Santa Scramble golf tourney brings Christmas cheer to Baan Jing Jai

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Due to the busy holiday golf schedule, this year’s Baan Jing Jai Santa Scramble was held even earlier than usual, and on a Wednesday, being organised on the 4th of December, as the festive season has become totally overcrowded with so many other competitions. 

This glut of competitions also had an effect on the total entries, with this year seeing the numbers reduced compared to the last two years and although this affected the golfing activity income and a much reduced input from the 50/50 draw, with donations being added to at the end of proceedings the target sum of 200,000 baht was reached once again.

Division 2 winners: Mike Hill, Don Everett, John Wood and Terry Hodgkiss.Division 2 winners: Mike Hill, Don Everett, John Wood and Terry Hodgkiss.

This year the plan was again to raise enough money to buy each of the 75 or so children, who are provided for by the home, a Christmas present of their dreams with any excess money being directed towards the funds for the New Home for 100 plus children.  This is in the process of being built on the outskirts of the city on land that has been specifically purchased for that purpose.

The projected cost of the new home was originally 18.5 million baht, which due to inflation has moved slightly upwards.   With nearly 13.5 million having already been raised, work has already started on the project with the contract for the building recently signed and it is now due for completion during 2014.

The home cares for orphaned and abandoned children between the ages of 1 year and 17 years and has received the official status of a charitable trust under the title of The Baan Jing Jai Foundation.  This status does not mean that it will receive any monies from either central or local government and will still therefore have to rely on solely on donations from commercial and private individuals and fund raising activities such as this day’s event, which are vital to its ongoing survival.

Last year’s wonderful sum of 200,000 baht was again matched with the last minute additions of a couple of final donations from The Haven and the now almost world famous anonymous donor to take the total from 170,000 to the final total made up as follows;

Whilst not wishing to exclude nor mention any particular individual, many whom gave very generously either through the 50/50 draw or directly into the fund, it is right to give credit to those commercial sponsors who helped to make this such a successful day.  These were: The Eastern Star Country Club and Resort, The Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Sports Supply, The Haven Hotel, head donation collector Jim Farmer, Glyn Evans for organising registration together with Len Jones, Russell Exley and Joe McArdle the golf organisers that provided the entries.

Division 1 runners-up: David Lehane, Larry Ang, Richard Bannister and Brian Talbot.Division 1 runners-up: David Lehane, Larry Ang, Richard Bannister and Brian Talbot.

Those that made the effort to support the day’s very worthy cause were rewarded with a great day’s golfing enjoyment in the knowledge that they had all helped towards making it once again a very happy Christmas for a lot of deserving children.

After the golfing activities, the contestants returned to The Haven where the usual sumptuous spread had been laid on and continued until all were totally filled or exhausted.

Russell Exley presented the prizes as Stephen Beard emceed the prize presentations and thanked all who had helped to make the day such a great success from the prize donors, 50/50 sellers, donation collectors, buyers, donors and golf organizers and the staff of the Haven for keeping everyone topped up with food and drink in the evening.

There was also a moment of reflection in memory of Roy Thornton who, in conjunction with The Haven five years earlier, had been instrumental in starting the Santa Scramble on behalf of the Baan Jing Jai and he would have again been extremely happy to have seen the day’s total collected for the New Home.

The day’s golf competition was also a great success as the course was found to be in top condition, with greens that were better than had been seen for a long while.  The starter also did an excellent job after Glyn Evans had seen everyone checked in and paid and the field got away on time, with all completing their leisurely rounds in around four and a half hours full of pure fun and enjoyment.

With the course being a lot longer and tougher than in previous years, the scoring could not match any of the preceding four years with the best of the day being the first division top three along with the fourth team, all at four under gross with only the handicaps to separate them all.

The second division first and second just got under par at 71 and although the third placed team were in with a gross 70, their lower handicap cost them a higher placement on the final podium.

The first division required a count back to settle the winners with Wilf, Paul, Ian and Daryl coming out on top with a better 29.1 to 30.1, leaving David, Larry, Richard and Brian in second spot and Robert, Tony, Frank and John taking third just point seven behind them.

The second division was not quite as close with two of last year’s winners Mike and John, plus Terry in for this year, but sadly minus Rodney Hayes who passed way during the year, once again prevailing, with Chris, Marc, Pat and Phil a close second and Hal Allen, Russell and Markku taking third place.

Division 1

1st Wilf Latham, Paul Butler, Ian Walsh, Daryl Blair (7.8) net 60.2

2nd David Lehane, Larry Ang, Richard Bannister, Brian Talbot (7.8) net 60.2

3rd Robert Hanson, Tony Pike, Frank McGowan, John Rushe (7.1) net 60.9

Division 2

1st Mike Hill, Don Everett, John Wood, Terry Hodgkiss (11.0) net 60.0

2nd Chris Walsh, Marc Jensen, Pat Murphy, Phil McClure (10.3) net 60.7

3rd Hal Hart, Allen Raaen, Russell Gilroy, Markku Tynell (8.5) net 61.5

Following the final prize presentations, all that was left at the end of the night was to draw the winning tickets for the 50/50 draw, which was left to Jim Farmer who pulled them out as follows; 1st Kuk the Prawn Seller, 2nd the Golden Crab staff, 3rd ten of the Haven staff.

For more details of the Baan Jing Jai New Home project, go to www.baanjingjaifoundation.org.