The award winning Pattaya Marching Band, crowned world champions earlier this year in Germany, performed at Central Festival Beach Road on the afternoon of Sunday 8th December to open the final commemorative event of the 10th anniversary of the passing of Father Ray Brennan.
Their performance was the first of many that entertained a large crowd of local Thais, ex-pats and foreign tourists. Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome officially opened the event and other dignitaries attending included local MP Poramet Ngampichet, and Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit.
The children and students of the Father Ray Foundation perform together for the very first time.
Rev. Raymond Brennan died Aug. 16, 2003 and his namesake foundation has spent four months marking the 10-year anniversary of his passing.
Former Miss Thailand World, local celebrity and supermodel, Cindy Burbridge Bishop, together with a host of Thailand’s most famous models, took to the catwalk to show the t-shirts they had designed, many of which were signed by Thai celebrities, including Tata Young, Yaya Ying, Ae Sasikan and Cindy Burbridge Bishop, and which were auctioned off to raise money for the Father Ray Foundation. Each model was accompanied by the children and students from the Foundation, and the children proved to be bigger stars than the models. The auction alone raised 71,300 baht.
Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit helps select the tickets in the lucky draw.
Food was provided by the Chefs Association of Pattaya, the children of the Father Ray Foundation performed together a recently written song in remembrance of Father Ray and there was an art exhibition featuring portraits of Father Ray.
However, the highlight of the evening was when Poramet selected the winning ticket in the lucky draw, and it was Bangkok resident Phanita Tujinda who won a brand new Nissan March, though there were more than one hundred prizes to be won, including jewelry, bicycles and electrical appliances.
Cindy Burbridge and her fellow catwalk models.
Apart from having a lot of fun there was a serious side to the evening. The aim of the event was to remember Father Ray but also to raise funds to help the children Father Ray never had time to help in his lifetime, the children of Pattaya who are living with special needs.
In the early half of 2014 construction will start on the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs, and while the fundraising campaign has raised a large amount of money there is still a long way to go.
More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The children with special needs once again entertained the crowd.
The Pattaya Marching Band was in fine tune.