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HRH Princess Soamsawali awards PhueanThai honorees

Chiang Mai Mail recognised for outstanding achievements

Honorees including Chiang Mai Mail Managing Editor Shana Kongmun, Executive Editor of the Pattaya Blatt Elfi Seitz and Managing Director of the Pattaya Mail Media Group Pratheep “Peter” Malhotra. (Photo courtesy of Imperial Mae Ping Hotel)

By Shana Kongmun
PhueanThai German International Organization held their annual gala charity event on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel. The gala event is held every year to raise funds for PhueanThai sponsored charities including past awardees the Chiang Mai School for the Blind and this year’s; “Friends in Need (of Pa)” Volunteers Thai Red Cross Project, a Thai Red Cross Association project that provides volunteers to those affected by natural and man- made disasters like flooding. The program sees Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsavali Kitiyakara and Her Royal Highness Princess Bajarakitiyabha visit disaster areas and distribute supplies to affected people and Thai Red Cross organized volunteers working to help distribute aid and assist people.

Peter Malhotra of the Pattaya Mail Media Group presented HRH Princess Soamsawali with books on Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand published by the Pattaya Mail Media Group as Chiang Mai Mail Managing Editor Shana Kongmun looks on.

HRH Princess Soamsawali presided over the gala affair where key members of society are chosen for their hard work, dedication and good works and are recognized and received awards from PhueanThai handed out by Her Royal Highness. She was joined by Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu, HSH Ticomporn Yugala and Senator M.L. Preeyapun Sridhavat at the event. Awards included the Platinum Life Time Award that was given to Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali for her lifetime of social work, Best Diplomat of the Year given to HE Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who could not make it to the event, Man of the Year to CEO of ECC International Tjeert Kwant, Woman of the Year to Miss Rattanakorn Sirirat, Best Hotel award was received by General Manager Peter Schnyder of Imperial Mae Ping, Best International Media Award received by Elfi Seitz of Pattaya Blatt, Managing Editor Shana Kongmun of the Chiang Mai Mail and Peter Malhotra of the Pattaya Mail, Best National Media Award received by Hallo Chiang Mai Magazine, Best Donator of the Year was given to Colin Richmond Watson, CEO of the year to Sisley International General Manager Rujit Suthanaseriporn and among others. Wuttipong Arayatumsopon and Saisom Wongsasulak were honored by HRH Princess Soamsawali for their good works for the benefit of Thai society.

The event saw a robe designed by Lawrence Goldberg in the style of the late Liberace auctioned off as well as antique newspapers featuring HM King Rama V and a coin collection. A fashion show was held by British designer Lawrence Goldberg who also earned the Designer of the Year award, and there were lovely musical performances from Trinities Pulse, students from the German Christian School and German opera from local Chiang Mai favorite Book Kitavadhana who had many standing in honor of his moving rendition of the German national anthem.
The PhueanThai fundraiser donated around half a million baht raised from donations, the proceeds of the auction and the tickets to the office of HRH Princess Soamsawali for distribution to the program “Friends in Need (of Pa)” Volunteers Thai Red Cross Project.
The charity evening ended with the Royal Anthem and HRH Princess Soamsawali’s gracious farewell.

Pattaya Blatt Executive Editor Elfi Seitz interviews Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon of the Podology Clinic and board member of the PheuanThai German International Organization, before the start of the event.

German Christian School students Hannah Haegar and Eleonora Nescholta performed at the gala event. (Photo courtesy of Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon)

Celebrity models are joined by Senator M.L. Preeyapun Sridhavat at the end of the show.

Man of the Year Tjeert Kwant is joined by his wife Ellen and friends before the start of the event.

Peter Malhotra of the Pattaya Mail Media Group joins Frank and Vanita Sethi, Wuttipong Arayatumsopon of the Podology Clinic and head of the PhueanThai organization and Monton Roongkitchitpaisal of C-Pop Magazine.

Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon models the cloak that went under the hammer to raise funds for the charity event.

Child’s Dream celebrates 10 years of helping kids

Child’s Dream staff and volunteers together for a group photo (Photo courtesy of Child’s Dream)

By Shana Kongmun
Child’s Dream, the charitable organization started ten years ago by two former bankers who wanted to make a difference for underprivileged children in the region. Daniel Siegfried and Marc Jenni decided to focus on the Mekong Sub-region and has offices in Chiang Mai and Siem Reap.
Daniel said that in 2003 he was traveling in Thailand and visited a children’s orphanage in Chiang Rai, touched by their lives he resigned his position at the bank where he worked and looked for a volunteer position. He ended up forming Child’s Dream with Marc and for the first five years supported projects caring for children but realized that the root cause was not being addressed so they began focusing on education for children so that they could gain the skills to help themselves.

Child’s Dream supporters join the evening party which featured a giant birthday cake for the organization’s ten year anniversary.

Child’s Dream focuses on three basics; health care, basic education and higher education, working to “create changemakers for society through university scholarship programs”, Marc said. They are now working in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
“We have achieved everything because of everybody in the team,” Marc said as he introduced the team of locals and volunteers at the 10th anniversary event held at their offices in Chiang Mai, offices Daniel pointed out, that were built due to three dedicated sponsors who gave money to buy the land and build the offices. “We are taken more seriously by the Thai and other governments because of it,” he said.

Lee of Akha Ama Coffee received the first Child’s Dream Social Entrepreneurship Grant, started to help empower individuals to contribute back to their community by starting programs to develop community development.

The celebrations concluded with a buffet style dinner held at the offices with some food provided for by the Chedi Chiang Mai Hotel and Le Meridien Hotel offering their support staff to wait tables and provide drinks. Sponsors, supporters, students and guests joined the party to celebrate the anniversary.
Child’s Dream founders and staff are looking forward to the next ten years of working to help local communities empower themselves through improved health care and education for children and by providing important socioeconomic opportunities for families. More information on Child’s Dream can be found at

Garden Fair at JJ Market a roaring success

Annual fundraising party helps Lanna Care Net, Royal British Legion

Pim Kemasingki of CityLife is joined by volunteers Yvone and Gill at the popular annual fair.

By Shana Kongmun
The annual CityLife Garden Fair, while no longer held in the old CityLife Garden, lives on thanks to the generous support of JJ Market and works to bring together the community to shop, eat, listen to music, watch dance performances, bid on auction items and just generally have a great time catching up in a charming tree filled venue.
The fair this year was held to raise funds for several charities including the Royal British Legion and Lanna Care Net and saw donations from many businesses including Oasis Spa, Le Meridien Chiang Mai, 137 Pillars House, and many many others. There were booths featuring the mixing style of d2’s very fun bartender, Prosecco and food from 137 Pillars House, delicious baked goods from My Secret Café, delicious pulled pork sandwiches from Butter is Better, sausages from Le Crystal and beer and pretzels from Le Meridien Chiang Mai.
Many locals take this opportunity to set up their own stalls to sell off items, or donate to the fair and the clothes sold there. A silent auction was held as was a regular auction with Pim Kemasingki acting as auctioneer.
The CityLife Garden Fair always heralds the start of the high season and the great weather in Chiang Mai and is one of the big events on everyone’s calendar!

The Dusit d2 bartender kept the crowd entertained and filled up on excellent mojitos!

The Lamphun Boys Cricket team loves their coverage in the Chiang Mai Mail (Photo courtesy of Richard Lockwood)

Marie has a very popular stall every year selling off her many beautiful items acquired during her travels.

The real Alice of ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Dr. Robert Batey is related to Alice Liddell who inspired Lewis Carroll in writing his classic book.

By Bill Sykes
Members of the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club have learned that the little heroine of the famous children’s classic story was a real life person, as were all the other characters in what seems to the world a tale of total fantasy.
Alice Liddell was the Great Aunt of Chiang Mai resident Dr. Robert Batey, who read extracts from his book to the surprised audience at their November 5th meeting at River Market restaurant.
From stories handed down through his family and 18 months of painstaking research in the north east of England, Dr. Batey wrote ‘Under His Hat’, a comprehensive account of the real Alice and her real adventures. The bright chatter of the highly intelligent, extrovert, young girl spurred the imagination of author Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Dodgson) who ultimately proposed to her - and was turned down.
The character of the ‘Mad Hatter’ was Alice’s half brother, who acted as her guardian and saved her life in at least two horse riding accidents. He was well known in the area as ‘Coffee Johnny’ – addicted to caffeine – and was an unbeaten bare fist fighter.
Many Rotary members bought autographed copies of Dr. Batey’s book, the proceeds of which go to several charities.
The next meeting of International Rotary is at River Market on November 26th

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

HRH Princess Soamsawali awards PhueanThai honorees

Child’s Dream celebrates 10 years of helping kids

Garden Fair at JJ Market a roaring success

The real Alice of ‘Alice in Wonderland’