Thailandfreunde Gala aids Northern School for the Blind
By Shana Kongmun
Thailandfreunde held their 5th
anniversary party at the Novotel Chiang Mai last month and the gala
fundraiser netted over half a million baht. The Northern School for the
blind will receive 250,000 of that while the rest will be distributed to
other children’s organizations in need. Despite a small controversy at the
beginning, the evening went off without a hitch and the show from Playhouse
Entertainment dancers was enjoyed by all as was the fashion show featuring
up and coming young Thai designers with some really fabulous clothes on
display. More than one woman commented that it was too bad the fashions
weren’t up for sale also!
Chao Duang Duen Na Chiang Mai is presented with the Lifetime Achievement
Award by President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert
Buranupakorn. President Boonlert donated 10,000 baht to the cause as well.
Thailandfreunde was founded in Germany and September 2005
and has been helping underprivileged children in Thailand ever since. This
latest fundraiser will help the Northern School for the Blind get a new
roof. Several of the students from the school performed at the event,
charming the audience with their beautiful musical performance.
Preeyapun Sridhavat, Honorary Consul to Peru, was awarded Diplomat of the
Year by Dirk Weeber- Arayatumsopon and Wutthipong Arayatumsopon.
Awards were also handed out to various local and
international personalities with Elfi Seitz of the German language sister
newspaper of the Chiang Mai Mail and Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Blatt being named
Thailand Friend of the Year, International and Khun Rapeepun of Desjoyaux
Pools and President of the Saraphi Lions Club named as Thailand Friend of
the Year, National. Other notables included Raya Luelai named as Business
Woman of the Year, Janet Henry as Donator of the Year, Pim Kemasingki of
CityLife as Woman of the Year and Somsak Chalachol as Man of the Year. ML
Preeyapun Sridhavat was named Diplomat of the Year and Dr. Chao Duang Duen
Na Chiang Mai with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The evening ended with an auction of various artworks and
antiques that helped add to the total as well as a mysterious donor who
donated 200,000 baht
and students from the Northern School for the Blind are joined
by Miss Thailand Universe 2008 Gavintra Pontijak for the charity dinner.
Mr. Pramuan Ploykamonchun, Director of the Northern School for the Blind, 2nd
right, joins Dirk Weeber- Arayatumsopon, left, Miss Thailand Universe 2008
Gavintra Pontijak and Wutthipong Arayatumsopon at the charity fundraiser for
the fabulous dresses by Thailand designers on show at the charity event.
winners gather on the stage for group photos.
BCCT visits Chiang Mai for networking night
By Shana Kongmun
Members of the British Chamber of Commerce paid a visit
to Chiang Mai last week at the Networking One meeting held at the lovely new
resort hotel in town, The Rim. Many of the attendees commented on the
beautiful Lanna style architecture and how well it meshed with the style of
the moat and lamented the construction of so many ugly buildings back in the
1960s. The general consensus was a hope that all new construction inside the
old city would be required to hold some kind of design standards. The
Mayor’s recent completion of burial of cables at Tha Pae and Chang Klan was
lauded as an important step in maintaining and restoring the charm of the
Watkins, Executive Director for the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand
announces the upcoming BCCT dinner in Chiang Mai.
Other conversations centered around the political
tensions and the recent explosion in Bangkok, the high tourist season, the
strength of the baht and of course, the weather. Quite a few new faces
joined in with some of the regulars, with Magaret Bhadungzong discussing her
latest venture as Tour Development and Communications Director of Boonsom
Farm, the largest spirulina farm in Thailand out Mae Wang way, while Brett
Whiteside of Learn Thai From a White Guy talked about his unique method of
teaching Thai and said that the emphasis on context was of great importance
for westerners trying to learn Thai. Dave Williams of Digital Zoo talked
about the influx of software and tech companies into Chiang Mai, he and
Martin Venzky-Stalling talked about the recent Creative City initiative and
the hopes for turning Chiang Mai into a creative hub.
The evening was marked by Greg Watkins, Executive
Director for the British Chamber of Commerce (BCCT) announcement for a plan
to start a Northern Chamber soon and for a BCCT dinner on November 11. Many
participants accepted the idea enthusiastically, with Zane Crosby-Emery
stating that he planned on joining the British Chamber in order to take part
in the many programs and benefits that the Chamber has to offer.
The evening concluded as many of the crowd headed out to
other venues to continue the fun, while some people noted that Friday was
indeed a working day and that it was time to head home.
members enjoy the ambience of the Rim’s beautiful architecture, while Stuart
Lloyd and Isaree Somboonsakdikul of Ideology Asia Company Limited chat with
Margaret Bhadungzong, Tour Development and Communications Director of
left: Ornwimon Noreewong, Assistant Events Manager of the BCCT joins Mayuree
(Mam) Reunsati, Office Manager of AA Insurance Brokers at the entrance to
the hotel’s restaurant, The Canal. Top right: Chris Thatcher, Chairman
Sutlet Group Co., Ltd shares a laugh with Clive N. Butcher, Managing
Director Highfield Equity Co.,Ltd and (bottom) from left, Ralph Van Den Berg
of Horeca Supply Co.,Ltd, Zane Crosby-Emery of Modern Build Chiang Mai,
shana Kongmun , Managing Editor of Chiang Mai Mail and Frank Sethi of
Fashion King talk about Zane’s upcoming projects.
Skål tries out Nimmanhaemin
By Shana Kongmun
Skål, the organization for tourism executives, gave the
trendy Nimmanhaemin area a try for their monthly meeting at Beccofino on
Nimmanhaemin Soi 7 on Thursday September 30. Attended by not only the
regulars but a few new faces at all, one, Herman Kleefisch, was there with
his wife Daa to celebrate his 92nd birthday.
Hardcastle leads the traditional toast for the Skålleagues gathered at
The evening was led in the usual way, with discussion of
local tourism, business and of course, the weather and the general hope that
the cool season will be underway soon. David Hardcastle of Autonostalgia led
the traditional Skål toast in English while Ketsanee Seehamongkol of Dokmai
Gardens led the toast in Thai before the group tucked in to some fabulous
Italian food at the cozy restaurant.
The general talk was about the slow start to the high
season this year and the hopes of everyone that it doesn’t get derailed by
political turbulence again.
left) Ketsanee Seehamongkol of Dokmai Gardens, Annette Kunigagon of Eagle
House Eco-Sensitive Tours, Irish Honorary Consul and Yvonne Hesketh Director
of Operations of Oasis Spa chat before the start of the dinner.
Nutsati, General Manager of Tamarind Village and Elaine Yue,
General Manager of the Shangri La discuss the number
of women GM’s of major hotels in Chiang Mai.
crowd gathers for the monthly group photo