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Rotary Foundation and Membership Seminar focuses on public awareness

District Governor 3360) Anurak Napawan (right) and his lovely wife Amporn (2nd left) together with PDG Pairoj Euerprasert (3rd left) Chairman of the Rotary Centre in Thailand welcome Past District Governor (3340) Pratheep Malhotra (left) and Past District Governor (3350) Krai Tunsanga and his wife Rungnapa to the seminar.

By Roger Lindley
The District Rotary Foundation and Membership Seminar for District 3360 was held at the Grandview Hotel Convention Center on July 21 and 22, 2012.
Rotary District 3360 geographically covers the area of North Western Thailand and contains sixty-two clubs with a total of 1330 Rotarian members.

Throughout the two day seminar, speakers emphasized the primary areas of focus for Rotary International which will guide Rotary International projects worldwide, providing a brand identity for Rotary and raising the level of awareness in the community of what Rotary is and what Rotary does.

Since 1947, Rotarians have contributed over $2.9 billion to “Doing Good in The World”. Rotary has committed over $ 1 billion to the global eradication of polio. There are over 1.2 million Rotarians around the world who are committed to the idea of “Doing Good”.

Members of the Rotary Club Chiang Mai West attended the seminar in force.

Speakers included Pratheep “Peter” Malhotra, the Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 6B which includes all Rotary clubs in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand.

He discussed “Revitalizing and Strengthening Rotary’s Brand and Enhancing Rotary Public Image”.

Peter opened with the statement “We are Awesome”, noting that Rotarians have done fantastic things around the world, positively impacting the communities they live in. “People want what Rotary has to offer, but our challenge is to help them to understand what Rotary has to offer. There exists a gap between what Rotary does and what the public recognizes we have done.”

Past District Governor Dr. Supavat Poovakul ‘Superman’ (left) leads Rotarians in singing motivational Rotary songs.

He added that the use of public relations is the route to helping the public understand what Rotary has to offer. He said, “We have underestimated what public relations can do for Rotary visibility and growth of membership. A brand is built on how our organization thinks, acts and communicates,” Peter added.

He concluded that communicating about the brand was key in attracting new members and partners, developing a foundation that attracts news members by building awareness at a local level.

Muhammad Faiz Kidwai; Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator for Zone 6B discussed the Rotary Foundation’s three major components; the PolioPlus Fund and the Annual and Permanent Funds. The PolioPlus program is working to eradicate polio. There are only three countries in the world where polio is presently reported as active: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. It has been estimated that nearly five million children have been saved from polio as a result of the PolioPlus program. To date, over $1.2 billion have been contributed by Rotarians in support of PolioPlus and Rotary has partnered with the Gates Foundation in making the last big push to finally eradicate this disease.

The two other major components of the Foundation are the Annual Program Funds and the Permanent Fund. These funds are used to support Rotary programs throughout the world focused on peace and conflict prevention and resolution .Additionally the Funds work on disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health care, basic education and literacy, for the 75 million children who do not have access to a basic education, the majority of which are girls, and economic and community development enabling local residents the chance to start their own small businesses.

PDG Waewdao Limlenglert (5th right) holds court with her members of the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Thin Thai Ngarm.

Faiz closed with this thought- “We have been given the resources to do good things in the world. Because we have been given the extra resources by God, we have a responsibility to share with others who have so much less”.

The Rotary Foundation provides the financial means to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

Free Bird Café celebrates 3 years in a new location

Free Bird Café’s Lisa Byrd is joined by students and staff who made the tasty vegetarian dishes that were provided to guests

By Shana Kongmun
Free Bird Café has been a popular destination for many local residents in Chiang Mai for the past 3 years at its old location inside the moat for those wanting tasty vegetarian Shan, Thai and International food as well as those who wish to either donate goods or shop in their well-stocked second hand thrift store.

Their move to the Santitham area last month has seen them move into premises with a large front garden located on the small Santiluk soi just off Santitham Road on the way to the YMCA. Free Bird Café and the charity shop raise funds to support Thai Freedom House. Every baht spent at the café and the shop goes towards Freedom House projects which are creating space for community development, traditional culture preservation and education in languages and the arts for people who have been denied access to education.

Visiting Jazz band Vatchapuj performed and well known Flamenco dancer Supreeda “Jeap” Wongsansee performed for the very large crowd that turned out in support.

Staff from Art Relief International joined Free Bird Café to show their support and offer a helping hand.

Well-known Chiang Mai resident Amy Grafstrom turned up to show her support with some tasty mojitos.

Jeap and Lamorna Cheesman of Studio Naenna joined friends at the party.

The blond brigade included Tracy Williams (far right), Marike van Breugel of Arun Arun Natural Products (2nd left) and friends Barbara and Lori.

Le Crystal hosts Skålleagues

Cocktails on the deck and in the garden were met with fine weather.

By Shana Kongmun
The monthly meeting of Skäl, the organization of travel and tourism professionals, was hosted by the fine French restaurant Le Crystal on Paton Road and saw a very large crowd meet for cocktails on the patio and enjoy a delicious three course meal with either Dory or chicken and for dessert a delicious crème brûlée with a spun sugar topping.

Featured guests include co-owner of Flight of the Gibbons Charlie Farrell and his lovely wife Lori along with Chiang Mai friends Kevin Mack and Tim McGuire. Frank and Vanita Sethi of Fashion King also brought along some new friends while new members were also presented with their certificates and membership cards. Several birthdays were celebrated and flowers were presented before the ritual Skål toast.

Jaffee Yee was on hand to distribute copies of the new Map of the Greater Mekong Sub-region from while Sally Golding talked of her recent trip to Kenya. General Manager of the 137 Pillars House Manfred Ilg mentioned that the fine South East Asian textiles exhibit at the hotel would be ending soon and he and Lamorna Cheesman of Studio Naenna hoped there would be more textile exhibits coming to Chiang Mai.

The evening was a lively fun-filled evening and everyone went home with praise for the elegant atmosphere and delicious food.

Naphat Nutsati, General Manager of Tamarind Village and Skål Event Director is joined by Annette Kunagigon, President of Skäl North in greeting members and guests.

Charlie and Lori Farrell of the Flight of the Gibbons chat with Joachim Koller of the Dining Guide before dinner.

The mandatory Skål group photo on the steps of the deck at Le Crystal.

Paul Humphreys of Destination Professionals and his companion designerTatyana Zakrevskaya enjoyed the fresh air as the weather cools down.

Frank and Vanita Sethi of Fashion King brought their good friends and Chiang Mai visitors to the party.

Flying beetles on the Central Ring Road

The Harley Davidson themed coffee shop features a real Harley.

By David Hardcastle
Look out, there’s a car in the sky on the central ring road!
The old flying Bug (Beetle to the Europeans) hovers over ‘Western’ and ‘Check In’, the brand new bar/restaurant/classic car and bike spot of Chiang Mai. A few hundred meters North West of the Old Borsang Road junction along the Central Ring Road, ‘Western’ is the new Harley Davidson themed coffee shop and ‘Check In’ is the smart air-con restaurant featuring Thai and Japanese food.

The group of Thai vehicle, coffee and food enthusiasts headed by K. Saiyan,held their soft opening on July 21, 2012 and were ram-jam full, serving some of the coffee from one of their classic old VW micro-buses.

All car, bike, coffee, food and beer enthusiasts are welcome and - no - none of the wheeled items are for sale!

The classic VW microbus serves as a coffee bar as well.

From left: Partners in the business include Pasagorn, Pongpichit, Saiyan (Managing Partner), Mondtagan, Akaranat, Teerayut (Co-Ordinator, and Jadturong.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]]

Rotary Foundation and Membership Seminar focuses on public awareness

Free Bird Café celebrates 3 years in a new location

Le Crystal hosts Skålleagues

Flying beetles on the Central Ring Road