Fassbind ‘Karnival’ raises 80,000 for charity

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Friends and fans of the late Alois X. Fassbind turned out for a Swiss-style “karnival” to honour the man they recalled as “Mr. Pattaya”, as well as raise more than 80,000 baht for charity.

Normally held in November in Europe, ‘karnival’ was first brought from Basel, Switzerland to Pattaya by Fassbind, a founding member of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya who passed away in 1998. Fassbind made his name in Pattaya in the hotel industry and founded the A.X. Fassbind Medical Home at the Banglamung Home for the Elderly while working tirelessly on projects to benefit the area’s poor.

Vutikorn Kamolchote, president of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya with his wife Sumonrat and daughter Thida in carnival mode. Vutikorn Kamolchote, president of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya with his wife Sumonrat and daughter Thida in carnival mode.

Each year a fundraiser is held in his name with proceeds going partly to the medical center and partly to young, needy students who want to work in the hospitality sector.

This year the ball had the theme “Karnival at the Cliff” since it was held at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel, the group for which Fassbind worked almost 25 years as general manager and later as vice president.

Helle Rantsen welcomes the guests.Helle Rantsen welcomes the guests.

The management of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group, and their team, did their utmost to decorate the ballroom, and Walter Thenisch, who worked for many years as chef under Fassbind, provided an exquisite international buffet.

Helle Rantsen, chairperson of the organizing committee, made a short welcome speech informing the guests of the Rotary Club’s commitment to the wellbeing of the elderly people at the home.

Past Rotary District 3340 Governor Peter Malhotra spoke passionately about the life and times of Louis Fassbind saying, “All of us were and are still in some way affected by the late Louis Fassbind, the man whose name became synonymous with the hospitality and tourism industry in Thailand, especially in Pattaya City. Louis passed away on the 3rd of August 1998, but his legacy is still with us. His mission and vision continues to influence the everyday lives of all who live and work in the industry all over Thailand, in one way or another.

“Quite frankly, if he had not been so successful, Pattaya would not be the growing city it is today, and many of us would not have the successful businesses we have today. Put even more simply – many of us owe our livelihood to Louis Fassbind. Without him, we would not be here tonight.”

German Artur Bertrams sang and played carnival and folk songs on his trumpet and the keyboards; children from the Child Protection & Development Center showed their dancing skills, and a special appearance from Chinese acrobat Maskman entertained the audience, all supplied by the Human Help Network Thailand.

Volunteers Katherine, Bernadette and Wee (Arnold Schwarzenegger) donned their best Dirndls and Lederhosen to sing and dance a skit named ‘Arnie goes to Hollywood’.

Peter Malhotra speaks fondly of Louis Fassbind.Peter Malhotra speaks fondly of Louis Fassbind.

The evening also saw raffles drawn and a silent auction was held ‘silently’ in the background.

Barry Upton carried the party on to the wee hours with his inimitable style of music enticing dancers of all ages onto the dance floor.

The organisers wish to thank the following sponsors for their generosity in making this charity event a most successful one: Paulaner Beer, Royal Group Thailand, Radchada Chomjinda, Jan Olav Aamlid (Pattaya Self Storage), Pierre Yves Erraud, Max Rommel, TBX, Amari Phuket, Thai Garden Resort, Ticino Restaurant, Poseidon Restaurant, Bruno’s Restaurant, Baan Suay Resort, Lukdod Shop, Alvi’s Home of Thai Culture, Elfi Seitz, Pattaya Mail, and the Royal Cliff Hotels Group.

Katherine, Bernadette and Wee perform ‘Arnie goes to Hollywood’.

The amazing Chinese Maskman show.

Barry Upton packed the dance floor.

Children of the CDPC sway to the sounds of ‘Aloha Hawaii’.

Artur Bertrams kept the revellers yodelling and stomping their feet.

Paulaner flowed like a river of gold all evening. Thank you for your kind sponsorship Ken and Kanpitcha Whitty.

Bernadette, Katharina, Laem, Radchada Chomjinda and Wee from the Human Help Network livened up the party.

Co-organiser Elfi Seitz waltzes to her hearts content.

Children from the CPDC ready to perform the Swiss ‘Dancing on the Alps’ show.

Alvi Sinthuvanik congratulates Hanna and Joerg Strizek on winning the main prize donated by TBX.

Rotarians and friends of Louis packed the Head of State Chamber at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel.