4.6 million baht
later: The History of the Jesters’ Care for Kids Charity Drives
by Lew “Woody” Underwood
The Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive has come a long
way since its beginnings in September of 1998. That year we had but two
months to throw the whole thing together and we had never done anything like
it before. We were neophytes.
Paramount to helping the Jesters pull off the event were
‘outsiders’ at the time: Kim Fletcher from Delaney’s (now
Shenanigans), Alice Poulsen, Niel Poulsen (Platinum Sponsor), and Peter
Malhotra and Dr. Iain Corness from the Pattaya Mail.
The PR blitz began in July with posters designed by
Neville Pick and regular press releases and exposure from the Pattaya
Poulsen announced the barometer of donations, which eventually passed the 1
million baht mark at the first Delaney’s Charity Pub Night in September
We billed the charity raising-event as a Pub Night at
Delaney’s with live music, raffles, auctions and an all-you-can-eat Irish
buffet. The purpose of raising funds was for an additional transport
vehicle, scholarships, school supplies, foodstuffs, general maintenance and
operational costs for the Fountain of Life Center One for children.
In the end, the members of the Jesters contributed nearly
300,000 baht (which included the blue van), corporate sponsorship topped out
at 270,000 baht, the sponsored ‘nappy rash’ bicycle ride from Chantaburi
of eight cyclists raised 240,000 baht, while the rest came from raffle
ticket sales, auction bids and a percentage of the drinks and food sold that
evening at the Pub Night by Delaney’s. Counting the proceeds the next
morning we realized we made the million baht mark by the skin of our teeth.
Many insiders believe we were able to achieve that goal
with the shocking auction bid of 24,000 baht for the infamous ‘Full
Monty’ photo of 4 unspecified members of the Jesters.
Riding on the high of this inaugural event, we all knew
we were now committed to an annual affair. The planning of the 1999 charity
drive began in earnest with the brilliant idea of Kim Fletcher to hold a
Children’s Fair, or family day, in addition to the Pub Night. To realize
this new concept, we knew we were going to need a real powerhouse committee
to organize the two events. To do so, we elicited the talents of Graham
MacDonald, Chairman of the BCC in the Eastern Seaboard, Neil Smith, then
with Harrow International, Jill Thomas of St. Andrews International School,
Mike Franklin, then Golf Chairman of the Pattaya Sports Club, Bjorn
Richardson, RM of the Royal Garden Hotel and Plaza, and Paul Dobbs of Global
Niel Poulsen, on behalf of Chonburi Siam Steel Mill
Services, came across with another 100,000 baht to become our Platinum
Sponsor for the second successive year, and we were off and running.
off and cycling in the Sponsored Cycle Ride circa 1999
So here we were in our second year and a bit more
experienced, at least as far as organizing a Pub Night. But now we had a
Children’s Fair to put together, which we had never done before. Finding a
venue was the first concern. After looking at several possibilities to no
avail, anxieties started to run high. We had to find a venue before we could
advertise the event and the days were slipping by fast. It was then that
Jean Wasser, then GM of the Royal Cliff Resort, and assistant, Judi McNamera,
granted us permission to use the gardens for our family outing event.
The idea was to set up a stage (which Cape East was
willing to do cost-free) that was visible from most parts of the site and
then arrange stall spaces with canopies around the perimeter for the various
schools and outlets catering to children, so that there was space in the
middle for the various kids games, aerobic shows, and what later was to be a
historic tug-of-war event.
While the flat area of the gardens was used for the
kids’ stalls and stage, the food stalls were located to the side and
behind the stage up a grassy knoll with the beer tent at the very top. The
strategy was that hungry and thirsty people would be willing to make the
trek to quash their appetites.
With the stalls all booked and the agenda of activities
set, we realized that the grounds were infested with red ants and in need of
a thorough spray before the event.
After this was done the next concern was the weather. It
had been raining during the week leading up to the event and we had to pray
for some clement weather for 2-3 days before the event to dry out the turf
and then a 6-7 hour window the day of the event to pull it off.
In the end the weather was magnanimous, the day bright
and festive with streamers, balloons and music as a few thousand fair goers
came to enjoy the event. The Sponsored Cycle Ride contestants (up from eight
to 40 this year) rode from Ban Chang to the fair, the lead riders arriving
in conjunction with the official opening of the fair by the Governor of
Chonburi and GM Jean Wasser.
The day was magic for both kids and parents. The games,
shows, and activities carried on till late afternoon run by Sean and Hanna
from the Royal Garden Spa and Fitness Center. And to cap off the day the
Pattaya Pullers were the unlikely winners in the tug of war against the
musclemen from a local gym, and Tracy, the daughter of Kim Fletcher, won the
bigger-than-life stuffed bear in the Children’s Raffle.
Tip Top staff came in to clean the site with the aid of
Global Silverhawk. And in the waning light the organizers were last seen
walking a line across the grass scavenging for cigarette butts. Scant hours
later the sky opened up and drenched the site.
A week later was the Pub Night at Delaney’s and at the
end of the long celebratory night, we had raised 1.4 million baht, 380,000
of it coming from corporate sponsorship.
Last year in 2000, we shifted up into higher gear. This
year both events were held at the Amari Orchid Resort in North Pattaya. The
Children’s Fair was held in the lower gardens of the hotel across from the
beach and the Pub Night at Henry J. Bean’s. Khun Tippawan, RM, and Jo
Stetten, then GM of the Amari joined our team in organizing what was to
become our most successful event yet.
Niel Poulsen from Chonburi Siam Steel Mill Services once
again kicked off our campaign with another 100,000 baht with his 3rd
consecutive Platinum Sponsorship.
Popular additions to the Children’s Fair were the
bouncy castle rented locally and the climbing wall provided by Bruce Oliver
of JVK Movers in Bangkok. Ripley’s stalls from Royal Garden Plaza were
also well liked by the kids. The Jester Beer Tent catered to the adults and
raised 100,000 baht on their own from beer donated by the club and other
bars in town.
The Sponsored Cycle Ride, which started and ended at the
Amari Fair site was extremely successful and had over 90 entrants. The end
result was amassing over 500,000 baht in sponsorships, 153,000 of which was
raised by Kim Fletcher and his sponsors.
The only real hiccup at the Fair this year, though
certainly not noticed by the kids, was that there was no tug-of-war, though
the defending champions were present and eager to pull. However, there was a
technical hitch: the rope was a no-show.
The Pub Night was exceptionally well attended with music
by Greg and the Russians, Rick and Harpic and raffle drawings and auctions
in-between. BA and Qantas donated the first prize again with a
Bangkok-Sydney return, while United Airlines gave a Bangkok-LAX return for
one and SAS a return trip to Singapore for two.
We were able to announce before the Pub Night was over
that we had hit the 2 million baht mark. The big advantage we had in 2000
was even before our two events were held, the Children’s Fair and Pub
Night, we had collected over 1 million baht thanks to liberal corporate
sponsorship (almost 800,000 baht) and the proceeds from the large donation
box generously donated by Tesco/Lotus store to the Fountain of Life of
241,000 baht in change. All things considered, 2.2 million baht was raised
for the kids last year.
Now it is our 4th
year (3rd year for the
Children’s Fair) and though expectations are high, we have set no target.
Suffice to say, that, yes, Niel Poulsen and Chonburi Siam Steel Mill
Services have done it again with another 100,000 baht Platinum Sponsorship.
Additionally, Shenanigans has gone Platinum as well, making it the first
year we have had two such sponsorships. We are still hoping for yet another,
but that’s another story to be told later.
In the meantime, our most significant difference for the
year 2001 is that we now have a Web Page, thanks to Susie Ngamsuwan,
detailing the history of our Charity Drives and what is going on this year.
Please check it out: www.care4kids.freeservers.com
An Elephant to the
Rescue of Hi-Tech Communications
Story and photos by Peter Cummins
What could have been more appropriate, I thought, as
David Doll, the then officer of the Sea and Oil Services Company, telephoned
me to come to Laem Chabang and photograph an elephant hauling a
sophisticated hi-tech fibre-optic cable out of the sea? This sub-marine
cable is the vital link in the trans-Thailand telecommunications network. In
my youth (yes, I WAS YOUNG, once!), such long-distance communications were
known as “trunk-line” calls whereby if one cranked up the phone long
enough, one could reach the next town.
old and the new: the elephant saunters past one of man’s contraptions
All went well with the laying of the 850-km long fibre-optic
cable, stretching under-sea from Laem Chabang to Songkhla, which was
finished late last year. According to Pattaya-based David Doll, this cable
network, “Has brought Thailand in line with the most sophisticated
communications systems now operating world-wide.”
Funded and commissioned by the Communications Authority
of Thailand (CAT) and implemented by Ericcson and Global Submarine Cable
Systems, the network was undertaken in four stages: Laem Chabang to
Petchburi; Petchburi to Chumpon; Chumpon to Koh Samui; and finally Samui to
this work, just so my masters can make a phone call?”
With the completion of this massive system, “Thailand
entered the fast lane of the communications highway,” Mr Doll emphasized,
adding that “The Kingdom’s Internet, telephone and telecommunications
networks are (now) equal to any in the world.”
Well, almost, at that time! A slight change in the Laem
Chabang Municipality’s configuration of the port area required the cable
to be hauled out, re-constituted and diverted. No problem said the engineers
and personnel: Ericcson’s Nilserik Grip, David Doll and Peter Parkinson,
“inter alia” were all back in Laem Chabang recently, on the cable-laying
barge the “Networker”, to re-direct the mammoth under-sea operation.
elephant makes a “trunk-call”
Mammoth is the key word, for what better way to haul out
the huge cable - once it was extracted from the seabed - than by harnessing
the strength of Thailand’s own mammoth - the chang - for the task, mused
these three wise men from the west.
So when all was prepared, I was fortunate to witness the
‘symbiosis’ of the latest sophisticated technology and the slow,
ponderous, powerful elephant - one of Nature’s oldest denizens. The chang
hauled out the hi-tech cable, proudly acknowledging his starring role,
through his “saddle cloth”, a blue and white Ericcson and a green and
white Global Maritime logo displayed on either side.
cable slowly weaves back to land
Thus, the elephant’s role in the cable drama is as
close as the present generation (the “X-generation”, whatever that
means) could ever come to the old concept of a “trunk-line call”, which
now seems so unreal in our world of instant global communications from tiny
Learn your numbers
by Katherine Iglinski
Living overseas is always an adventure, filled with
experiences only few can understand or appreciate. Friends back home are
always asking about what life is like overseas, yet the smiles slowly turn
to yawns when you bring out the tenth photo album of palm trees, motorcycles
with five or six people piled on top of them, and the many other wonders of
the expatriate lifestyle. No one seems to understand the language
difficulties we often come across or the frustrations we sometimes endure
while living in a country that possesses customs that are different to our
homeland. Yet the beauty of it all is the ability to look back on them later
When my friend first moved to Indonesia from Canada, she
became very set on learning the Indonesian language. She had always had a
knack for languages and within the first week or so had already mastered her
numbers, or so she thought. She decided to head to the market to put her new
found knowledge into practice. After an hour or so of wandering around the
market she came across a couple of bathroom rugs and began the crafted task
In perfect Indonesian she asked how much they were and
then began to fiercely argue about being overcharged. “Dua ribu, dua ribu,
that is my last price.” The vendor looked a little confused, but simply
shrugged his shoulders and agreed to take her money.
Pleased with herself and her newly acquired bargaining
skills, my friend headed home with her new rugs in hand, all at the
incredible price of 2,000 Rupiah per rug (which at the time was roughly one
US dollar per rug).
It was only after she got home and had a chance to
consult her Indonesian dictionary that she realized her knowledge of the
Indonesian language was perhaps not as proficient as she thought. The vendor
had been asking for a price of dua ratus (two hundred), while she had
fiercely argued the price up to 2,000 Rupiah!
If you have a travel anecdote you would like to share
with our readers, please feel free to write it up and send it in. From time
to time we will publish what we receive. Enjoy - have a little fun - share
your experiences with the world! Send them in to [email protected]
If we receive enough, we will make it into a regular feature.
Antiques, are they
Silver that has been altered
A problem certainly, in English silver, alterations can
be made for reasons of innocent expediency or to enhance prices. The kinds
of alterations to be found in American silver are, necessarily, similar to
those which affect English pieces; tankards to jugs, for example. While
pieces of American silver that have been altered at some time in the past
exist, it becomes progressively less likely that alterations will be made
now or in the future. Authentic items from the 18th century now fetch such
high prices that they will be preserved as they are. That means,
incidentally, that the would-be ‘improver” has to pay a fortune to be
able to make a profit from his work. Therefore the motive for altering a
piece has been removed.
cream pitcher by Thomas Arnold c. 1760
There is a parallel in regard to alterations to the form
of certain pieces. A great deal of relatively plain American items of silver
was chased up during the mid-19th century with fruit and flowers. That was
done merely to update pieces, and thus there was no intent to deceive. But
the embellishment can be so obtrusive as to render the good qualities of the
original nearly invisible. For example, the relatively modest cream pitcher
by Thomas Arnold (Newport, Rhode Island, c. 1760) would be a perfect
candidate for later decoration. It would be reasonable to expect an English
example of this date to be chased up by its very design. But it would be
very rare to find a genuine American item like this now.
Training the Eye
There were two basic ways in which American silver
developed. In the beginning, it stayed in close imitation of two European
styles. Later it developed a domestic identity, but remained open to foreign
influence. Therefore, authentication by style alone can be quite difficult.
The marking system is certainly of some value, but unfortunately it leaves
much unsaid. Thus there is absolutely no substitute for looking at lots and
lots of silver, and thereby developing a feel for what is authentically
A knowledgeable dealer is the very best assistant and
protector a collector can have, for he or she will assist with their
knowledge and protect with their reputation. There are excellent
collections, such as those at Boston, Yale, the Metropolitan Museum and
Winterthur, to mention but a few. These collections were formed to inform
those who have an interest in American silver and if possible, a serious
collector would be advised to take advantage of these selected acquisitions
and use them accordingly. The third and most indispensable source of
experience is books, both the catalogues of major collections and books in
print which deal exclusively on American silver.
Updated every Friday
Copyright 2001 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260, Thailand
Tel. 66-38 411 240-1, 413 240-1, Fax: 66-38 427 596
Chinnaporn Sungwanlek, assisted by Boonsiri Suansuk.
E-Mail: [email protected]
The Rotary Club
By The Sea