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‘Summer Fun’ for friends of the Chiang Mai Charity Calendar

‘Summer Fun’ for friends of the Chiang Mai Charity Calendar

Elena Edwards
For those who accepted the Chiang Mai Charity Calendar’s invitation to Casa Antonio recently, ‘Summer Fun’, it certainly was, with good and plentiful food, wine and animated conversation between friends and supporters of this by now famous and highly successful project.

Chiang Mai Charity Calendar’s ‘Summer Fun’ get- together took place at Casa Antonio, with good food, wine and animated conversation between friends and supporters of this successful charity project.

A recent article in the online magazine, TTR Weekly, about the calendar and its two dedicated compilers, Ramlah Jafri and Basil McCall, says it all, stressing the pair’s perseverance against the odds of ‘recession, criticism and plain old fashioned apathy’, in the first year of its publication. Since then, the calendar has raised over 1 million baht for needy children in the north, and, unexpectedly, also raised the image of Chiang Mai as an enjoyable tourist destination.
According to Basil, the project initially had its detractors – an often-heard criticism was that, ‘nobody was going to buy something which was normally given away free’, but its success has silenced such comments, and the 2010 third edition is now under production. The charming format of children’s paintings showing typical Chiang Mai scenes which promote awareness of the beauty and culture of Lanna, together with the convenient small size, has made the calendar a ‘must-have’ for businesses and residents alike.
Students from Chiang Mai schools are invited to paint pictures depicting attractive aspects of Northern Thailand. Independent judges select the best 14, which are then featured in the calendar, with promotional text and photography added. The colourful and informative 40-page end product showcases the city and its surroundings year-round in an appealing, non-commercial way. Production cost is around 500,000 baht; the calendar is privately funded, has no sponsors, and carries no advertising. Customers include residents, tourists, travel agencies, hotels and companies, who can request a custom-designed version including a company logo.
All revenue, less the direct production expenses, is donated in full towards the education of rural children. The project is non-profit, supported by volunteers, and no party receives any financial benefit. Charities receiving support from the calendar are Children’s Shelter Home in Doi Saket, the Croston House Children’s Home in Lamphun, Khun Tha School in Lampang, and Bann Nangplaman School in Mae Rim.
The third 2010 Chiang Mai Charity Calendar should be ready in August, 2009, with the theme ‘Nature & Culture of Northern Thailand’. Advance enquiries and orders should be forwarded to Ramlah and Basil at chiangmail [email protected] or by phone on 086-189-6912