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Jet-set concert in Chiang Rai

Another ‘first’ for CEC Expat Club

Dine and Dance under the Stars

Jet-set concert in Chiang Rai

Weerapong Boonklieng

Polyiam Palitpongan-pim, playing a solo.

On January 14, Dr Renu Srismith, Asst. Secretary General of the Thai National Health Security Office, and Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz hosted a private concert featuring the Youth Violin Club in Chiangrai. The concert was attended by 80 distinguished guests coming from Bangkok and the North of Thailand.

Conducted by Ajarn Pora-met, and joined by Suthas Plongmark, of the National Symphony Orchestra, the 30 violin students played a mix of Thai music and concertos.

The aim of the event was to raise funds to buy more instruments for the numerous violin students of Chiang Rai, as well as giving them an opportunity to perform in the impressive home of Dr Renu and Khun Pongrit Srismith.

At the end of the performance it was announced to the guests that one of the students, Polyiam Palit-pong-anpim, would leave soon to Belgium to be train-ed by a professional violinist over a period of three months.

(From left) Bangkok jeweler Suwaluck Mahantakul, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, Dr Renu Srismith and Dr Pranee Pha-ernchock together after the successful concert.

Another ‘first’ for CEC Expat Club

Jim Cox

Photo stop par excellence. Nobody could resist it.

As the morning sun arose over Chiang Mai on 21 January 2006, it shone down upon 15 members, friends and guests of Chiangmai Expats Club who were gathering for a first for their club. This was a trip organized by CEC Vice President Chuck Boling. At 8.30 a.m. two vans, including two guides and drivers from Wandering Star Travel, headed out from the Chiangmai Orchid Hotel for a day trip to DoiInthanon.

Upon arrival at the summit of Doi Inthanon everyone was excited at the beautiful views. The weather had co-operated to the maximum with a crystal clear blue sky. This is Thailand’s highest point reaching 2,565.3341 meters above sea level.

Second on the list were Phra Mahathat Napametani-don and Phra Mahathat Naphaphon Phumisiri. These Royal Chedis were built to commemorate the fifth cycle birthdays of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. For viewing beautiful flowers, this is one of the best stops in Thailand, but the day was not over yet. The Doi Inthanon Royal Project Research Station was next. This was established in 1979 to help hill tribe farmers cultivate cash crops instead of opium. Flower and plant breeding research labs are open to the public. And what would such a day be without stopping at the Vachirathan Water Falls. It was the ‘photo’ spot of the day as ample time was allowed for photographing the falls from many different locations and angles.

Last was a stop at a nearby Karen Village. Here one was able to see local women weaving beautiful scarves and table cloths by hand. The intricate designs and great quality from these Karen artists inspired everyone to make several purchases.

During the day’s activities, several people suggested CEC do more trips such as this as there are many fascinating areas to visit in and around Chiang Mai. Even extended day trips were suggested with destinations such as Luang Prabang and further north into China.

If you would become a member, check the community happenings page for the next meeting. Everybody is welcome to attend.

Dine and Dance under the Stars

7th Annual FERC Benefit Gala, February 18

Scott Jones

Celebrate the spirit of helping others by helping yourself to a succulent dinner on the lush mansion lawns of Baan Wongmalee at 6.30 p.m. February 18, 2006. Sip cocktails with friends as fireworks fill the sky. Enjoy a multimedia show with music, comedy and special performances by the children. Dance in the moonlight to hits of the 60s to the 90s with the band Music Man.

Win a luxurious four day cruise on the historic River Kwai! The admission ticket/donation is a chance to win an exclusive four day/three night cruise down the River Kwai. Donated by Asian Trails, it’s valued at 30,000 baht. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets and bid during the silent and live auctions for goods and services donated by artists plus national and local businesses: airline tickets, hotel packages, spa treatments, jade artwork, home decorator items, elephant pain-tings and more.

Where do the funds go? A fraction of the admission/ticket price covers all the Gala expenses. Since FERC is a completely volunteer organization, patrons can be assured their donations go directly to the kids who need their help. This year’s proceeds will build a new school dormitory and water filter system near Mae Taeng, purchase books and materials for four schools near Mae Sariang and provide dormitory supplies (mattresses, blankets, sheets, cupboards and kitchen equipment) for two schools near Mae Rim.

A registered nonprofit organization in the United States and Thailand, FERC (The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children) partners with Give and Live, the Sam-
sara Foundation and other nonprofits to raise funds, present benefit events, build schools and dormitories, provide learning materials, scholarships, and necessary living expenses for children in Thailand. Donation/ticket for River Kwai cruise raffle (1,500 baht) are available at Amari Rin-come 053-221-044, Chiangmai Mail 053-234-102 and the Rimping Market (all three locations). For more information, please visit www.giveandlive.org or www.thai-rural-education.org. For additional information, images, interviews, please contact: Scott Jones, CEO, Give and Live Phone: 07-188-8487 - Email: [email protected] - Web: www.giveandlive.org.