Third Year Life Sciences student, Diana Goh Chern, suffers from a congenital birth defect in her heart and is not permitted to engage in any vigorous activities. However, as a former recipient of financial aid, Diana felt strongly that, in addition to taking part in RunNUS 2010, she should do her own fundraising for student bursaries.
Diana says: “I used to have financial problems and had to apply for bursaries so I have a soft spot for students in the same situation. Given my heart problem, I have never had the opportunity to do anything like this. I decided to push myself to the limit and try to do this race. I thought: Why not?”
Diana took part in the RunNUS 5km fun run. Two concerned friends chose to accompany her to make sure she did not push herself too far. “I ran half the race and walked the rest. I am very happy with what I did. I had not taken part in any races since my diagnosis 10 years ago,” explains Diana.
In addition to entering the race, Diana also set up her own fundraising page and collected over S$300. This money, along with her race entry fee, will go towards the NUS Annual Giving campaign which raises funds for student bursaries. She says: “I have always been interested in volunteering and help out at organisations such as MINDS and Club Rainbow. I would advise others to do the same. If my health permits, I will definitely take part in RunNUS again next year. I really want to go for it.”
Student wins prize for best Annual Giving fundraiser through RunNUS 201
Natasha Lai, a Final Year Real Estate student, does not like running long distances, much less competitively. Yet, having once been turned down for a bursary due to an overwhelming number of applicants, she decided to enter RunNUS 2010, an annual race organised by National University of Singapore (NUS) students, and raise funds for student bursaries through the NUS Annual Giving campaign.
“This being my Final Year, I wanted to challenge myself. When I did not qualify for a bursary, I realised that there are so many other people who are in a worse financial situation than me. I really wanted to help as I could understand their need,” explains Natasha.
In addition to her RunNUS 2010 registration fee which went directly to Annual Giving, Natasha set up a fundraising site, posted links on her friends’ Facebook pages and blogged about her upcoming race. She succeeded in raising S$850 in pledges. All that was left was for her to complete the 10km race.
She says: “On the morning of the race, I was afraid I would drop out. But, because people had made pledges, that motivated me to keep running and to complete the race. I managed to finish the race nine minutes short of my target time of one hour and 30 minutes.”
Completing the race was not Natasha’s only reason for celebrating: she also won a Macbook Pro for being the individual who raised the most funds.
Will Natasha run next year to try to beat her current record? “For me, RunNUS is a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. I do not plan to do it again. I did not do it for myself but for a purpose. And, there are many other ways to help Annual Giving,” she admits.
RunNUS 2010 participants raised over S$29,000 for Annual Giving. So far this year, Annual Giving has raised S$285,733 from 3,405 donors. Six months still remain for this year’s campaign and Annual Giving is on track to meet, if not surpass, last year’s total of 6,128 donors.