Monday, July 21, 2008

Stories Of The Climb

A Piece Of Hope Chapter 2 Mt. Kinabalu charity climb for Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah was a success and like many other charity events it was riddled with many challenges and happy moments.

Booking of beds at Laban Rata was not an easy task as this year we had 106 climbers. Although booking for these beds were made much earlier, the KK Park management made a technical blunder as to the actual number of beds required. These were ‘cleverly’ and ‘painfully’sorted out by our climb organizer Jimmy Lim who had to battle until the final minute of our climb. Thankfully, all was settled when we all arrived at KK Park on 12th July.

On the morning of 12th July, one Air Asia flight departing at 6.50am carrying a majority of the climbers encountered some problems. It was not a delayed flight or anything happened to the aircraft but 4 climbers were not allowed onboard even though they arrived at the gate 13minutes before flight time (Air Asia boarding tickets states that gate closes 10minutes before flight time). It was a disheartening start for these climbers but later they bought tickets for the next flight out to KK.

This year we had a blessing in disguise involving our transportation in and around KK and Mt. Kinabalu. The usual person who arranges these could not offer transportation up to our expectations and requirements. Then came a ‘saviour’ in Ryan, the owner of Zen Resort who gladly arrange 3 comfortable and air-conditioned coaches for us. It was a far cry to the minibuses that we had to endure with the previous years that were not only sloppy interiorly but did not have air-conditioned.

At last count, only 97 people opted to take the treacherous hike up Mt. Kinabalu. Those ‘grounded’ had valid reasons that were personal. Out of 97 people, 7 took the Timpohon trail while the rest the Mesilau trail which was 1.8km longer. This year it took unusually longer to start the climb, some as late as 10.30am due to shortage of shuttle to the Mesilau trail.

As there were a variety of ‘fitness’ among all the climbers, the earliest to arrive at Laban Rata was at approximately 2.30pm. From then on, many arrive between the time of 3 to 5pm. We must thank God for a perfect weather for this year’s climb. Even at 5pm there was no sign of rain (usually at this time we will be soaked in rain). The latest to arrive was at approximately 7pm. There were 3 casualties who did not make it to Laban Rata due to sickness. They only managed to climb to Layang-Layang which is 2km down from Laban Rata. The mountain guides had to open up the staff quarters there for them to stay a night.

The next morning at 2.30am, A Piece Of Hope climbers prepared for the final assault to the summit. It was yet again an exceptionally good weather for the night climb. Rain was not insight and wind was at its lowest. Temperature was approximately 5 degrees Celsius. The start of the night climb usually is slow due to a long queue hiking up the wooden stairs.

Not long into the climb, some climbers reached the summit at approximately 5.30am, in time for day break panaromic scenes at the summit. The summit is where our charity climb breeds its purpose. Each climbers having one piece or several pieces of jigsaw, assembles it by sticking onto a banner. As wind conditions start to pick up, assembling the jigsaw was a chore. Moreover, as more and more climbers reach the summit, space to stand and sit gets tighter. As time goes by the complete picture of the jigsaw puzzle seems to be surfacing and beams as bright as the morning sun.

To end my story and our adventure, A Piece Of Hope Chapter 2 main aim is to raise funds for Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacar Taman Megah and have loads of fun climbing Mt. Kinabalu. As to date (21st July 2008), a total of RM80,000.00 has been collected so far. Donations are still pouring in even after the climb. Our target of RM150,000.00 seems to be a far fetch thing but we are sure that it will be reached thanks to the generosity of YOU!

Special mention: More than RM60,000.00 is from corporate donors of Mr. Foo Jong Wee’s clients. His effort is daunting but is well praised by all of us at A Piece Of Hope.

Those who wants to see more pictures of the climb can go to these websites below:
Thank you to Chan Chong Meng and Khoo Siah Kang for providing the pictures.

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) chips in to help A Piece Of Hope Chapter 2 charity climb

During the 3 days before our climb on 12th July 2008, UTAR management and students offered to help in our A Piece Of Hope charity climb. Donation boxes were placed all around their Section 13 campuses, Petaling Jaya.

Careful effort were made to place notices informing of this charity drive by those involved. Neatly decorated donation boxes were hand made to ensure all cash are secured properly. Although UTAR not long ago organized a donation drive for the China earthquake victims, the generosity of its students towards A Piece Of Hope charity climb for Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah were still genuine.

On 11th July 2008, Jimmy Lim, Foo Jong Wee, Janice Lim, Ting Ted Sun and UTAR management jointly opened the donation boxes. It took us almost 45 minutes to fully count all the cash which was donated. Finally tally of the cash donation stood at RM2,621 not bad for a 3 day effort by UTAR.

A word of thanks to:
Dr. Yeoh Suan Pow (Vice President)
Ms. Sum Kwai Seong (Manager, Department of Student Affairs)
and all students of UTAR who in some way or another donated or helped out.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Press Conference on 2nd July 2008

After the postponement of our press conference last Wednesday due to some unforeseen reasons, the press conference on 2nd July 2008 was conducted successfully. Although there was a hour an half delay in starting, 3 press reporters came namely China Press, Chinese Oriental Daily and Malay Mail.

Those present from A Piece Of Hope were Jimmy Lim, Foo Jong Wee, Engu, Lai Foo Weng and myself (Ted). The conference lasted about half an hour with many questions posed by the reporters. Mr. Cheah from PPKKCTM also joined in the conference to answer questions on the home itself.

With the publishing of our news in Malay Mail on 3rd July, it give us an extra mileage to further push for donations. Authenticity is very important as with any donation drive. So with this publicity it negates any suspicion altogether. As there is only 10 days before the charity climb, it is time for us to have the final push!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Piece Of Hope Chapter 2 begins...

A Piece Of Hope Chapter 2 fundraising drive was kick started on 3rd June 2008. Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah's official letter seeking for donations was emailed out to all 106 climbers. Together with the letter, a donation form was attached for donors to fill in when submitting in their donation.

PPKKCTM's letter

Donation form

A press conference will be held soon to boost publicity and validate this event. All climbers will be inform in due course when this will happen so that they can come and lend support. Tentative venue will be at the home's official address.

As it is only less than a month before our climb, we urge all climbers to exercise extra effort to solicit donations. You might be surprise through this fundraising drive who among your circle of friends and relatives that might be so generous. If you don't try, you will never know.

All the best!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our recce visit to Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah (PPKKCTM) on 24th May 2008

The visit to the home was indeed an eye opener to all of us. Those present were Jimmy Lim, Doreen, Foo Jong Wee, Engu, Lai Foo Weng, Patrick Teah and myself (Ted). If I miss out any of you, please forgive my memory.
We had a fruitful discussion with one of the home director, Mr. Cheah. He showed us the home in general and explained to us what the home does for these special children. Compared to Shelter Home (beneficiary of our campaign last year), this home shelters children whom are physically challenged/disabled. They have 4-5 houses that shelters 130 children of which 100 of them are physically challenged. This home also accommodates some adults whom are of the same condition.

With so much to do but with very little help or non from the government this home have touched many lives that some think that they are useless. These children, although they are ‘special’, needs love and care like any other children. The surrounding neighbours have lodged numerous complaints to the local authorities in an effort to remove them from their premises, reason being, they are dirty, noisy and nuisance. Given this unfriendly gesture, they are planning to move out into a property that will shelter all of them under one roof. The project will cost them some 6 million ringgit.

As the cost of operations escalating, there is an urgent need of funds to sustain the home’s 130 inmates. A Piece Of Hope is stepping up to help them in any way we can. You can visit the home’s website for further information:

Monday, May 12, 2008

What happened in A Piece Of Hope 2007: Chapter 1

The fund raising campaign started on 3rd June 2007, about one month before our climb on 7th July. Contact with Shelter Home (, an NGO that shelters abused, abandoned, neglected children through their 5 homes located in Selangor, was established 2 weeks before to inform them about our intention to raise funds for them. A fund amount of RM100,000 was then targetted after understanding their operation cost and needs.

Shelter Home children

A covering letter and donation/pledge form were quickly drawn up and sent out to all our 66 climbers from all over Malaysia and Australia. Climbers were requested to solicit donation from their networks of friends, colleagues, business partners and family members. Unlike other fund raising campaigns, A Piece Of Hope do not solicit donations from the general public. We find that in this way, it is more reliable and effective given the personal approach.

Shelter Home & A Piece Of Hope letter to donors

With the help of Creative Vision, a press conference was called on 20th June 2007 at Shelter Home premises in Section 5, Petaling Jaya. Through this, A Piece Of Hope fund raising campaign was published in 3 major newspapers namely The Star, Sin Chew Daily and Nanyang Siang Pau. This gave us a huge mileage in further publicising our effort throughout the country and the authenticity of the campaign strengthen.

The Star Metro 25th June 2007

Sin Chew Daily 23rd June 2007

Nanyang Siang Pau 22nd June 2007

In just one month, A Piece Of Hope through the collective effort of the 66 climbers manage to collect an astounding figure of RM120,000. About half of the sum came from corporate donors. Here, a word of thanks and commendation must be given to Mr. Foo Jong Wee who single handedly solicited donations from his corporate clients and friends. No less thanks must also be given to the rest of the climbers who willingly contributed their time to make the lives of Shelter Home children more meaningful.

On 7th July at Mt. Kinabalu base camp, all the jigsaw puzzle pieces were distributed to the 66 climbers. These were their reaction: Some were reluctant to take the piece in fear that they could never reach the summit. Some took it as a motivation to reach the summit because failing which there would be an empty spot on the jigsaw. Some offered to carry more than one piece to assist their friend's jigsaw to reach the summit. Some even vowed to their donors that they will carry their 'piece of hope' to the summit to fulfill a promise made.

At the summit on 8th July, some climbers made it some didn't. Surprisingly, most of the jigsaw pieces arrived on the summit through the effort of some climbers having to take more than one piece. Weather at the summit were adversed making it difficult to assemble the jigsaw puzzle so it was called off. To record the effort this photo was taken at the summit.

At the summit

In appreciation to all donors and climbers, A Piece Of Hope would like to thank you for making it a success. The children at Shelter Home were indeed blessed by your generosity and caring heart. Thank You !!!

A Piece Of Hope 2007: Chapter 1