Canadian Jackalope Open and Jesters team up to care for children with HIV and disabilities


Jesters Care For Kids 2014 – Sponsored by Glencore International and Canadian Jackalope Open

The Jesters Fair is next month already!

Charity does not only start at the home…Playing golf with us you help children with disability…” is the slogan of the Canadian Jackalope Open and their 16th annual tournament is today on Friday, August 1st at Burapha Golf and Country Club. This charity event is their fund-raiser for the Camillian children living with HIV and disabilities.

The first annual Canadian Jackalope Open, in conjunction with the Pattaya Sports Club, was held on Friday, September 3, 1999 at Great Lake Golf and Country Club. Organized by Glen Dragland, Mark Gorda, Dale Drader, Eddy Henheffer, Derek Reaper and Moe Deverdenne, their sole beneficiary was the El Shaddai Home for abandoned children run by a Canadian couple Father Fred and Dianne Doell in Sriracha, and now run the Mercy Pattaya Children Center in Pattaya. For their inaugural event the Canadians raised 185,000 baht.

Tewid and his mother at the Camillian Home.Tewid and his mother at the Camillian Home.

In 2000, the Jackalope also included the Garunyawet Center for disabled ladies to their beneficiary list, and by 2004, the Jackalope had become an institution, not only by filling their tournaments to full capacity, but also adding more projects, such as, the Pattaya Street Kids, Ban Nong Charkngaew School, Jesters Care for Kids, and the Camillian Social Center in Rayong. The latter became their target charity in 2006.

In 2008, the Canadian Jackalope Open became a major sponsor for the Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive with the rider that all funds raised from their tournament would go to the children at the Camillian Social Center. The only way this was feasible to us was to join forces and combine funds from our side too to make a larger impact. And towards this end, since our 6-year union, we have provided over 4,170,000 baht for the 24/7 care and physical therapy for children living with HIV and severe disabilities.

One of the children is a girl, Fey, now 12 years old, who was born HIV-positive and abandoned by her parents at birth. She is blind and mentally impaired, most likely from her untreated HIV infection. However, with the administration of ARV’s, in conjunction with therapy and loving care, her demeanor has improved markedly and is now able to walk with assistance.

The second child is a 17-year old boy, Tewid, who was also born HIV-positive and is partially paralyzed with mental impairment. He enjoys listening to music, and spending time with the other resident children.  His mother, who is deaf from her own HIV infection, also stays and cares for him at the center.

In 2009, Fey and Tewid were transferred from Rayong to the Camillian Home in Lat Krabang, which is a center specializing in disabled children. Since then we have supported both centers in Lat Krabang and Rayong.

The third child, Fah Sai, the 6-year girl with cerebral palsy, who was abandoned here in Pattaya, is also under our umbrella at the Camillian Home. We featured her earlier this month issue of the Pattaya Mail Vol. XXII No. 28 on July 11th.

Children from the Camillian Social Center getting ready to go Christmas shopping last year.Children from the Camillian Social Center getting ready to go Christmas shopping last year.

There are 23 resident children at the Home, 11 of those are orphaned and 12 are HIV positive. There are also regular day visitors, who come for basic education and physical therapy. Most of the children in question are afflicted with palsy, blindness, autism, Down syndrome and learning impairment. The dedicated staff members at the center work 8-hour shifts around the clock, every day of the year.

Besides the 24/7 care for the above 3 children, every year, the Canadian Jackalope and Jesters take the Camillian children from the Rayong projects to Big C for Christmas shopping and in the spring on excursions of their choice.

As Mark Gorda’s favorite statement sums it up: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

If you would like to learn more about these children, please go to: