Photo by Darren Ho/VOXSPORTS.
As Barney, the world’s famous purple dinosaur, sang, “The wheels on the bike go round and round, round and round, round and round… all through the town.”
Yes indeed, the wheels on the bike went round and round for a good cause during the Ride for Rainbows 2013 event.
Jointly organised by Club Rainbow and SIT, Ride for Rainbows is a fundraising event that aims to support more than 600 Rainbow Children and their families. The bicycle/hand cycling event featured two distance categories, the 100km and 165km routes around the island that flagged off at 1:00am and 12:01am respectively.
Last year, a senior corporate executive conjured up an idea that would later serve as an inspiration to many. The founder of the ‘Ride for Rainbows’ project Jerome Yuen, pitched the idea for the programme and named Club Rainbow as it’s beneficiary; “Everybody who supported me was either my friend or a mutual friend because it was a new thing.” explained the 48 year old director of a travel distribution company .
Yuen’s initiative garnered $80,000 in donations during the first Ride for Rainbows. This year they received a whopping $400,000 thanks to various donors and from participants as well. “Last year it was rather a private event. We had only families and friends. This year we wanted to expand and let everyone in on this wonderful experience.” said the 100km finisher of this year’s edition.
SMILE! Having braved the 100 km race and the stormy weather, cyclists were glad they were finally back under the shelter at The Cube, Asia Mall. (photo by Darren Ho/VOXSPORTS).
It was indeed a wonderful experience to be present at the event as cheers rained in when the cyclists reached the finish point. Interestingly, this year’s edition featured Hand cyclists who were ever so cheerful and jubilant at reaching the end of a route. The top sponsor for this year’s Ride for Rainbows was Michael Ngu.
Ngu had Polio since aged five and understands the struggles of children with disability. “When I knew it was for the kids at Club Rainbow, I thought to myself, man I want to help those children so I went all out to raise funds for them. I want to inspire these children.” explained Yuen’s long-time friend.
When asked if he was game for next year’s edition, he said he would jump at the opportunity again and continue to provide monetary support. The event, held at The Cube, Asia Square, had volunteers from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).
A student, Gladys, was new to the events scene. “Though it may have been a challenging environment, it was well worth it because it is all for a good cause.”
As I walked around the end point, I was privileged enough to speak to one of the beneficiaries of last year’s edition of Ride for Rainbows. He is 24 year old Bernard. Since birth, Bernard suffers from a Spinal Cord disorder that impairs his ability walk normally. “I learned many new things, made new friends and cheered my peers on during the event. Overall, it was a happy event for me.” described the cheerful young man.
He left me with a message that is embodied in this event. “I suffered from a disability since birth, and I like to tell those like me not to give up on their dreams. It is something truly amazing when you achieve something that is beyond your limits. I wish everyone with disabilities to never give up on their dreams.”
I believe, as able-bodied individuals, we should possess the very degree of compassion and determination in everything we do. For all of you who are riding a bicycle after reading this, I do hope you can ‘wheel’ in a good deed today!
Club Rainbow started up in 1992 and provides assistance to the families of children who suffer from major chronic and potentially fatal medical conditions, and also acquired the assistance of major hospitals in the country that paved the way to helping more than 600 children and their families.
They provide assistance in 5 areas: Emotional Support, Educational Support, Social Support, Financial Support and Informational support, solely giving continued support to children who leave the hospital and provides as much stability as possible.