Toon Bodyslam’s Charity Run Raises 54M for Isaan Hospitals

Artiwara ‘Toon’ Kongmalai at the finish line of his Isaan charity run on June 16, 2019 at the Khon Kaen Sports Stadium.
Artiwara ‘Toon’ Kongmalai at the finish line of his Isaan charity run on June 16, 2019 at the Khon Kaen Sports Stadium.

KHON KAEN — A rockstar philanthropist raised 54 million baht for Isaan hospitals in a charity run over the weekend.

To raise money for regional hospitals, Artiwara “Toon Bodyslam” Kongmalai completed on Sunday a two-day charity run spanning 187 kilometers, beginning from the First Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge in Nong Khai and finishing at the Khon Kaen Sports Stadium.

“During this run, the Isaan people were very lovely,” Toon said. “Some people who were planting rice in paddy fields put down their work to donate what little they had. Everyone wanted to participate and I’ll cherish these beautiful memories.”

About 12,000 people accompanied Toon on the last leg of his journey, the 4-kilometer distance from Khon Kaen City Hall to the stadium.

The donation money will go to both branches of Khon Kaen Hospital, Phon Hospital in Khon Kaen, Kumpawapi Hospital and Nong Han Hospital in Udon Thani, Sakhrai Hospital and Sangkhom Hospital in Nong Khai, Na Wang Hospital in Nong Bua Lamphu, and Bueng Kan Hospital in Bueng Kan province.

Toon hopes his run will also improve the health of Thais by encouraging them to exercise.

“Instead of walking around in malls once a week, perhaps families can run to improve their health,” he said. “Several doctors have told me many Thais die from diabetes, high blood pressure, and other preventable diseases.”

Toon is planning more regional charity runs in the south, north, east, and central provinces.

The 40-year-old frontman of rock band Bodyslam made history in 2017 when he spent 55 days running from the south to Thailand’s northernmost district in a much-publicized charity campaign to raise funds for 11 public hospitals.

Although injuries forced Toon to halt his run several times, he completed the trail on Christmas Day and ended up raising 1.3 billion baht in donations.

To donate, text “T” to 4545099 to donate 10 baht, visit any branch of 7-Eleven, or use the SCB Easy App if you have a Siam Commercial Bank account. Donations will be accepted through July 31.

Toon at the finish line in Khon Kaen on June 17, 2019.
Toon at the finish line in Khon Kaen on June 17, 2019.

Toon running noontime near the Nongprajak Public Park in Udon Thani on June 15, 2019.
Toon running noontime near the Nongprajak Public Park in Udon Thani on June 15, 2019.
Toon starts off on his Isaan charity run 5am in Nong Khai on June 15, 2019.
Toon starts off on his Isaan charity run 5am in Nong Khai on June 15, 2019.

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