Ray Whitley was the presenter at the Wednesday, October 21 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC). Ray is an entrepreneur whose background is in Information Technology (IT) and expertise in the real estate industry. He previously gave a presentation on dealing with property issues in Pattaya and another on how he uses drones to market properties.
However, for this meeting, it was about providing aid to those in need. He gave a behind-the-scenes insight into the organization of an event to raise funds sponsored by the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya and what to expect from the November 15 Covid Live Aid Charity Event.
He mentioned that anyone who lives here in Pattaya knows that the dearth of tourists has caused a devastating blow to the economy. Many jobs have been lost, businesses gone under and food lines have popped up all over town. Some Thais have returned to their homes up north, but others have resisted leaving since their present home might cause further hardship. Especially hard hit has been the various charity organizations in the city. The Father Ray Foundation has reported an 80% drop in giving during the pandemic. The Human Health Network, Bang Jing Jai orphanage, and Helping Hand are equally hurting. The expenses for offering assistance are still there, but the money isn’t.
To that end and to help address the problem, Ray said the Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club has worked to organize a charity concert where all of the monies collected minus certain expenses will go directly to those charitable organizations in need. This bonanza musical event will be held in the ballroom at the Grande Centre Hotel at Terminal 21 from 6 to 11 pm and will include a buffet dinner. Ray said the original plan was for it to be 4 hours, but the response from many musicians wanting to participate has resulted in adding an additional hour to allow for all of them. There will be short breaks, but overall, it will be continuous music, including during the dinner. Besides great music and a great buffet dinner, there will be a free flow of beer, wine and drinks.
They will have as many as 30 musicians participating. Their talents will be on display on violin, harmonica, trumpet, accordion, trombone, sax, flute, flugelhorn, guitar, piano, bass and drums. The music genre will be the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Ray believes the “Covid Live Aid” will be one of the biggest musical events in the history of Pattaya with many of Pattaya’s most talented musicians and performers making an appearance during the five-hour event of offering music, libations and feasting. The stage will boast such local legends as Steve Cannon, Bernie Web, Barry Upton, Paul Jackson, Paul Rosenberg, and many others including two gentlemen that Ray brought with him.
As a taste of what is to come, Mark Chapulsky came on stage with his very handsome guitar. He informed his audience that it was a 500,000 baht guitar and until this presentation, it had never been out of his house. He said he felt it appropriate to use it for the PCEC audience to preview what he will be performing at the charity event. He then entertained by singing some old favorites with Keith Wilson providing harmony.
Mark performed four songs, all well remembered by his audience. The first was John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet plane.” Mark pointed out that initially it didn’t receive much notice until it was popularized when Peter, Paul and Mary performed it.
He followed this number with Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice,” ironically also made famous by Peter Paul and Mary. After some additional comments by Ray Whitley, Mark and Keith performed “Crying in the Rain” by the Everly Brothers and ended their musical contributions with the well-known “Green Fields.”
Ray concluded his presentation noting that the event evening will end with a grand, carefully planned finale with at least 20 performers on the stage at the same time. Which, he promises to be a real bell ringer
He said that tickets for the event can be obtained from him after the meeting or later by phone at 064 62 444 00 or by email at [email protected] The price is 1,800 baht each which will all go to charity after event expenses. Ray noted that the Grande Centre Point Hotel, located at the Terminal 21 shopping mall, has substantially reduced their prices to help lower those expenses, so more can go to charity. The ballroom where the event will take place will allow them to provide a maximum of 250 tickets for the event. Ray said about 100 tickets have been purchased. When all 250 are gone, there will be no more, so he said if you want to attend, then obtain your tickets as soon as possible.
After Ray’s presentation and entertainment by Mark and Keith, the MC Les Edmonds brought everyone up to date on the latest announcements and called on member George Wilson to conduct the Open Forum, where attendees can make comments or ask questions about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.
For more information, visit the PCEC’s website at www.pcec.club
To view a video of the presentation, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0hQBwEQTRc