Lots of miles – but not enough smiles

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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Miles for Smiles in Dubai is now just 27 days away. Training schedules have been thrown into chaos by the inevitable late nights and excess consumption of last week’s TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes and earlier boasts about reduced times in this second travel retail 10k ‘fun run’ event are having to be hastily revised.

One thing that needs revising quickly is the fund-raising pot, which currently stands at a disappointing US$9,625.00.

Now that’s a lot of money in its own right – enough to fund life-changing operations on 39 children – but it’s a long way short both of last year (US$260,000) and of the organisers’ expectations. There have been 31 fantastically generous donations but more, much more, needs to happen.

This year, remember, donors can sponsor the whole field rather than choose between individual runners. All you have to do is visit http://www.smiletrain.org/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1040&pxfid=3610 and make a donation. It doesn’t need to be large – every Dollar counts – but we, and the children of the world, need your support.

It’s not just down to the donors either. All the runners need to drop a note to all their contacts and solicit support. As we all step up our last minute training (mine will have to be done on aeroplanes as I face a non-stop travel schedule between now and the big day) let’s also mount a major push to get the industry once again aboard The Smile Train.

The Moodie Report Publisher set off for Cannes with outstandingly noble intentions of training every day down there for the Dubai run.

Alas any wheels that still exist under the failing, flailing Moodie frame came flying off after one gloriously enjoyable jog around the waterfront on Saturday morning. A series of late night parties, early morning workshops and unexpected events conspired to drag pre-exhibition training runs right down the priority list.

As a result, today’s return to the ‘dreadmill’ (sourced online from medievaltortureinstruments4us.com and pictured below) in The Moodie Report Worldwide HQ (aka the Garden Shed) was both painful and brief.

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Much work needs to be done if I’m even to match last year’s time of 49 minutes 56 seconds let alone breach my target of 47 minutes.

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As the English winter sets in and the mornings grow increasingly cold, I could do with some encouragement. Please consider sponsoring the race at http://www.smiletrain.org/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1040&pxfid=3610

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I know that many of you have supported The Smile Train several times before. I do not take your support for granted. But every US$250 will put an unexpected smile on the face of a child that has been through more suffering than everyone in the travel retail industry has known in their lives. Please do what you can.

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[Wang Li: The first child to be operated on courtesy of The Smile Train and star of travel retail’s ‘Turning Tears into Smiles’ charity dinner in Hong Kong in October 2007. The profound transformation that you  can see costs just US$250.]

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