Four Seasons celebrates
their 15th anniversary in style
While the official 15th anniversary
for the Four Seasons Chiang Mai takes place on April 1, management perhaps
felt it better to avoid concerns over April Fools jokes and invited well
known residents and media out for a cocktail party on the 31st.
James Kostecky, General Manager for the Four Seasons,
presents the 60,000 baht check to Vieng Ping Orphanage Director Jiraporn
Chowprayoon Yamamoto. (Photo by Supoj Thiamyoj)
The party was a near disaster with the Four Seasons
getting hit with a huge hail storm the day before. Resort Manager Lubosh
Barta informed guests that they were worried they might have to cancel after
the hail had damaged so many trees and torn off the thatch roof from the
Ratree Bar and Lounge. However, by adding to their team of dedicated
gardeners and housekeepers with outside labor, they managed to employ an
army of 100 to clear the grounds in less than a day.
Mr. Barta showed photos of hail so deep it looked like
snow. He said his young son, who has never seen snow before, was just
thrilled. The staff, perhaps less so.
However, the event carried on, without another hitch and
guests such as British Honourary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson and U.S. Consul
General Mike Morrow and his wife Shannon mingled with the guests.
James Kostecky, General Manager for the Four Seasons
Chiang Mai presented a 60,000 baht check to the Vieng Ping Orphanage,
proceeds from the previous H.E. Admiral M.L. Usni Pramoj charity concert
held at the resort.
In the end, guests enjoyed the cake celebrating the anniversary and raved
over the lovely grounds of the hotel.
Padi Yuthasastrkosol, Executive Secretary for the
Four Seasons flew in from Bangkok to join James Kostecky, General Manager of
Chiang Mai Four Seasons, Zoe Addams and Shana Kongmun, Managing Editor for
the Chiang Mai Mail. (Photo by Supoj Thiamyoj)
Michael Morrow, US Consul General is joined by his wife Shannon and
British Honourary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson and other guests in enjoying
sushi at the Four Seasons 15th
anniversary cocktail party. (Photo by Supoj Thiamyoj)
The meticulous grounds at the Four Seasons Chiang
Mai were cleaned up just in time for the party. (Photo by Supoj Thiamyoj)
Hill tribes children love the ballet
Children from the Starfish Country Home perform Mulan to a
sold out crowd.
Western ballet, jazz, Thai dance and music are core parts
of the curriculum at the Starfish Country Home in Mae Taeng and ballet
teachers come out weekly from the Russian Ballet School in the city to teach
the children, some of whom have now danced ballet for over four years.
Recently the Prathom students performed Mulan, which was choreographed as a
ballet, staged and costumed by Arsama Tamee, a Lisu teacher at the SCHS. One
sold-out performance was done publicly to raise funds for Yard Fon, a nearby
center for training handicapped adults.
The Starfish Country Home School is a free, bilingual (plus
Lisu and Hmong) residential school for Lisu and Hmong children, most of whom
come from needy families in which one or both parents are absent or in
prison. It now has 33 Lisu and Hmong children plus 17 Thai day students
distributed between three anubaan levels and four phratom classes. In May
the school will add grade five and have some additional residents and day
students. The Starfish Country Home School operates year-round and utilizes
a unique curriculum, particularly in its teaching of English and math, and
has a mixture of Thai and foreign teachers.
The Starfish Country Home School Foundation is a
registered Thai foundation that has been active in Chiang Mai for over five
years. Its operating programs include the Starfish Country Home School (SCHS)
outside Mae Taeng and Starfish Homes in the city and in Chiang Rai. It is
completely supported by the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, a private
foundation and does not need or accept donations for its own activities. The
foundation also supports external activities in education and medical care
in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Burma but does not support activities that
have a dominant religious purpose. Among the other activities it supports in
the Chiang Mai area is a school for children of Shan migrant workers at Wat
Pa Pao in Chiang Mai and education programs at Chiang Mai Women’s Prison.
More information on the home and its activities can be found at
Mulan was performed to a sold out audience
by the children
of the Starfish Country Home.
Ballet for Charity in Chiang Mai
By Shana Kongmun
The 8th Charity Musical Dance Play,
Sleeping Beauty 2010 took place at Kad Theatre in Kad Suan Kaew Shopping
Center on Sunday March 28, for a matinee session and an evening show. The
extravaganza featured performers from the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy as well
as special guests, Shannon Morrow, wife of US Consul General Michael Morrow,
Dr. Howard C. Graves Jr., Anchalee Kalmapichit, Toby Allen, Wiwat
Kittipornpanich, Parichart Orm-aree, Rapeepun Sounsomjit and Pakin
Chief Justice of Region 5, Mrs. Nutcharintre Chanpraisri
pins a corsage on Sunetra Nimmanant, wife of Chiang Mai Governor, Amornphan
Both shows featured best dressed winners, featuring those
wearing pink in honor of HM the King’s 83rd birthday.
The proceeds from the shows have been donated to Friends in Need Volunteers
Foundation, the Thai Red Cross Society , and a foundation under the
initiative of HRH Princess Pacharakitiyapa, to be used for disaster relief
and improving the lives of people in local communities.
The afternoon show was well attended, with many
youngsters coming to enjoy the show, including some budding young dancers
from the Starfish Country Home School in Mae Taeng. These young students,
accompanied by director Dr. Richard P. Haugland, came down to watch the
show, telling me that they are fortunate to have a teacher come up to their
village to teach them regularly. All the little girls were dressed in pink
and looking forward to the excitement of a real ballet.
Sunetra Nimmanant, wife of Chiang Mai Governor, Amornphan
Nimanant and the Chief Justice of Region 5, Mrs. Nutcharintre Chanpraisri,
attended the afternoon show along with many Thai and foreign guests and
their children. One outstandingly dressed guest wore a full Scottish kilt,
complete with all the accessories. But, unfortunately, not a pink kilt, so
he did not win best dressed!
Sleeping Beauty and her Prince in the 8th
Charity Ballet performance. (Photo by Arayan Lias)
The evening performance was joined by beautifully dressed
guests, many women lovely in gowns. Shannon Morrow was resplendent in her
costume, posing with ML Preeyapun Sridhavat, artistic director and
Chairperson of the event, her husband US Consul General Michael K. Morrow
and the British Honourary Consul, Ben Svasti Thomson before the start of the
Performers such as Wijitpailin Sereesak, a famous
classical singer and award winner from Graz, portrayed the Queen and Ongkarn
Chaiongkarn, as the King, mingled with the crowd beforehand, posing for
photos with the guests.
Beautifully costumed and staged, the dancers shone on the
stage, performing this old classic, with some new twists in a very enjoyable
performance for all.
Beautifully costumed dancers perform
in the 8th
Sleeping Beauty 2010. (Photo by Arayan Lias)
Some of the children from the Ballet Academy performing
Sleeping Beauty. (Photo by Arayan Lias)
Shannon Morrow is joined by her children, ML Preeyapun Sridhavat,
Consul General Michael K Morrow and Ben Svasti Thomson,
Consul and performers in the show.