Over 1,400 hikers from across the country participated in Walk for Love, a fund-raising charity walk initiated by independent public fundraising organisation One Foundation and supported by Coca-Cola China’s bottled water brand Ice Dew at the West Lake in Hangzhou on September 19.

Walk For Love

Part of Coca-Cola China’s range of water initiatives, the hike saw participants raise over RMB 950,000 (USD 155,302) that will be directed towards improving access to drinking water in rural schools across China. The initiative aims to reach 70 rural schools across the country and will provide 20,000 teachers and students with clean drinking water in 2013.

The hike kicked off early at the entrance of Jade Emperor Mountain Park. Walking in groups of four, participants undertook the 40-kilometre journey on picturesque mountain roads along the West Lake in Hangzhou.

One Foundation founder Jet Li, Coca-Cola China and Korea Chairman David G. Brooks, Coca-Cola China philanthropy volunteer Eason Chan, One Foundation celebrity volunteers Chen Kun and Wen Zhang, and several contestants from reality singing programme Chinese Idol lent their star power and cheered hikers along the way.

Walk For Love

One Foundation founder Jet Li, Coca-Cola China and Korea Chairman David G. Brooks at the race kick-off.

Chinese Idol winner Li Xiangxiang and fellow contestants Xu Mingming, A Lai and Li Liyu collaborated on a song, “Embark on a Dream” written especially for the event.

‘We are Family’, a team of four headmasters from rural schools directly impacted by the initiative in 2012, also participated in the walk. “Water purification facilities were installed in our schools last year as a result of this initiative,” said Ma Jun, a headmaster from Huining in Gansu province. “Our students are no longer drinking water from the ponds directly. I can only hope that we are able to help more students through our participation.”

Ice Dew at Walk For Love

Eason Chan at the Ice Dew Hydration Station.

Ice Dew is recognised in the market for its high quality products and creative brand experience. “The new Ice Dew mineral water will be launched first in Hangzhou to bring high quality drinking water to consumers in the region,” said Y.Y. Chang, Director, Integrated Marketing Communications, Coca-Cola China. “We care about the safety of drinking water for children in rural areas and in cooperation with One Foundation we would like to improve access to clean and purified drinking water in rural schools.”

Coca-Cola China associates, bottling partners and business partners formed 118 groups to join the hike. “We always emphasize ‘multi-participation’ in Coca-Cola sustainable development efforts and this ties in with One Foundation’s core philosophy,” said Zhang Huaying, Vice President, Coca-Cola China and Korea. “We are harnessing the power of the public, our bottling partners and our employees to do our bit to bring clean drinking water to rural schools.”

Rebecca Liu
is Editor at Eight Partnership who helps write stories for The Coca-Cola Company in Asia.