Saturday, February 13, 2010

Charity Through Physical Challenges: Is It Effective?

What do celebrities Gordon Ramsay and Katie Holmes (Tom Cruise’s wife) have in common? They both run marathons. The infamous chef Ramsay runs annually the London Marathon – that may account for him being lean and mean.

Now, Shia LaBeouf joins these marathoners in his 26.2 mile run on 21 March with the Los Angeles Marathon to raise money for charity

I wonder how such interventions raise awareness about a cause, as well as raise the funds to sustain it? Does star power make a difference as it has in a global cause versus a community level one? Most celebrities seem to have an adopted charity. Ellen DeGeneres (newest judge on American idol) supports her cause with an expanding retail line, and actively announces her supporting charities on almost every one of her shows.

What do you think of the notion of co-branding? Star brand sits with the brand of a charity. When all goes well, it is a symbiotic relationship. At worst, one will be parasitic on the other. I think one should always keep the goal/cause/vision in mind, and not compromise too much of it. The cause is a designed purpose that directs our attention, energies and actions towards helping people and attaining a collective sense of achievement.

I thank my supporters of my charity for Ironman New Zealand. I believe I can do the race despite my accident last weekend. I am healing, and I look forward to some light activity over the next few days. It feels as if I tapered earlier. Thank you donors for already helping me raise an encouraging and generous amount – we can still with a little more to help kids with cystic fibrosis enjoy sports.

To our Chinese readers: Happy Lunar New Year! May your year be bountiful, splendid and memorable.

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