Miami, USA – During the recently concluded 80th Skål World Congress in Miami, Thailand’s Bangkok Club was announced as best of the best winning Skål’s Club of the Year 2018/2019.
The voting for the award is made up of two parts – firstly votes from each Club and secondly votes from the Executive Committee. The votes from Clubs represent 60% of the total votes and the remaining 40% of votes came from the Executive Committee judges.
The Club receiving the most votes is named as “Skål Club of the Year 2018/2019” and receives the Michael O’Flynn Perpetual Trophy, as well as a free double registration for the 2020 Skål World Congress.
The announcement was kept secret until the opening ceremony. In an Oscar like moment the audience cheered loudly on the announcement of the winning Club. It was a proud moment for Thailand and for Bangkok.
At the same ceremony, Thailand’s Yanna Ventures Anurak Community Lodge in southern Thailand won the global 2019 Skål Sustainable Tourism Award in the Rural Accommodation category. Yanna Ventures is a member of Skål International Bangkok, and the award was received by Andrew Wood on behalf of Yanna Ventures Chairman Willem Niemeijer.
Andrew Wood received, for his many years of service to Skål International, Skål’s highest award the coveted Membre d’Honneur, received by just a handful of Skålleagues in the Association’s 85 years history. Previous Thailand honouree included Bessie Samargarchan.
The Bangkok Club won the Gold award for Skål Club membership increase 2019. The club has increased its membership by 155% since last year and continues to grow by approx. 4 new members per month.
Commenting on the awards, President Andrew said, “I am immensely proud of our executive committee. The Club is blessed to have a hard working team who don’t mind going the extra mile to achieve great things for the Club and our members. All their hard work has paid off and we have many great plans for the future.
“Our events are growing ever more popular and with our eye for detail and event excellence we, along with our sponsors, provide must-attend events each and every month. Care of our members is paramount. They are our colleagues AND our friends.”
Andrew Wood was elected President of the Bangkok club in March 2018. He was also previously Club President 2008-2010. He also holds the portfolio of Skål Asia Vice President, responsible for Southeast Asia and since March this year Vice President Skål Thailand.
The 80th Annual Skål International World Congress 2019 took place last month starting in Miami on board Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas with 500 Skål members and their families and friends. The Congress ran from 14-21 September 2019.
During the voyage the cruise visited Honduras, Mexico and the Bahamas. Skål Thailand, wanting to give back to needy causes, picked a Honduras poor school to visit.
During their port-of-call in Roatan Honduras, executives of Skål Thailand’s National Committee and their families drove to the school to make the donation.
Commenting on this initiative, Skål Thailand President Wolfgang Grimm said, “Skål Thailand Backpacks for Kids is an outreach CSR initiative organised by Skål Thailand as a CSR activity for the Skål World Congress 2019, in order to give back to the communities we encounter.”
The backpacks were sourced from a wholesaler based in the USA and paid for by Skål Clubs in Thailand.
Senior Vice President of Skål Thailand, Kevin Rautenbach said, “Over 100 happy smiling faces on kids was a joy to behold. They have very little in life, education is a key to their future success and a small head start with our gift of love given by strangers can make a huge difference. This was our small financial gift from Thailand.”
Apart from the four awards presented to Skål Bangkok at the World Congress the club was the recipient of two earlier awards at the Skål Asia Congress in June in Bangalore where they received the Club of the Year award along with joint winners Skål Tokyo and Skål Bangalore, and Bangkok received the Sustainable Tourism Award for Yanna Ventures Anurak Community Lodge.