Billabong Charity Golf Day winners are children with special needs

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As happens every day at the Billabong Golf Bar, Bob Philp has a few cold beers with friends that pop in for a chat about golf, rugby or cricket, but on this occasion the conversation turned to Scott Qua and his daughter, Kelly, and how it would be a good idea to have a charity golf day to support children with special needs.

We have all heard the saying ‘oak trees from acorns grow’, well a similar situation occurred on June 30th for what started as a casual conversation turned into a huge success with more than 550,000 baht being raised. Thanks must go to the 132 golfers that supported this event but a special thanks to the sponsors who were so generous in their support. The winners of the golf were Andrew Scaiffe and Charlie Brown but the real winners were the children with special needs.

The children, gathered around the new lockers, thank those from the Billabong Golf Bar.

Situated along the 331 close to the junction with the 332, Khao Bi Sri Centre is a home for children from the age of 6 that have various ailments. These include autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and learning difficulties generally. Boonchu Muangmaitong (Khun Chu) has run the centre from the outset and has dedicated her life to helping children with learning difficulties, teaching them to read, write, use computers, and to develop their artistic skills. Some time ago, she was so frustrated with the lack of help from the Education Authority that she gave a rai of land to them on the understanding that it was to be used for the welfare of the children.

Many of these children need 24/7 care and attention, and the demand for help from families that have a child with special needs is such that expansion has been a necessity. Jesters Care For Kids, the Thai Navy, PTT and others have assisted in this aim and she now has 140 children with 100 being resident. When you meet one of these children, you will find them friendly, loving and unafraid to have close contact with those they meet. It is indeed a pleasure to spend time with them.

Bob, Scott and Kelly.

The children have very few personal items but what they have are guarded and treasured at all times. When we spoke to Chu about what was needed, her reply was simple: lockers for the children to use to keep their personal items safe and in one place, to give them a sense of independence. A simple request which was readily agreed to by the Billabong committee. The 30 lockers are in bright, cheerful colours and the individual’s name will be on each one.

Khao Bi Sri is just one area of concern for us and further donations will be made shortly, but plans are already underway for next year’s event so if you would like to sponsor a hole, make a contribution of cash, clothes, and/or toys at any time or perhaps an appropriate item that could be auctioned on the day, please contact Bob Philp at the Billabong on 0822043411 or William Macey on 0861522754.