Inaugural California Star Run Raises 126,300,000VND for Charity

At 6.30am, on the morning of November 13th, a crowd of over 2,000 runners and participants of the California Star Run gathered at the Can Tho Water Park to begin their 5k. The California Star Run was created as part of CMG.Asia’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative in order to aid the Social Welfare Center, Can Tho, which is currently home to 85 children, some suffering from birth defects or the after effects of Agent Orange.

Crowds at the starting line of the California Star Run

The registration kits sold out in 5 days

The first 1,000 participants to register received a kit, valued at 2,500,000VND, containing a hat, shirt, and 2,000,000 CaliCash. The kits sold out rapidly, within 5 days, however registration was still available both online and on the day of the run at the water park.

19 days of ticket sales and fundraising saw a donation amount of 63,150,000VND

CMG.Asia matched the amount made by the public and a total of 126,300,000VND was donated to the Social Welfare Center. Ms. Thanh Thi Tran Hong, Deputy Director of Social Protection, attended the opening ceremony of the California Star Run and collected the cheque on behalf of the center.

Dean Ramos, Executive Vice President of Sales, presenting the donation cheque to Thanh Thi Tran Hong

Fitness experts helped potential runners get in shape before the big event

Miss Universe Vietnam 2016, Le Hang, and CFYC Master Trainer, Al Morgan, leading a Run Club

Prior to the official run California Fitness and Yoga Centers held several free training sessions, called “Run Clubs.” Each event was hosted by a professional coach or nutritionist and was aimed at helping those interested in participating improve their physical fitness and endurance before the race and included fun activities such as Zumba or PTX.

I hope my contribution, and this program, can help the children have a fuller life, – Milan Pham, model

Two weeks before the run, celebrity endorsers Le Hang, Lincoln Thuc Linh, Milan Pham and Pham Anh visited the Social Welfare Center in Can Tho to see firsthand who they were supporting. After spending time with the children, comedian Lincoln Thuc Linh said, “I want to be able to do more for them. I encourage all young people to participate in the upcoming California Star Run, to help as much as possible.”

21 celebrities took part in the run to help raise awareness and support the local Welfare Center

Singer, Son Ngoc Minh, before the start of the run

Other stars taking part in the run included Miss Universe Vietnam 2015, Pham Huong, Le Hang, Diem Huong, Quynh Chau and Quang Hung. All of the celebrity participants, and a trainer, lead the 2,000 strong crowd in a group warm up before the run.

Social responsibility is but one of the sustainable development strategies of CMG.Asia – Randy Dobson, Chairman of CMG.Asia

“Together with the programs that we have already successfully launched, such as The Christmas Giving Tree and sponsoring Vietnamese Olympic athletes for 1 billion VND, the California Star Run is one of the many meaningful initiatives committed to “Making Life Better” for the Vietnamese people.”

Just after the starting gun fired

The 5k run lead the participants in a single loop around the entire water park, with pit stops for water and first aid available at designated areas around the track.

The closing ceremony of the run featured a performance by Bao Thy and a Muay Thai demonstration

Bao Thy performing

Muay Thai demonstration

The winners of each race division (male, female and kids) received a one year platinum membership to California Fitness and Yoga Centers, available at 30 locations around Vietnam. The California Star run was featured in Doanh Nhan and Tuoi Tre and segments aired on BTV5, THVL2 and VTV9.

Medallists receiving their prizes