PCEC members entertained with beautiful voices of Father Ray Foundation children’s choir
Following the special concert
put on by the Father Ray Choir, former PCEC Chairman Richard Smith presented
each child with a bag of goodies - as Director Mike has the children
introduce themselves to the expats, speaking in English.
Master of Ceremonies Bob Sutterfield welcomed everyone to
the regular Sunday meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club on December 20 at
the Amari’s Henry J. Beans Restaurant, then told everyone that they were in
for special treat. He mentioned that after the presentation by Mike
Lancaster, director of development with the Father Ray Foundation, everyone
would be entertained with the beautiful voices of the children’s choir from
Mike said that his background was in fundraising and marketing for
charitable groups in the United Kingdom. Since his retirement about 3 years
ago, he has been living in Bangkok. He said he was contacted by someone who
knew his background and wanted him to know that the Father Ray Foundation
was in need of someone with his experience. He contacted the Father Ray
Foundation, agreed to help, and came out of retirement to assist them. This
was about 9 months ago. He said he still lives in Bangkok and was initially
going home on weekends, but lately it seems he sees less and a less of his
Lancaster, director of development with the Father Ray Foundation, shares
with PCEC members the logistics of running the foundation, including feeding
over 850 children and young adults, educating them and caring for their
He said that he wanted to acquaint everyone with who the Foundation is, how
it started, what it does, and why it needs assistance. He noted that
currently the Foundation is assisting over 850 children and young adults
with disabilities in Pattaya.
To introduce everyone with the who and what, he presented an 8 minute video
showing how the seed for the Foundation came about when Father Ray Brennan
took in a lone child many years ago. Since then, his works continued to
Although Father Ray has passed away, the projects he started continue.
Presently, they have 6 projects underway with a vision for more in the
future. But, it costs money to continue the operations and even more if they
wish to expand.
Mike then briefly described each of their current projects. One is a day
care center for children from 2 to 6 years of age whose parents work. The
center gives them a safe and healthy environment so they are not left alone
on the streets.
Another project is their Drop In Center for street children. The Center
operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a place where the street kids
can come and get a bowl of noodles and have someone to talk to. The staff
befriends the kids and does their best to persuade them to get off the
For those that are willing to give up the streets, they operate the Father
Ray Children’s Home. At the home they try to give the children a sense of
self worth and the hope that they may have a future.
They also have a Children’s Village which offers more of a home style
environment for the children. They are in a house with only a few other
children in residence. The house has a full time person living with the
children so that the residence provides a more normal family feeling for the
In addition to children, they also help the disabled who often are not
accepted by society. The Father Ray Vocational School is for young adults
with disabilities. It is a place where they can get an education and learn a
trade so that they can go out in the world and get a job to “earn their own
Similarly, the Father Ray School for Blind Children also works to educate
and to teach a vocation.
Mike concluded his talk by noting that their projects furnish 2,500
nutritious meals a day. Also, to carry out all their projects costs about
120 million baht annually. The Thai Government offers some assistance for
education, but it is not anywhere near enough. So, the Foundation has to
raise the bulk of funds through donations. Mike said that this is his main
job with the Foundation; to work to get the funds they need to continue and
perhaps increase their operations. Through their efforts they can provide
what is really needed, love, confidence, and a hope for a normal future.
After Mike’s talk, the choir consisting of happy and smiling children filed
in. They launched into several well known Christmas songs such as Jingle
Bells, Joy to the World, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. After much
enthusiastic applause, the Club expressed thanks to the children by giving
each a “gift sack” with some goodies to enjoy.
After the children left, the meeting was concluded with Richard Silverberg
conducting the always informative Open Forum where everyone has an
opportunity to ask and answer questions about living in Thailand and Pattaya
Keeping their word
The fine young gentlemen from the
Thai Austrian Technical College in Sattahip kept their word and returned before
the holidays to help KOTO in cleaning the Jomtien Beach area.
We here at the Pollution Solution Group are very happy to announce that the five
students from the Thai Austrian Technical College in Sattahip that took time
from their studies in December to assist KOTO in putting up new anti-littering
posters, removing the old and staples to protect the trees at Pattaya Beach, all
taking around four hours to complete, also kept their word and returned the
following week before the holidays to help KOTO in cleaning the Jomtien Beach
After 2 hours in the sun, picking up plastic, toxic cigarette ends (butts),
bottle caps and other things that can choke, make sick or kill babies, wildlife
and contaminate our waterways, they also realized how important it is to educate
the unknowing and fine the uncaring and now understand the need for all of the
Umnat from the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion of Pattaya City
Hall, shared with me that he is delighted that these young men wanted to join
useful activities for the good of society and to reward the kindness of these
young men. If they continue to set examples and educate others, they will be
recognized by Pattaya City Hall and will receive a certificate for showing their
compassion for Thailand and doing something about it, which will improve their
chances of a good job when they graduate.
It is students like these that will be tomorrow’s leaders, by setting examples
today, and having hands on experience will greatly improve their chances of
holding important decision making jobs in the near future.
Many thanks from the Pollution Solution Group and KOTO, one of the keepers of
German Club holds
Christmas Party at Casa Pascal
Casa Pascal restaurant played host to the Christmas party for Pattaya’s
German ladies group.
Podleska (left) hands Christ Child Elfi a present.
Chairman Monika Podleska extended a warm welcome to the many female attendees
and kicked off the Dec. 10 party with a poem.
And then a bell sounded, rung not by Santa Claus, but by the “Christ child” who
came personally to give gifts to those attending.
The ladies had brought their own small gifts as well. These were numbered and
later each guest drew one of the numbers. The Christ child now had the pleasure
to distribute the gifts. She had also brought a poem to read to the ladies
Casa Pascal once again did a wonderful job preparing the a la carte meals and
everyone was completely satisfied. A few Christmas carols were even sung.