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Anne Curtis leads 10,000 runners in UNICEF drive to help disabled kids

UNICEF celebrity advocate for children Anne Curtis led yesterday morning some 10,000 runners in the fun run dubbed The Color Run Dream at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City which would benefit disabled children.

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“I love children. That’s where I draw my strength for this project. Last year, we saw 7,000 runners making a difference for children’s health and nutrition. This year, we are happy to gather some 10,000 runners in this colorful run to help children with disabilities achieve their dreams,” said Curtis, during an interview after the early morning fun run.

Curtis said that The Color Run is among the first major projects of her foundation called The Dream Machine, a platform to help dreamers achieve their dreams.

UNICEF Country Representative Lotta Sylwander cited Curtis for her efforts to help children with disabilities achieve their dreams.

“Anne is untiring and unwavering in her support for children. Her generosity to sponsor and organize this fund-raising activity inspires us to keep innovating in our work for children,” said Sylwander.

An estimated one out of seven children or around five million kids are living with disabilities ranging from hearing, visual, and mobility impairment including those who have development or learning disabilities, according to UNICEF Philippines.

Sylwander said that the UNICEF aims to build one-stop shops nationwide to provide comprehensive services such as diagnosis, provision or assistive devices, counselling, referral, and therapy.

The Color Run is a five-kilometer, un-timed event in which thousands of participants also known as Color Runners are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer.

The proposal

Crowds cheered when a male runner identified as one John Paul Buenafe proposed to his girlfriend named Desiree Tan on stage in front of thousands of runners at the “Color Run Dream” event.

After Tan won a cellphone from Cherry Mobile, Buenafe followed her on stage and took the microphone from Tongan athlete-turned- television Eric “Eruption” Tai.

“You are the girl of my dreams,” said Buenafe, a call center agent. Then he took out a small box with a ring from his bag, opened the box and knelt as he proposed.

Buenafe asked: “Will you marry me?” Tan said: “Yes!” Then the sweethearts of 10 years embraced together. The newly engaged couple said that they plan to get married next year.

“I did not expect him to propose this way. Last year, we attended a fun run and there was a proposal on stage. I told him that time I don’t want to be in that situation because nakakahiya,” said Tan a school teacher.