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Tuesday December 25, 2012

Busy year for StarMetro journalists as they take on charity, environs and heritage causes

Gloves, brooms, trowels and paint brushes. These were some of the tools journalists from StarMetro were armed with when carrying out their duties this year — duties that were not in their job scope but for some good causes.

StarMetro has involved itself in several projects in 2012; the most memorable one for the team was certainly the Do Good Day event in October, the highlight of the “Do Good. Volunteer.” campaign initiated by The Star media group in collaboration with Leaderonomics.

Together with colleagues from the Human Resources department, the team was assigned to do a makeover for Permata Rohani Children’s Home in Bandar Country Homes, Rawang.

With an allocation and a sum raised, the high-spirited team spent numerous hours preparing and three full Saturdays sprucing up the home.

It was at times more strenuous than chasing news deadlines, but the back pain and muscle ache were certainly worthwhile when the children flashed their toothy grins as they saw the vibrant new decor of their home.

StarMetro has also been running a fortnightly column on volunteerism from the beginning of the year. The Do Good Day event had allowed reporters to learn more than what they hear, to feel more than what they write, and to help nurture a giving society by really doing it.

The Ecoteer “volun-tourism” programme was another opportunity for StarMetro to advocate volunteerism. Reporters joined other participants in picking up trash, painting kampung houses and toiling away in a community garden to improve the life of villagers in Pulau Perhentian, while having a great holiday on the beautiful islands.

Reporters also walked the talk, quite literally, in an awareness walk at Bukit Kiara in July. They joined 1,000 other park-goers to stand up against developments on the green lung.

The top concern during the event was the construction of a 3.5m-high fence along a 4.7km stretch by the National Landscape Department, an act that resulted in some 3,000 matured trees felled.

The walk was organised by non-governmental organisation Friends of Bukit Kiara whose members include Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), Trails Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents Association and Global Environment Centre.

It sent the message loud and clear, hills are our heritage and must be preserved.

As a city paper, the team supports healthy urban living and hence its active involvement in the PJ Half Marathon organised by The Star, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and Selangor Amateur Athletics Association.

A total of 6,500 runners participated in this year’s edition of the PJ Half Marathon, that was not just a major sporting event but also a carnival-like rendezvous for Petaling Jaya folk. The marathon is, after all, a proud tradition of this part of the Klang Valley.

To commemorate the nation’s independence, StarMetro together with Astro featured the development of various areas in the Klang Valley. The stories of progress and change were told through the experience of well-known personalities who grew up in those neighbourhoods.

StarMetro also celebrated one of the country’s most valuable assets — kopitiam — in a 10-part series. The aroma of kopi and the charcoal fragrance of toast seeped into the pages of StarMetro through the highlight of these unassuming coffeeshops.

While salivating over the perennial favourites, the paper paid tribute to the operators and their descendants for their hard work in upholding a lovely tradition.

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