HRH Princess Soamsawali awards PhueanThai honorees
Chiang Mai Mail recognised for outstanding achievements
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.
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.
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.
Christian School students Hannah Haegar and Eleonora Nescholta performed at
the gala event. (Photo courtesy of Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon)
models are joined by Senator M.L. Preeyapun Sridhavat at the end of the
Man of the
Year Tjeert Kwant is joined by his wife Ellen and friends before the start
of the event.
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.
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
Dream staff and volunteers together for a group photo (Photo courtesy of
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.
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 http://childsdream.org/home/.
Garden Fair at JJ Market
a roaring success
Annual fundraising party helps Lanna Care Net, Royal British Legion
Kemasingki of CityLife is joined by volunteers Yvone and Gill at the popular
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
The Dusit d2
bartender kept the crowd entertained and filled up on excellent mojitos!
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’
Batey is related to Alice Liddell who inspired Lewis Carroll in writing his
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