A bit of festive silliness for a seriously good cause
Kate Burke, our Charities Co-ordinator, met with Corinne Fong, of Make a Wish Foundation Singapore, to learn more about their annual Santa Run for Wishes, which raises money for seriously ill children in Singapore.
3000 Santas Running for a Claus
In November last year, over 3000 people dressed up as Santa Claus or other suitably seasonable characters and joined in a fun run around Gardens by the Bay. It made for quite a spectacle, but it also raised money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation Singapore, a charity that provides ‘wishes’ to children in Singapore diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions.
What is the Santa Run for Wishes all about?
It is a festive and fun event for a good cause. As the name suggests, each participant is given a Santa t-shirt and join in a non-competitive fun run at Gardens by the Bay. There are 2km and 5km routes to choose from. There is also a best-dressed competition on the day for those who want to get more creative with their outfits. As well as the run, the event includes a festive carnival with arcade games, food and snacks. In the afternoon, before the race begins, the foundation throws a big Christmas party for those children who have been granted wishes and their families.
How does all this silliness help sick kids?
The Santa Run for Wishes is, at its heart, a fun, life affirming experience. Which is appropriate because that is exactly what the Make-a-Wish Foundation aims to provide to the sick kids it supports, many of whom have chronic illness but are not necessarily terminally ill. Since 2003, they have worked with children aged 3-18 years old with life threatening conditions to design a memorable and fun experience just for them.
Corinne explains “This is not about granting a dying wish, this is about giving sick kids something to hope for when illness and medical treatments have taken over their lives, showing them that the impossible can be made possible.” The hope is that the experience gives these ‘wish kids’ the resilience and positive state of mind to help them better manage their condition.
Last year, the foundation arranged for an aspiring rock star to have guitar lessons and meet members of Metallica. Other granted wishes have included visits to Disneyland Hong Kong and flights in a vintage bi-plane. To date, 1190 children in Singapore have had wishes granted by the foundation.
Where can I find out more?
Santa Run for Wishes 2016
November 26, 2016
Gardens by the Bay East
Tickets are $38 for children and $48 for adults
Registration closes 11 November 2016