Press Release
September 15, 2007

Pia leads fund-raiser for differently abled kids;
Hundreds join Gabriel's "birthday party"

More than 300 participants and volunteers took part in the hugely successful fifth staging of the "12-Hour Multi-Sport Celebration for a Cause In Memory of Gabriel" held last September 8 at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa City.

Senator Pia S. Cayetano led the participants in twelve hours of sports, fun, and more importantly, raising awareness and money to help differently abled children.

The annual fund-raiser is held in memory of Gabriel Cayetano Sebastian, youngest child of Senator Pia and lawyer Butch Sebastian. Gabriel was only nine months old when he passed away in 2001 from complications of a rare chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 13.

Highlighting the event was the awarding of Braille books to the Resources for the Blind Inc., a non-government organization. The books were translated to Braille based on short stories written by Gabriel's grandmother and Senator Pia's mother, Ms. Sandra Schramm Cayetano, and will be distributed to 20 schools for visually impaired students around the country.

This year's sports events included the very first Maxytoylab Super Kids triathlon and Pinay In Action All Women's Triathlon, both of which were well attended.

Hundreds signed up for the 12-hour walk, run and bike for a cause, including individuals and teams which included sports clubs and corporate groups.

Each participating team (made up of 6-12 members) were asked to pay an P18,000 entrance fee which will be used to cover expenses for one cleft lip operation (P7,500), a pair of artificial eyes (P2,000), and one hearing aid (P8,500).

Two volunteers, veteran triathletes Maiqui Dayrit and Geraldine Santiago were able to raise funds from pledges by doing an Ironman Distance (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42km run) throughout the day. Dayrit clocked 11 hours and 22 minutes while Santiago completed it in 13 hours 58 minutes.

Also in attendance were several kids under the care of the Parent's Advocates for Visually Impaired Children (PAVIC), who were treated to a day of fun and learning activities around the sprawling polo field of the Ayala Alabang Country Club. They were joined by celebrities like television and movie director Lino Cayetano, sportscaster Chino Trinidad and actor Ronnie Rickets.

The Super Kids age-group triathlon was ruled by Bambam Manglicmot (under 7 years old category), Molly Potter (7-8), Kai Kristial Stroem (9-10), Erik Stroem (11-12) and Seamez Belleu (13-15). The race distances were carefully calibrated based on each age category.

Wowing the crowd was the youngest triathlon participant, Solenne Santos, who will just turn three in October 1 this year. Others who joined are Senator Pia's two young daughters Maxine, 12, and Nadine, 9.

"We could very well consider this event as the first birthday party that my son Gabriel never had. We hosted the triathlon in the spirit of fun and to encourage young children to get into sports. Who knows maybe our next national athletes will come from among these kids?" said Senator Pia in explaining the affair.

Topping the other individual events are Kristen Potter who clocked 1:15:03 in the All Women's Triathlon; Angelito Bancolito and Gabrielle Marie Santos who completed 335 kms and 85 kms, respectively, in the male and female categories under the road bike category; Boy Cinco (185 kilometers) and Patricia Collantes (157 kms) in mountain bike; and Mateo Macabe (55 kms) and Joy Rojas (65 kms) in the walk/run category.

The corporate team relay was ruled by Nestle Team 1 (141 kms), Nestle Team 2 (136 kms) and Procter and Gamble Team 1 (98 kilometers).

This year's event will continue to finance operations for infants with cleft lip and palate at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Gen. Malvar Hospital and the V. Luna Veterans Hospital, and in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro in cooperation with the Zugbuana Jaycees-Cebu and Rotary Club-Cagayan de Oro City, respectively.

The Foundation will also support the pediatric neurosurgery department of PGH for children suffering from hydrocephalus and cranio-facial disorders.

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