All good things come to an end, they say. I have had the privilege of serving as the 5th president of HCA Hospice Care since 2014 and will step down in August 2019 at the AGM. It has been an equal part hard work and an equal part privileged pleasure. In the past 4 years, I have witnessed the radical transformation of HCA into a large charity (a large charity, or IPC, refers to one with gross annual receipts of not less than $10 million in each of the last 2 financial years), develop a strategic framework, win multiple awards, build a collective leadership as well as forge collaborative partnerships. Even though I have learned much and enjoyed the ride, it is imperative to hand over the responsibility of the presidency in a planned transition. The time is now here that I prepare to end this wonderful journey, and what better way is there than to present a farewell gift to this cherished organization? I am bidding farewell by running 200 kilometres and raising 200 thousand dollars. Hence, 200K for 200K.
When I had first stepped into the larger-than-life shoes of my predecessor Dr Seet Ai Mee, I was nervous about how I could bring attention and funds to the organization when I did not have a public life as well as social networks of high networth. After prayerful consideration, I learned to be myself and decided to run ultramarathon distances to raise funds. In 2014, with the help of my Corporate and Community Relations Committee as well as my wife Joan, we embarked on 100K for 100K when I had run 100 kilometres (North Face 100 Ultra) to raise $100,000. We rallied an extensive circle of dear friends and supporters and managed to raise $152,000! Two years later, I felt led to up the game by embarking on another campaign - 160K for 160K. Caring and generous friends chipped in with even a few running as my pacers during the Craze Ultra 100 miles. We exceeded our target of $160,000 by closing account at a total of $202,000!
The most valuable lesson I had learned was not only that there were ample kind and generous folks willing to do good; the lesson indelibly etched in my mind was that it took a village to overcome a seemingly impossible mission. What we cannot do alone, we can do together.
HCA Hospice Care celebrates 30 years of home hospice services. Since 1989, we journey with nearly 4,000 families each year and helping people with terminal illnesses end their lives in the comfort of their own home and in the presence of their loved ones. With our rapidly aging population, we need to serve even more entering their final stage of life.
I beseech you to learn about the good we are doing amongst countless families. I am confident that you will find our cause worthy of your generous support. And I am confident that with your kind help, this final ultramarathon will be the most memorable of the trilogy.