Support GLEF’s “Col. Tan Marathon” and Get a FREE T(r)ee-Shirt!

GLEF is honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with one its friends and volunteers in the “Colonel Tan Marathon Fundraiser”. To help celebrate this, GLEF has created its first “T(r)ee-Shirt and would like to give some away! (The T(r)-ee-Shirt design was inspired by GLEF’s Founder, Kilong Ung and his GLEF tree analogy, “Against all odds, I survived, laid down roots and became a tree.” Kilong poetically refers to all that help GLEF as trees, and together as a forest, it builds schools from the wood each yields.) From now until Sunday, Oct. 9, 2o11 when Col. Sonny Tan embarks on his first marathon endeavor, GLEF donors supporting this special fundraiser with $50 or more receive a FREE T(r)ee-Shirt! (For online donations, please use form to the right.)

If you’ll be in Portland, Oregon on Oct. 9, please join us by wearing your new T(r)ee-Shirt to the Portland Marathon! GLEF is organizing Col. Tan Cheering Squads now. Contact GLEF at or call (503) 208-5323 (LEAF) to be a part of this fun and spirited occasion and help cheer on one of our heroes—Col. Sonny Tan!

Now on to the heart of the story.

On October 9, 2011, 52-year-old retired U.S. Army Colonel Simsundareth (Sonny) Tan will join his military colleagues and run 26.2 miles in the Portland Marathon, (Sun. Oct. 9, 2011)  but for more than just the physical challenge.

Col. Tan, a Cambodian refugee, will dedicate his run to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, the fallen heroes of the US Army, the Oregon National Guard, Royal Cambodian Army, the Khmer Republic Armed Forces (KRAF), Royal Cambodian Armed Force (RCAF), and those who continue to fight today. He will also run in honor of the victims and survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide, including their friends and families.

As an extension of his effort, Col. Tan is asking that donations be made to Golden Leaf Education Foundation (GLEF), which is a 501 (c3) non-profit, supported by his community, the Cambodian-American Community of Oregon (CACO), and founded by his friend Kilong Ung, author of “Golden Leaf, A Khmer Rouge Genocide Survivor”. Ung’s inspiring story of survival was told through his memoir from which GLEF stemmed.

The mission of GLEF is to empower humanity through enhancing educational opportunities internationally, in memory of genocide victims and in honor of survivors. GLEF’s current projects are in Cambodia.

Many in Col. Tan’s community are survivors. Koann Tan, Col. Tan’s wife, is a Cambodian genocide survivor from the same province as Ung. This makes his dedication even more personal. “I want to be an ambassador of my community,” said Col Tan.

Colonel Tan is a decorated soldier and currently employed with General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) as an operations and training advisor to Commander, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). He was deployed with 41 IBCT, Oregon Army National Guard in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 2006-2007, and assumed duties as the Senior Military Advisor and Commander of the Regional Corps Advisory Group-North (RCAG-N) to the 209th Afghanistan National Army (ANA) Corps, Mazar-e-Sharif and Regional Corps Advisory Group-South (RCAG-S) to 205th ANA Corps, Kandahar. He was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and came to the United States in 1975. After completion of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at Oregon State University in 1983, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant of Field Artillery. He is a community leader, civic volunteer, and a father of two young men. His youngest son Andy is in high school, and his eldest, Sidney is at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

To support Col. Tan’s Marathon Fundraising effort to GLEF, please contribute by:

  1. Donating to Golden Leaf Education Foundation by entering your donation amount to the right (top part of this web site.)
  2. Calling GLEF at (503) 208-5323 (LEAF) to make a donation by credit card.
  3. Donating by check by mailing it to GLEF at 3439 NE Sandy Blvd. #412, Portland, Oregon 97232. Please make check payable to Golden Leaf Education Foundation, memo: “Col. Tan. Marathon”.
  4. Supporting the Col. Tan Marathon Fundraiser by joining one of our volunteer Cheering Squads on Sun. Oct. 9, 2011. To sign up for a Col. Tan Cheering Squad, email or call (503) 208-5323 (LEAF). We hope to hear from you!

All donations are 100%* tax-deductible and earmarked towards educational opportunities in Cambodia.

*To donors receiving a free T(r)ee-Shirt, the value of the shirt is deducted from donation.

GLEF welcomes your questions or comments. Please contact: Marri-Beth Serritella, GLEF secretary at: • 503-208-5323 (LEAF).


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One Response to Support GLEF’s “Col. Tan Marathon” and Get a FREE T(r)ee-Shirt!

  1. glef_mb says:

    Thank you Mike Francis for including Golden Leaf Education Foundation in your story today in The Oregonian:

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