Interviews · Singapore

SIA Charity Run Ambassadors Invite You to Fly With Them!

by On Aug 16, 2017

What inspires Singaporeans more than their award-winning airline? Ordinary runners who serve as charity run ambassadors. Put on your seat belt and fly with us as you meet three of the best.

SIA Charity Run Ambassadors Invite You to Fly With Them!

When Singapore Airlines launched its brand 70 years ago, neither the Singapore Airlines Charity Run (SIA) nor the three ambassadors to whom we intend to introduce to you existed. Fast forward seven decades and not only has this thriving airline become one the world's best, but the SIA Charity Run has blossomed, too.

We are honoured to introduce three brand ambassadors while urging you to join them at this event on 8th October at The Float at Marina Bay. You'll wear the race singlet with pride and if you're lucky, you could run into Jenny Huang, Desmond Ang and Yvonne Chee, three unforgettable ambassadors profiled here.

About the SIA Charity Run

When choosing charitable runs for your 2017 calendar, make sure the SIA Charity Run 2017 is down in ink. You'll help support Singapore's Community Chest. Grab a chance to improve on your personal best by running either the 10KM Challenge or you can show up with workmates to take the Corporate Challenge.

There's a 5km Fun Run for those still earning their running wings and a premier 3km Wheelathon where competitors in wheelchairs intend to show that disabilities don't stop athletes from achieving personal bests. Fun-filled activities associated with the SIA Charity Run pay tribute to the 70th anniversary of this carrier, but it's the three ambassadors we're profiling here who intend to get the party started!

SIA Charity Run Ambassadors Invite You to Fly With Them!

Ambassador #1: Jenny Huang

Physiotherapist Jenny Huang knows a thing or two about the human body, discovering the runner that lurked in her soul years ago when she stole hours of "me time" while her kids were in preschool. Jenny was hooked. "I fell in love with the strength that came from my legs and the mental toughness that pushed me to run harder with each year that passed," said the 43-year-old.

While Jenny is thrilled to serve as an SIA Charity Run ambassador, she's most passionate about raising money for the Cancer Society after losing her dad to the disease. But in addition to the effort she will make at the SIA Charity Run 2017 on behalf of the Community Chest on 8th October, she stands ready to support any charity raising funds for orphans and the elderly.

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Jenny is a living example of someone who is mired in obligations yet she never says no to an appeal for help. "Giving back to the community makes me feel PART of the community; part of something meaningful," she says.

SIA Charity Run Ambassadors Invite You to Fly With Them!

When others insist that they have no time to emulate her, she suggests making a donation if they can't volunteer. This woman was raised right! Her 68-year-old-mum (she's going on 21, says Jenny) is her best friend and a role model she's proud of, so whether she's raising funds or running, Mum's her #1 fan.

"Giving back to the community makes me feel PART of the community; part of something meaningful," — Jenny Huang

Jenny has a soft spot in her heart for Singapore Airlines because she's a frequent flyer and wouldn't think of booking a different carrier. She goes to Houston every year. The 23+ hour flight is long but since the airline added Wi-Fi this year for a modest fee, "I spent the flight on social media and chatting up friends." As you can tell, this ambassador is a shining example of selflessness and compassion.

Ambassador #2: Desmond Ang

Desmond Ang deals with all sorts of personnel matters as a Human Resources executive. When the stress associated with weighty responsibilities starts to weigh him down, his therapy is going out for a run. A really long run. Desmond began running at age 17, so he has a decade of running under his belt. What's the secret of his success? “Doing my best and taking everything in my stride,” he says.

Does Desmond fly Singapore Air? "I'm like an unpaid spokesperson," he laughs. "SIA is traditionally known as a top-notch airline with excellent service, but I'm most impressed with crews who have gone the extra mile for me every time I fly."

SIA Charity Run Ambassadors Invite You to Fly With Them!

"Everyday people who fight battles the rest of the world knows nothing about. I get sad when I think of how many times people do incredible things yet never get credit or recognition." — Desmond Ang

On the ground, this SIA Charity Run 2017 ambassador, who loves movies, reading and ice cream, admits to trying "other sports like yoga, static workouts, ball games—or buffet-eating!" As you can tell, he has a great sense of humour, but when asked about his commitment to charitable giving, that's no laughing matter in his opinion. "I take to heart any charitable cause involving children and sports. I volunteer, donate and encourage children to become physically fit because it's so much fun."

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"My advice to those who ask how they can help promote charities they care about is simple: Find a cause you can relate to. If you can't find one that feels right, explore a few and the right one will make itself known. I am always asking friends and relatives what they've done lately to help people who aren't as fortunate as they are."

Who inspires Desmond most? "Everyday people who fight battles the rest of the world knows nothing about. I get sad when I think of how many times people do incredible things yet never get credit or recognition." We hear you Desmond and look forward to seeing you in your ambassadorial role at the SIA Charity Run 2017 in October!

Ambassador #3: Yvonne Elizabeth Chee

No newbie to marathon running, Yvonne got her athletic start in school, spending 11 years switching from gymnastics and netball to cross-country running and bowling. The 37-year-old civil servant was “keen to challenge myself” in 2007 when she ran her first marathon. Hooked, she has participated in 17 of them since, including the New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon where she was thrilled to carry Singapore’s flag.

To pay tribute to her beloved Ah Ma, “a strong lady who raised me with love and discipline” who died at age 87, Yvonne undertook 7 marathons on 7 continents by November 2013. “Without my late grandma, I would not be who I am today,” she says.

SIA Charity Run Ambassadors Invite You to Fly With Them!

"Through my fundraising experience, I learnt that in doing good for others, we do good for ourselves and learn to cherish what we have. So take that first step, be it by donating money (which is made easy now by online portals) or by giving some time through volunteering." — Yvonne Elizabeth Chee

“We have a lot to learn from our elders,” says Yvonne, who’s proud of raising $30,000 for the Tsao Foundation to promote causes that enhance the lives of seniors. Her favourite quote? Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice: "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

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Yvonne's most unforgettable Singapore Airlines flight is so recent, how could she forget flying back to Singapore from London with her 2-year-old in June? “Having heard horror stories about parents traveling with small children, I feared for the worst.”

Yvonne says that her Singapore Airlines experience was positively blissful thanks to excellent, attentive service. We have a hunch that the spirit of Ah Ma may also have contributed to her easy, breezy flight home!

Will you join Jenny, Desmond and Yvonne?

Registration for the SIA Charity Run is on! Sign up today, pick your category, collect your entitlements, run your race and collect your finisher's medal. Make it a point to look for Jenny and Desmond on the big day so you can shake the hands of these community leaders.

When you get home, tell everyone that not only did you fly to the finish line, but your participation helped a charity that has long served the Singapore community. You can't collect frequent mile points, but you're going to sleep soundly knowing that you did your part!

When you evaluate charity races like the SIA Charity Run, do you make your registration decision based on a personal desire to support a specific cause or are you still looking for the organisation that touches your heart?

Aidan is the Editor-in-chief of RunSociety. As a health improvement hacker and explorer, he oversees RunSociety’s Creativity Channel, spanning a wide range of inspirational and enriching topics daily to the running community. Get in touch with him if you have any fresh ideas!

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