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Tuoi Tre-backed Sunflower Festival fundraises $64,000 for children with cancer

Sunday, December 15, 2019, 13:25 GMT+7
Tuoi Tre-backed Sunflower Festival fundraises $64,000 for children with cancer
Wishes of cancer-stricken children are displayed at the 2019 Sunflower Festival in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 15, 2019. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A series of meaningful activities as part of the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper-sponsored Sunflower Festival in Ho Chi Minh City has fundraised more than VND1.5 billion (US$64,400) for children with cancer in Vietnam at this year's edition.

This year’s festival in the southern metropolis kicked off with a four-kilometer charity run at the Ho Chi Minh City Student Cultural House, located in the premises of the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City in Thu Duc District, at 7:15 am on Sunday.

Thousands of people take part in the Sunflower Festival at the Ho Chi Minh City Student Cultural House. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Thousands of people take part in the Sunflower Festival at the Ho Chi Minh City Student Cultural House. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Themed ‘For the Sunflower Warrior,’ the run saw the participation of approximately 7,000 people of various ages.

After only 15 minutes, the first participants had already made it to the finish line.

The charity run kicks off at 7:15 am. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

The charity run kicks off at 7:15 am. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

“I signed up as soon as I heard about the campaign two days ago. I am very happy to be able to support children with cancer through this activity,” Truong Hong Huu, who was the first to complete the run, remarked.

For each person who takes part in the run, Nutrition Food JSC (Nutifood) added VND50,000 ($2.15) to the fund.

The first 10 participants who crossed the finish line also raised a total of VND100 million ($4,300) for the young cancer patients thanks to Nutifood.

People of all ages take part in the run. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

People of all ages take part in the run. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Aside from the charity run, young volunteers also set up many souvenir and handicraft stalls to help raise the fund.

At another corner, people were queuing up for their turn to donate blood that will be helpful in the treatment of the children.

Participants receive trophies for being the first to complete the race. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Participants receive trophies for being the first to complete the race. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

The festival also featured the wishes of many young cancer patients, which were handwritten by themselves onto countless sunflowers made from colorful papers.

Participants were free to select the wishes that they could help make into a reality.

Souvenirs are sold to raise fund. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Souvenirs are sold to raise funds. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

There was also a gallery that showcased the paintings made by pediatric cancer patients as well as photographs capturing their journeys of fighting the disease.

About 160 scholarships valued at VND5 million ($216.65) each were presented to cancer-stricken children who are healthy enough to attend school at the event. 

Souvenirs are sold to raise fund. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Souvenirs are sold to raise funds. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

The Sunflower Festival is held on a yearly basis by Tuoi Tre and the Vietnam Youth Federation to commemorate the death of Le Thanh Thuy, a high school girl famous for her long fight against bone cancer prior to her surrender on November 2, 2007.    

It also promotes the work of 'Thuy’s Dream Foundation,' set up by Tuoi Tre to support children with cancer.

A total of more than VND45 billion ($1.9 million) has been fundraised thanks to the annual event in the past 12 years.

People choose the wishes that they could help make into a reality. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

People choose the wishes that they could help make into a reality. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Six-year-old Diem Ngoc with blood cancer wishes for a red bicycle. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Six-year-old Diem Ngoc with blood cancer wishes for a red bicycle. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

People have their blood pressure checked before donating their blood. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

People have their blood pressure checked before donating their blood. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A blood drive takes place at the festival. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A blood drive takes place at the festival. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Photographs capturing children journeys of fighting cancer are presented at the event. Photo: Duy Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Photographs capturing children's journeys of fighting cancer are presented at the eventPhoto: Duy Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Photographs capturing children journeys of fighting cancer are presented at the event. Photo: Duy Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Photographs capturing children's journeys of fighting cancer are presented at the event. Photo: Duy Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Scholarships are given to cancer-stricken children who are healthy enough to attend school. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Scholarships are given to cancer-stricken children who are healthy enough to attend school. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Scholarships are given to cancer-stricken children who are healthy enough to attend school. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Scholarships are given to cancer-stricken children who are healthy enough to attend school. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

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