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Published on April 12, 2013

Flora Wong to Speak at the Montana Women’s Run Kick-Off Dinner, May 10, 2013

Kick-Off Dinner and Health Expo to be held at new location this year

Billings, MT — The Montana Women’s Run is excited to announce that Flora Wong will be the guest speaker at the Montana Women’s Run Kick-Off Dinner held on Friday, May 10, sponsored by The Olive Garden. The Kick-Off Dinner, a new name for the event formally called “Pasta Night”, and the Women’s Health Expo will be at a new location this year, the Billings Food Bank, located at 2112 4th Avenue North. Join other runners, walkers and volunteers the night before the big run at 4:30 p.m. for a Health Expo sponsored by Billings Clinic, followed by a delicious pasta dinner at 6:30 p.m. Please make your Pasta Night reservation before Wednesday, May 8, by registering online at The cost is $10.

The Women’s Run will host the Health Expo for the sixth year. The Expo is held before the Kick-Off Dinner and opens its doors at 4:30 p.m. The Health Expo is free to everyone and will feature interactive exhibits and presentations where women can learn more about fitness, nutrition and better health. Proceeds from the Kick-Off Dinner benefit YWCA programs.


Amid the turmoil of China in the 1930’s and 1940’s, Flora Wong’s family lived a modest life in their small village of Lin Fong Lei. This young girl learned to tend rice and vegetables, sew simple clothes and trap frogs and beetles. In time, she also learned to dash to the safety of nearby bushes as Japanese planes flew low over her village.

At 18, Flora discovered she was engaged to be married. Flora’s mother, Chen Sun Ho, had set in motion a plan of arranged marriages for her six daughters. Her goal was to return each of them to the safety of their home country, the United States.

Flora began a new life in Montana, far away from her tiny village. It was here that the timid girl grew into a wife, mother, business owner and athlete. In retirement, Flora took up swimming and advanced in the sport to compete in multiple senior athletic events, including four National Senior Games and one World Senior Game.

In 2009, the Helena Sports Hall of Fame named Flora to its list of honored athletes. In 1999, Flora was named Montana Big Sky Athlete of the Year. In addition to swimming, she continues to compete in running events. Past running events include marathons and half-marathons. She has completed the Montana Women’s Run on at least 15 occasions, receiving a medal each time.

In the book, Long Way Home, Flora Wong retraces her family odyssey, sharing insights, tragedies and triumphs. Hers is the story of an authentic, ordinary person facing extraordinary

Cape and Tiara Award Presentation

The Montana Women’s Run honors one fabulous woman each year with the Cape and Tiara Award. The winner of the 2012 Cape and Tiara Award was Susan Mauro. Susan arrived in Laurel about 6 years ago where she was a stay-at-home mom caring for a premature baby with numerous health challenges and special needs. Her son, Seth, is the light of her life and he is the focus of her world. As Seth grew, Susan was able to seek work outside the home. She began teaching Fitness classes a few days a week at the Locomotion Fitness Center. Finding rewards in her role, Susan continued to grow in this profession, becoming a personal trainer and certified fitness instructor. She expertly manages to mesh her time with her son and her commitment to teaching fitness. The 2012 Cape and Tiara Award was awarded to Susan for her strength and commitment to herself, her clients and her family.

The 2013 Cape and Tiara Award will be presented on May 10, 2013 at the Kick-Off Dinner event. Nominations are now being accepted for this award and must be submitted by April 24, 2013 by logging on to and applying online or downloading the entry form and mailing it to Montana Women’s Run, P.O. Box 2530, Billings, Montana, 59103.

For more information, go online to or call 255-8488.

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