Nearly 200 youngsters came together for Thailand’s flood victims as the Rotary District 3340 Youth Exchange committee organized a parade through central Pattaya.
Forty six international exchange students, in Thailand for a year, felt that they wanted to do something to help the victims of one of the worst floods in Thailand’s history, so they convinced Onanong Siripornmanut, chair person of the District 3340 Youth Exchange program to organize a fund raising drive utilizing their manpower and talents to achieve that goal.
PDG Thongchai Lortrakanon, Chair of the District 3340 Youth Exchange Foundation can happily say “Mission: Accomplished”.
Onanong set the wheels in motion and came up with a plan to organize the Rotary Youth Exchange Help Flood Victims march through the streets of Pattaya.
Pattaya Mayor Ithipol Kunplome, pledging wholehearted support for the Rotarians, gave permission to let the exchange students organize the parade on November 25 from the Town-in-Town Hotel to Central Festival Pattaya Beach.
Jintana Maensurin head of the Pattaya City education development department contributed generously, assigning a Marching Band to lead the procession followed by 100 children from the Pattaya School No. 3. In addition more than 40 children from the Interact Club of Banglamung School also took part in the charity march.
During the march down Central Road the students from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, France and Japan spanned out on both sides of the road donation boxes in hand, soliciting contributions from motorists, pedestrians and shopkeepers, all of whom were quite moved by the charitable gesture of the foreign children and were seen to be generously putting money into the yellow boxes.
Mayor Ithipol Kunplome (3rd left) flanked by PDG Pratheep Malhotra, an exchange student, YE Chair Onanong Siripornmanut, PP Maria Suvathana and Nigel Quennell during the show at Central Festival.
Saran Tantichamnan, general manager of the Central Festival Pattaya Beach also gave extraordinary support to the children’s fund raising efforts.
A stage was set up at the open air premises where the talented kids performed their respective national dances, including a very professional magic show by a boy from Mexico. In addition his staff served cold drinks, sandwiches and pizzas, much to the delight of the assembled kids.
The Bangkok Hospital Pattaya also took part in the charity event, supplying an ambulance together with nurses to accompany the kids on the long march. The medical team also kept watch over the children during the festivities at the Central Festival Pattaya Beach.
PDG Peter Malhotra Co-Chair of the YE program on stage surrounded by the internationality of Rotary.
That same evening, a Rotary fellowship party was held at the Town-in-Town hotel where the children reprised their much-admired show. To raise even more funds raffles and an auction of donated items were also held.
All in all the efforts of the Rotary Exchange Students throughout the day raised 55,055 baht which was presented to Rotary District 3340 Governor Thirayud Watanathirawood for use in flood relief efforts.
The colourful parade of international youth drew a lot of attention and donations as they walked along Pattaya streets.
The carnival atmosphere created by the students had the crowd cheering clapping and dancing.
Zims Magic Show was absolutely awesome.