Artiwara (Toon) Kongmalai is one of Thailand’s most popular rock star and celebrity. He fronts the band ‘Bodyslam’. He’s also become somewhat of an inspirational fund-raiser, principally running to raise awareness of Thailand’s health system and raise funds for smaller and poorer hospitals in different provinces.
In 2017 he famously ran from from the southernmost to the northernmost tips, raising money for some of Thailand’s poorer hospitals – from Betong in Yala to Mae Sai in Chiang Rai in the north. The run covered a distance of 2,215 kilometres.
It was an epic and inspirational marathon raising more than a Billion Baht and turning the rock star into a national treasure and philanthropist.
“With or without me in the future, the idea and purpose will stay with the Thai people forever.” The new program of running for charity has kicked off in the northeast on June 15-16. That will be followed by subsequent running events in the southern, northern, eastern and central regions later in 2020.
Artiwara said the south-to-north run was as much a personal challenge as it was a charity event. “This time it won’t be a one man show.”
“I realised that I could use my status as a singer to do good deeds for the country. I’m so grateful and thankful to those who always believed in me. I promise to keep doing this until the day I run out of energy” he added.