Camillian kids have a wild day at the Pinnacle Grand Jomtien beach

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An exciting day at the beach for the children from the Camillian Home was hosted by Ingo Raeuber, group general manager of the Pinnacle Hotels, Resorts and Spas. 25 residents and staff arrived at the Pinnacle Grand Jomtien in the morning and immediately headed to the beach to enjoy the sun, sand, sea and surf. The children spent hours swimming, building sand castles, flying kites, playing football and otherwise having a great time. A bountiful lunch was served at the Beach Restaurant and Bar before the children jumped into the swimming pool to cool off.

The Pinnacle Grand Resort in Jomtien sponsored the annual event to celebrate Camillian Home’s resident “Pan’s” 17th birthday. The Camillian Home in Lat Krabang is home for 45 underprivileged children living with HIV/AIDS and disabilities. Founder of the Pinnacle Group and chairman of the Youth Leadership Development Foundation (YLDF), Dr. Vongbhum Vanasin has a history of contributing to a myriad of socially responsible initiatives in Thailand and has indeed been practicing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) long before the invention of the word. Dr Vongbhum and Ingo have served on numerous executive committees for organizations such as Skål, Rotary Club and YLDF and have built strategic alliances between the tourism industry, the community and schools throughout Thailand.

A boy presents Ingo Raeuber with a certificate of gratitude for making their day at the beach a most memorable one. A boy presents Ingo Raeuber with a certificate of gratitude for making their day at the beach a most memorable one.

The day at the beach was organized by students from two tourism organizations at Assumption University; PATA AU Satellite Chapter and Young Skål Thailand.

Assumption University senior lecturer, Scott Smith says, “Encouraging tourism students to build networks with leaders in the industry can be intimidating for students and young professionals, but having the students organize and participate in CSR activities such as the day at the beach at The Pinnacle Grand Resort tends to take the pressure off. The students are developing their social and professional skills, and having fun.”

A happy Faisal Malik observes the touching moment as Ingo warmly hugs the boy from the Camillian home. A happy Faisal Malik observes the touching moment as Ingo warmly hugs the boy from the Camillian home.

Membership in non-profit organizations such as Young Skål Thailand and the PATA – AU Satellite Chapter offer students opportunities to establish relationships with industry leaders while helping the community. Both Skål and the Pacific Asia Travel association (PATA) are well-known organizations that represent the tourism industry and have demonstrated a strong commitment to CSR for many years. PATA has recently celebrated its 60th anniversary and the Skål club has been active in Thailand for more than 50 years.

“There are many foundations and charities forming partnerships with hospitality companies in Thailand, and research has shown that a focused CSR strategy results in greater rewards for everyone,” according to Ajarn Scott. “The Camillian Home at Lat Krabang is a wonderful facility that you can feel comfortable contributing to, the children are loved and well cared for, and the operations are conducted with transparency.”

Pan celebrates his 17th birthday with a colourful birthday cake.Pan celebrates his 17th birthday with a colourful birthday cake.

Long time volunteer Faisal Malik is the communication director for the Camillian Home and encourages everyone to get involved and help those less fortunate, “Most of us can consider ourselves privileged, and with this privilege comes a responsibility and obligation to care for the underprivileged.”

Father Giovanni Contarin came to Chonburi 20 years ago to provide care for those living with HIV and AIDS in Thailand. In 2008 the Camillian Home in Lat Krabang was opened to provide specialized care for children living with HIV/AIDS and disabilities. In addition to providing full-time care for orphaned or abandoned children, the Camillian Home team members work with mentally and physically challenged children from the local community providing physical therapy and medical care as well as education, transportation and meals.

The kindness and generosity of companies like the Pinnacle Grand Resorts and Spas is critical to the success of charities like the Camillian Home, which operate almost entirely from private donations. Tourists, tourism organizations and those of us lucky enough to live in Thailand are encouraged to donate time, money or resources to help those that can not care for themselves. Visit the www.camillianhomelatkrabang.org to learn more about their fantastic work and get involved today!

‘Little’ Scott Smith is no match for the boys while playing football on the beach.‘Little’ Scott Smith is no match for the boys while playing football on the beach.

Kids and adults having a fun time in the swimming pool.Kids and adults having a fun time in the swimming pool.

Children having a wonderful time on the beach and in the sea. Children having a wonderful time on the beach and in the sea.