The organizing team from the Pattaya Mail Media Group, Pinnacle
Grand Jomtien Resort & Spa, Eastern Star Country Club & Resort and the
Rotary Club Eastern Seaboard are justly satisfied with the 1.1 million baht
raised in the inaugural Pattaya Mail ‘Mike Franklin’ Classic Charity golf
tournament at Eastern Star on Friday, June 29.
inclement weather and heavy rain that had persisted for many days prior to
the event stayed away and, apart from a light shower on the course and
another early evening, the weather stayed fine and overcast providing ideal
playing and party conditions.
The course was in fine condition and the greens back in good shape, running
at around speed 9 on the Stimpmeter.
It was an early start for the tournament team setting up for the 06.45
Shotgun and thanks are due to Bernie Tuppin and Marliese Fritz for
efficiently handling Registration for both shotgun starts, and Bernie,
stalwart that he is, for staying on to complete the scoring at the end of
the day. Also to Nigel Cannon who managed to escape his voluntary duties by
filling a gap in my wife’s team.
George Redgewell organized the Players ‘Singha Key Ring’ Lucky Draw, and
Eastern Star staff were all around and available when needed and even Khun
Jirapol came down from Black Mountain, Hua Hin to help out, and pay a return
visit to Eastern Star where he served the Pattaya golf groups so well for a
couple of years.
It was a good team, and with play over it was time to head for the Awards
Ceremony & Party at the Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort & Spa. There, with a
big stage and the party set up on one rai by the beach, the Pinnacle Grand
buffet, one of the best I have seen in 12 years of organizing and
participating in golf on the Eastern Seaboard, plus the centerpiece live
station of the Roast Ox, kindly supplied by Andrew Kooh, GM Hard Rock Hotel
The tables were creatively decorated with a golf theme and the center VIP
table featured a complete golf hole. The creativity of the Pinnacle Group
GM, Ingo Rauber, knows no bounds, always looking for something to enhance
Open from 6 pm until the close, the buffet could be enjoyed throughout, with
the excellent Pinnacle band and singer providing the musical backdrop and
the Pinnacle Dancers coming on stage later to entertain.
Tony Malhotra started the evening by welcoming everybody and acknowledging
the generous support from the sponsors, donors and contributors to the
tournament, laying a solid foundation towards a successful outcome for the
One can never do enough to credit and give exposure to the sponsors, and
that was certainly one of the prime objectives from the outset. Not just in
the media but on the day at Eastern Star and in the evening at Pinnacle
The first staging of a major tournament is always the
most difficult and work intensive and, having worked with Tony Malhotra
tirelessly and endlessly for the weeks leading up to the tournament, it
was a relief to be at the Party. However, that too involved a packed
program to get through, starting with Lewis ‘Woody’ Underwood delivering
(amazingly from memory) an account of my origins and 25 years of charity
involvement with music and golf. That brought back many fond memories of
events and associations, and in response I covered the key elements
needed to stage a successful major charity tournament.
Firstly, the sponsors, donors and contributors who are supporting the
The two press conferences were generously hosted by Andrew Wood at the
Chaophya Park Hotel Bangkok, and Ingo Rauber at the Pinnacle Grand
Jomtien Resort & Spa, both attended by Pattaya City Hall and the TAT
We enjoyed media support from local and national television stations &
radio, and in Bangkok from the Point of View Media Group donating 150 A3
Poster sites in prime business and social locations.
No less than 57 companies and individuals provided sponsorship,
charitable support, and donations for the players and charity lucky
draws. Every player received a prize at Eastern Star, and a chance to
win in the Charity Draw with prizes valued at almost 500,000 baht. The
Title sponsor, ESC Security Concepts, together with Nirvana Place,
although sponsoring golf for the first time, are no strangers to charity
events and supporting worthwhile causes.
Innovations on the day included the new T-pod Trident Tri-car offered as
a Hole-in-One prize, courtesy of Rob Sullivan, and Claude Alain of Star
Photo provided team photos as players came off the course, and ‘Set’
photography at Pinnacle for everyone, all free of charge to demonstrate
their new wireless photographic technology featuring an instant ‘Camera
to Print’ process.
Secondly, the players who require good information and organization on
the day, and a good package overall. Some novelty holes were introduced
thanks to Horseshoe Point hospitality, The Lakes Charity hole, Casa
Pascal Champagne hole and ESC & Nirvana Place with the cold towels at
the 10th. It was good to see representatives from City Hall and the TAT
taking part and supporting the tournament by attending the two Press
conferences. Numbers were lighter than hoped in the 06.45 Start, with
few of the Pattaya groups and venues visibly represented.
Thirdly, the Beneficiaries
· Rotary projects for children, with Pratheep ‘Peter’ Malhotra becoming
District Governor of District 3340 Rotary International in 2008-09.
· Jesters ‘Care for Kids’ Charity Drive in its 10th year, where we plan
to implement a water purification project
· Diana Group Foundation and the ‘One School One Hotel’ project and
scholarships for Government schools.
· Pattaya Young PR Ambassador Program – a joint venture between the
Jesters Care for Kids, City Hall & Pattaya Mail. The current Young
Ambassador a 12-year old student Anisara from the Satit Udomseuksa
· The Camillian Social Center, caring for children with AIDS, and
visited regularly by Cindy Burbridge and Byron Bishop.
· Finally a small Government primary school in Amphur Kong, Khorat
Province, the Ban Dorntuapab Pattana where some members of my Thai
family have started their education. 125 happy students, fine dedicated
teachers, good facilities and playing fields but a terrible kitchen and
inadequate washing facilities.
The sponsors have done us proud and the players, with many new faces in
the field, have made a significant contribution, with the result that
beneficiaries will receive more support than we ever envisaged at the
The Charity Draw ran throughout the evening and began with a pair of
Cartier solid gold cufflinks. The list of valuable prizes was endless,
touching a value of 500,000 baht and ticket proceeds exceeding 100,000
Cindy Burbridge provided glamorous assistance on stage to help with the
Draw and collected an unexpected donation of 20,000 baht monthly for 3
years to the Camillian Social Center from Steve Graham.
Pascal Schnyder of Casa Pascal won the return tickets to Dubai, courtesy
of John Evens and Gulf Air. The Technical trophies were presented to the
winners, and the winner of the Champagne on the Casa Pascal Charity hole
received a bottle of Dom Perignon vintage 1998.
More Charity Draw prizes were drawn until it was time to present the
Team trophies. The Champion team was declared as ESC (2) with a
spectacular burst of fireworks to celebrate the moment. The perpetual
trophy will stay with Pattaya Mail and a special trophy was presented to
the Title sponsor and received by Steve Graham, who announced his
commitment to the tournament in 2008 as Title sponsor with North Shore
Real Estate to the tune of 500,000 baht.
That confirmed that the Pattaya Mail Mike Franklin Classic will be back
It was a fitting event and a successful conclusion to herald Pattaya
Mail’s 15th year of publication, and the Pattaya Mail Media Group
supporting charity events on the Eastern Seaboard.
The Mike Franklin Perpetual Trophy stands
proudly amongst the other trophies.
The party was held on the beachfront gardens of
the Grand Pinnacle Jomtien Resort & Spa, which was acclaimed to be the best
after-golf party on the Eastern Seaboard ever.
August ‘Gusti’ Steiner and Natthaporn
Suvarnabhanu from Siam Royal View were extremely generous in buying tickets
for the Charity Raffle.
The ambiance complemented the perfect
combination of delicious food and tasty beverages, which was enjoyed by
golfers and guests.
There was enough meat on the Roast Ox, sponsored
by Andrew Khoo, GM of the Hard Rock Hotel, to feed an army.
Winning a prize puts a smile on your face, but
receiving it from the glamorous and gorgeous Cindy puts happiness in your
The Organizing Committee presented tokens of appreciations
Steve Graham – ESC -
August ‘Gusti’ Steiner – Siam Royal
View, Gold Sponsor
Steve Ryser, President of the Rotary
Club Eastern Seaboard, Gold Sponsor
John and Sean Franklin – POV Media
Group, Platinum (Media) Sponsor
Christoph Balzli - Baltex Industries
ESC & Nirvana Place set up
tents handing out cold towels and displaying their latest security
innovations at the 10th Tee.
Hospital Medical Support Unit was on standby all day.
Some unique hole hand-outs
were set up, thanks to The Lakes Charity’s hole #3 (left), Casa Pascal’s
Champagne hole #12 (center) and Horseshoe Point’s Hospitality tent
Claude Alain of Star Photo
in action. He then provided team photos as players came off the course,
demonstrating their new wireless photographic technology featuring an
instant ‘Camera to Print’ process.
Eastern Seaboard’s Golf Guru.
(Above&Right) Pattaya Deputy Mayor, Ronakit
Ekasingh, presents the technical hole trophy to Michael Floeth
and also presented a Diamond Ring to another lucky winner.
Steve Graham MD of ESC presented 2
Nights at Nirvana Place prize to Steve Ryser.
Pascal and Kim Schnyder won the
return tickets to Dubai, courtesy of John Evans GM of Gulf Air.
Cindy handed over the Lucky Raffle
of 2 nights at the Amari Watergate to Ingo Rauber.
Golf was the theme of all tabletops.
As the main prize was
being presented, the sky erupted with lights and sounds of a splendid
fireworks display, courtesy of Grand Pinnacle Resort & Spa and CPN
The Pinnacle Dancers
raised temperatures all around.
The crowd gives Mike
Franklin a rousing round of applause for his sterling performance in the
golfing society and in the community.