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Four Seasons celebrates their 15th anniversary in style

Hill tribes children love the ballet

Ballet for Charity in Chiang Mai


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 www.schsf.org

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 Ploypicha.

Chief Justice of Region 5, Mrs. Nutcharintre Chanpraisri pins a corsage on Sunetra Nimmanant, wife of Chiang Mai Governor, Amornphan Nimanant.

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 show.

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 Charity Ballet;
Sleeping Beauty 2010. (Photo by Arayan Lias)

Some of the children from the Ballet Academy performing
in Sleeping Beauty. (Photo by Arayan Lias)

Shannon Morrow is joined by her children, ML Preeyapun Sridhavat,
US Consul General Michael K Morrow and Ben Svasti Thomson,
British Honourary Consul and performers in the show.