Olympic Icon - Cathy Freeman - returned to Australia on May 9th having had an outstanding visit to the Philippines. Cathy visited the Springboard Foundation's Essential Nutrition Programme in Baseco - which is run by Hope Worldwide – as well as opened the Catherine Freeman Respiratory Ward at the Dr Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital in Manila. In addition to these two visits, Cathy also held a London 2012 Olympic Bid press conference/ TV interview on Friday as well as attended the international schools track meet at the Brent International School, Manila - Mamplasan campus.
The Springboard Foundation's two major fundraising events during Cathy's visit - Olympic Spirit and Live Match II - were hugely successful. The Olympic Spirit event raised P700,000 (P250,000 in cash and P450,000 in pledges/donations) and the Live Match II event, P2million in profit; this money will help the Springboard Foundation improve the lives of needy Filipino women and children. In total, the amount raised as clear profit for charity is: P2.7million = $USD 50,000 or thereabouts.
The black-tie affair, dubbed "The Live Match II," which was attended by over 600 avid supporters, featured a sit-down dinner catered by Le Souffle, a live auction of sports memorabilia, a rousing performance by Mr. PURE ENERGY, Gary Valenciano, and a colourful appearance by the famous Bellstar Dancers.
Celebrities who attended the affair included three time Olympian and Sydney 2000 gold medalist – Cathy Freeman, International Olympic Committee representative, Francisco Elizalde as well as prominent PBA basketball players. A professional auctioneer prompted the live bidding for sports memorabilia. Topping the money list was the mahogany framed 16" by 20" and Upper Deck-authenticated "St Andrew’s" photograph signed by Tiger Woods, which went for P200,000+. A 1975 "Thrilla In Manila" poster was taken for P260,000. In sum, the live auction raked in P1.2 Million.
In the fights themselves, World-ranked Dennis Laurente settled for a technical draw with Arnel Porras after an accidental clash of heads. The largest cheer of the evening, however, was reserved for the amateur bout between two local expatriates from the prestigious Nomads Sports Club in Parañaque. Whilst it was a thrilling encounter that went the regulation four rounds, the Welsh Wizard – Shane Cosgrove – scored a unanimous decision over the Raging-Bull Frog – Romain Barberis – in what was an enthralling clash.
In the other bouts, Monico Laurente scored a victory over Anthony Esmenida, whilst Sugar Ray Estrada was stopped in his tracks by Yuri Noda. Fight promoters Lisa and Johnny Elorde assembled last Friday’s fight card for telecast on "Solar Sports".
Springboard chairman John Milne, the Principal of Brent International School in Pasig, said it ‘was far more successful this year than last and was once again, a unique opportunity to celebrate the Filipino’s achievements in the sport.’
Annette Helbig formed Springboard almost three years ago to finance charity projects with an emphasis on providing needy children and their families with a variety of programs and services to address basic needs. Springboard’s projects are anchored on the four pillars of support, namely, homes and orphanages, nutrition and livelihood, medical care and equipment and education. Among Springboard’s partners include The Kinderhlife Philippinen in Leyte, The Give A Life Foundation in Manila, the Tuloy Foundation in Alabang, Hope Worldwide in Baseco and Payatas, the Dr. Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital, Fabella Maternity Hospital, Tuloy sa Don Bosco, The Little Children’s Home, Batang Pinangga Foundation in Cebu, the Sun and Moon Home for Children and The Rehoboth Home for Children.
Since its establishment as a non-profit Filipino independent charity organization, Springboard has raised over P17 Million.
John Milne said the Foundation has no political agenda, is transparent in its activities and finances and is governed by seven trustees dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished children through the development of long-term projects.
Before leaving for Australia, Cathy Freeman wanted to thank everyone for the warm welcome and support she received from all in the Philippines. Cathy has also promised to do more to help the Filipino children in the future as well as to explore the Philippines in more depth on another occasion.
Live Match 2005