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February Skål at the Le Meridién

Samsara spends the Rooftop Charity donation

Friends helping out at Wat Don Chan

Garden Party raises 90,000 baht for local charities

Antinori wines showcased at the Favola

February Skål at the Le Meridién

Members and guests attend the Skål International Northern Chapter’s February dinner at the Favola Restaurant.

Andy Archer
Over 70 members and guests attended Skål International’s Northern Chapter’s recent February dinner, held at the Meridién Hotel’s Favola Restaurant.
Prior to the dinner, a cocktail and canapé hour was held on the terrace, with everyone enjoying the opportunity to mingle and gossip. As most Skål members have an interest in Chiang Mai’s tourist industry, the conversation, not surprisingly, centred on the problems facing the city’s tourism and travel industry in these challenging times.
Afterwards, everyone was invited into one of the conference rooms to hear Mohamad Jesr announce that the club now has now 53 active members, 5 local members and 1 ‘young’ member. Bouquets were given to 5 members who celebrated their birthdays in February.
The guest speaker at the event was Jaffee Y. F. Yee, a veteran, award-winning publisher, art consultant and curator for more than 25 years, formerly based in Hong Kong as a regional manager of McGraw-Hill and CBS International Publishing, CBS Inc., New York. After moving his base to Bangkok in 1984, Yee published his first book Thailand from the Air – a collection of more than 100 aerial photographs taken by celebrated photographer, Luca Tettoni Invernizzi, with text written by William Warren. The talk was mainly focused on contemporary art, a subject clearly dear to Yee’s heart and to many of the guests, especially those who own art galleries in the city. To round off the evening, a delicious meal was served in the Favola Restaurant, under the expert eye of Chef Gustavo.

 

Samsara spends the Rooftop Charity donation

Necessities for the two remote schools, purchased by Samsara
with funds from the Rooftop Charity Party donation.

Michael Davies
The Samsara Foundation, one of the three recipients of funds raised at the 5th Annual Charity Rooftop Party earlier this year, had a great day recently when its representatives spent some of the 338,000 baht allocated to them. from the event’s total of 1,170,000 baht.
Items purchased, which will be used at two locations in Mae Sariang district, Baan Naa Do and Um Daa Nua, included 8 beds for teachers, 33 cupboards, 61 mattresses and 10 tables and benches. Under the expert guidance of Samsara’s founder, Annelie Hendricks, Ratana Kuankaew (Annelie’s volunteer partner) assembled the cupboards, beds, tables and benches, bought at a fraction of the cost of buying ready-made. The furniture is strong and sturdy, and is expected to last for a long time.
Annelie told the Chiang Mai Mail, ‘Samsara has a new project; furniture for a new student canteen and dormitory at the isolated Huay Haa School high up in the mountains near Mae Lanoi, which we are building at present. The total sum required is 300,000 baht, and every donation is welcome. We also are in need of a volunteer who can speak and read Thai and English for our scholarship program.’
The Samsara Foundation is a charity, registered both here in Thailand and in the Netherlands, which provides fully equipped schools, including dormitories, canteens and kitchens for hill tribe children in the remotest areas of Northern Thailand. For more information, please visit www.samsara-foundation.com, or email Annelie on [email protected] loxinfo.co.th.


Friends helping out at Wat Don Chan

Kate, John, Christa, Chris, Bryan, James and Joe (l/r) – all Friends of Wat Don Chan.

George Powell
On February 26, the ‘Friends of Wat Don Chan’ met in the restaurant garden setting of Wat Suan Dok for a forward planning meeting.
Joe Evans explained improvements that the group, in association with ‘Toys for Thailand,’ have recently achieved at Wat Don Chan, which houses and schools approximately 650 orphans in a local orphanage linked to the temple. He presented photos of a number of dormitories which have been totally transformed with the group’s help. Most of the work was carried out by the children themselves, a fact of which Joe was particularly proud. As he told the Chiang Mai Mail, ‘This project is empowering the children to take control of their situation, and they appreciate their surroundings far more when they are involved.’
The group discussed different ways to increase the number of Friends of the orphanage, as many of them at present only live in Chiang Mai on a part-time basis. Joe presented a wish list of the temple’s future requirements, based on the Friends’ project to upgrade the school to a ‘semi-college’ in the near future. The list ranges from used computers, printers, projectors, folding tables, wall clocks, books and white boards, etc, to funds donated for further expansion of the school’s facilities. He explained that all the goods, either donated or purchased from donated funds, will be placed in a carefully monitored and controlled inventory. Anyone wishing to volunteer or donate should contact www.humbletraveler.com or www.toysforthailand.org.


Garden Party raises 90,000 baht for local charities

George Powell
Charity events this March began with the twice-yearly Garden Party at the Citylife garden, and what a success it turned out to be. The 200 Club had arranged the fete in aid of Lanna Dogs Rescue and the new veterinary clinic at the Maetang Elephant Park. Hundreds of people turned out to enjoy over 40 different stalls and the wide variety of food, including delicious burgers, sausages, cookies, homemade pates, bacon, and even that famous Lancashire (UK) delicacy, black pudding. Don’t ask what’s in it! To quench the thirst there was a wide selection of wines, together with draught beer and cocktails.

Shades were the order of the day at the highly successful charity Garden Party.

For serious shoppers, many ‘can’t resist’ items were on sale at the various booths set up in the garden, draped and displayed with shawls, handbags, hill tribe handicrafts and other goodies, with, of course, the famous and ever-popular bric-a-brac stall organised and manned, as usual, by Jo Baggeley and Sally Ward.
Many charities were also present, including Friends of Wat Don Chan, Croston House and the Samaritans; all benefited from the generosity of the many visitors. A live and silent auction had been organised, featuring prizes of an antique chair, dinner at the Amari, a large cushion and other tempting treats.
The afternoon’s activities raised over 50,000 baht. However, on this occasion, it didn’t end there! From 5 p.m. until 6 p.m, a special ‘Drink the Carbon Bubbles Away Sundowner’ had been arranged by Pim Kemasingki. 350 baht per person ensured free-flow champagne cocktails and ‘kir royal,’ accompanied by delicious canapés and serenades by local star Book Kitavandha. The special event raised a further 40,000 baht, making a grand total of 90,000 for local charities. Well done, everyone!


Antinori wines showcased at the Favola

Wine experts welcome Jacopo Pandolfini (3rd left),
Antinori Wines’ export area manager.

Andy Archer
A recent wine-tasting at Le Meridién’s Favola Restaurant showcased an Italian winery established for over 600 years.
Antinori Wines, have an exceptionally long wine-making history, having begun in a.d. 1385, when the head of the family, Giovanni di Antinori, became part of the Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri. Today’s wines come from grapes grown in Tuscany and Umbria, imbued with 26 generations worth of experience. As Marchese Piero, the present head of the family, loves to stress, ‘Ancient roots play an important role in our philosophy, but they never held back our spirit of innovation.’
7 wines were on offer; the Villa Antinori Bianco 2007 (70% Trebbiano, 30% Malvasia and 30% Chardonnay) proved one of the most popular, being pale straw-yellow in colour with an intense aroma of white flowers on the nose and a fresh, soft and nicely lingering palate. Another favourite was the Villa Antinori Rosso 2004, as was a dessert wine, Moscato D’Asti 2007. Already very popular in the city, Antinori’s wines are available at a number of ‘5 star’ venues.