre Director.


This year I look forward to your generous contributions to help D'Joy.

I am cognizant of the fact that the funds raised may not keep it afloat long term if the finances continue to be dire.

However, every single day we keep underprivileged kids off the streets is a cause, I feel, worth giving to.


Posted at 11:18 pm by meepoktah
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Nov 22, 2007
Pics of D'Joy Children's Centre

1.  Entrance to D'Joy on level 3 @ Blk 1, Maude Road

2.  Main hall.  Like I shared, the place is extremely clean and tidy, credit to the staff of D'Joy.

3.  Door to classroom.  If you look carefully, the place needs a fresh lick of paint.  The door frame needs some repair too (and the kid needs to get out of my way ....hahah !!)

4.  Classroom facilities are extremely basic.

5.  Main activity (dining) hall.  From what I understand, most of the furniture has not been changed since Feb 2001 when the centre opened.

6.  Mini library section.  I feel new books and kid's magazines will be a welcome addition.

I wish I could take more pics that tell a better and more compelling story of the important role that D'Joy plays to these kids in the neighbourhood despite having basic facilities.

But alas, I'm still struggling with the use of my idiot-proof camera :-)

I'd encourage you to visit D'Joy to check it out and explore how you can render assistance.

Posted at 09:06 pm by meepoktah
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Oct 26, 2007
RFF 2007 accounts

A quick recap.

Earlier this year, I visited Geylang East Home for the Aged to sponsor more medical beds and explore possibilities of upgrading the wards.  (You'd recall that we sponsored medical beds for one ward)
I'm pleased to inform you that other generous folks have followed RFF's example and upgraded all the beds in the home.
This is what RFF hopes to achieve …. A multiplier effect.

Hence there were no RFF expense this year for this old folks home.


From the existing funds (Click here for 2006 financial closing report), we'll be channeling money raised by the EDB chapter to fund Geylang Methodist Primary School's Maximise Your Potential (MYP) programme, Pocket Money Fund and enrichment programmes.


Hence a cheque of $16,160.59 + interest earned** will be written to GMPS in December 2007 to fund the programmes for at least another 2 years.


So as it stands, the remaining $36,942.52 + interest earned** will be used to fund other RFF programmes in 2008.

This will include a new MYP programme + pocket money fund @ Sembawang Primary School.


All funds raised during RFF Dec 2007 stanchart marathon will be directed to D'Joy Child Care Centre.


(** interest earned will be calculated based on bank statements at time of withdrawal).


Posted at 05:41 pm by meepoktah
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Sep 8, 2007
Maximise Your Potential Award Ceremony (Sept 07)

The combined Maximise Your Potential (MYP) ceremony for Geylang Methodist Primary School (GMPS) and Secondary school (GMSS) students was held on 8th September 2007.

This year, we celebrate the event with the presentation of the MYP awards to 10 GMPS students and 6 GMSS students.

The conference room burst at its seams as parents, students, RFF sponsors streamed in.

You'd notice that this year, unlike past years, there are not individual photos of the recipients.
The reason: My resident photographer couldn't come due to work commitments.

So with the help of a stand-in photo-man (you know who you are, haha!) and a lot of photoshop magic, I present you with pics below of 2 teachers who are instrumental in the structuring and execution of the MYP programme since its inception in 2004.

Jessie Soh with GMPS student Jackie Thng

Theresa Thong with GMPS student Karin Low.

I'd also like to thank Ms Hazel Kaan for administering the MYP award for GMSS since 2006.

MYP will continue to receive top priority for RFF sponsorships as it impacts young lives where it matters most and makes a real difference to charting the future paths they take.

Posted at 09:45 pm by meepoktah
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