Expat Power: coming to the aid of Chiang Mai’s elephants

"The 200 Club takes our cue, not from the Maetang Elephant Park, but from qualified experts from independent or academic institutions," continued Ward.

By | Fri 27 Aug 2010

Many readers may have heard of the 200 Club.

A group of energetic retired expats got together a few years back to organise a slew of fun and interesting activities – Citylife Garden Fair, weekend getaways, raffles nights, dances and parties – to raise funds to support a handful of selected charities and causes. The latest cause for the 200 Club is to support the formation of a non-profit elephant clinic in the Mae Tang area to cater for minor diseases and injuries for the 500 or so elephants living in Mae Sa, Mae Tang and Chiang Dao districts, so that they do not have to travel by truck, at great inconvenience and stress, all the way to the Lampang Elephant Hospital.

Spearheading this initiative is the indomitable Brit, Sally Ward, who has, together with her network of friends and supporters, raised millions of baht over the years for a variety of causes.

“A decade ago one of the elephant camps, Maetang Elephant Park, had an incident where a vet didn’t get to them in time to save a baby elephant,” said Ward. “The camp felt that it would be beneficial to all elephant camps in the area to have some sort of veterinary expertise in the area. Maetang Elephant Park therefore saved up money from their gift shop and have now donated a parcel of their land towards this future clinic as well as investing in a building and housing facilities for several elephants. They hope that they can turn this project into a foundation by the end of the year in order to receive further funding and donations. A website, independent of the commercial camp, has been set up – www.chiangmaielephants.asia – to sell art, and solicit sponsorship with proceeds going towards the clinic, and in the future, to be shared with other worthy pachyderm projects such as Anantara Golden Triangle’s efforts to rescue street elephants and the Lampang Elephant Hospital.”

“The 200 Club takes our cue, not from the Maetang Elephant Park, but from qualified experts from independent or academic institutions,” continued Ward. “We have been told that a crucial piece of equipment is a type of scanning machine to be able to look at internal problems in the elephants: internal injuries, pregnancy checkups, etc. We are trying to raise funds to purchase this machine and hope that by the end of the event we are organising on the 4th September, we will have raised a quarter of a million baht. The Citylife Garden Fair on the 28th of November will also contribute towards this fund. Our bank account is fully transparent for all to view and we will not be handing over cash to any parties, but will instead purchase the machine recommended and donate it. The experts will also suggest for us a resident vet who will man and analyse the machine’s results. The elephant park has already built a vet’s residence in anticipation. ”

Elephant Elegance Fashion Show

The Elephant Elegance Fashion Show will be held from 2 p.m. onwards at the dusit D2 Chiang Mai. For 500 baht per ticket, guests will receive a welcome glass of sparkling wine as well as scrumptious afternoon tea. Fabulous goodies bags will be given to all who attend which include great vouchers and discounts such as a buy one get one free ticket for drinks at the dusitD2 on the day and super deals and steals at resorts in Chiang Mai. Students from Raffles Institute of Design have designed clothes made from silk, which have been painted on by elephants and created by Backstage. Ginger/Nomad are designing outfits for the MCs, Fashion King for the staff and an exciting new shoe designer, Tatyz will be giving us the first sneak peak of her shoe designs. A huge amount of prizes and auction items include four nights in a Phuket hotel, two nights at the Anantara with elephant trek and mahout class and more. Apart from the fashion, there will be entertainment provided by Playhouse and Ana Gracey.

Citylife is proud to be a supporter of the 200 Club and hopes to see many of our readers attend this lovely afternoon of fashion, tea, entertainment, prizes and of course, fundraising for our large gray friends.