Lighting the way for a better future.

The StART Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving underprivileged children, by using the power of art, music and drama to inspire, guide, and nurture these kids to discover their natural talent, and in the process, furnish them with the necessary skills for a brighter future.

But as with most non-profit organizations, one of the biggest hurdles that StART faces is funding. RM100,000 was needed to fund their programme for 2012.

In order to raise these funds, StART came up with the Xtra Mile Run - a 100km run from Putrajaya to the StART Society House in Petaling Jaya, with marathon runner Alex Au-Yong running the entire journey non-stop.

The brief from StART Society to RAPP was simple - how could we get more support from individuals to raise these funds?

The first thing we did was to make it easier for the public to contribute. By breaking down the 100km run into small blocks, we could get the public to 'buy' any distance in support of this run. So, from as little as RM10, individuals could pledge a part of the run towards the StART initiatives through their website.

Getting the message accross

Then we noticed the Xtra Mile Run featured just one man running a distance of 100 kilometres non-stop, starting from 6 p.m. and expected to end at 9 a.m. the following day. Would anyone show up in the middle of the night to cheer him on? And what about those living away from the Klang Valley, how could they encourage him?

After much deliberation, this idea was presented to StART: Every time someone made a donation online, they were also prompted to type their very own message of encouragement to the runner.

While the public donated, neighbourhood coffee outlets were approached for their used paper cups.

The message of encouragement were then printed out, and placed on the paper cups that have been collected. These paper cups were then placed along the route of the run. And as Alex ran, the cups lit the way for him, and cheered him on.

The Result

Overall, the Xtra Mile Run received over RM111,000 in donations, of which 64% were collected online from individual supporters.

Not a bad little sum, especially since it's for such a wonderful cause.