Some may remember the 5th Dimension performance of the Jim Webb song, “Up, Up and Away”?
Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon? Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon? We could float among the stars together, you and I For we can fly (we can fly) Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKkNlwpajNk
The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) Charity Golf Ball Drop 2022 took place on November 5, 2022, at the Chiang Mai Expats Club Barbecue at Horizon Village & Resort | Chiang Mai . CMIRC was really excited to be able to organize such a fun event in the aftermath of COVID, and those who attended weren’t disappointed with the food, music and activities. Our club members put their heart and soul in it. We’re thankful to CEC for hosting us. A big “Thank You” to Balloon Adventure Thailand for the safe hot-air balloon flights and the balloon tunnel for the kids!
Golf ball no. 65 won the top prize of 30,000 Baht in gift cards. Second was no. 79. They won 10,000 Baht in vouchers. Third prize of 5,000 Baht went to ball no. 216. Congratulations to the winners! All of the winners were local long-term residents who purchased five tickets or less.
Children playing in fan inflated balloon
The video below of the golf ball drop and rides is courtesy of collaborative work of Khun Peach from Balloon Adventure Thailand, Rotarian Dylan Thomason, Rotarian Viki Thomason and Kent Lamoreux from Chiang Mai Expats Club. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENFx2the1Rk
The hot air balloon golf ball drop was the very first fundraiser CMIRC put on in 2015 at the Gymkhana Club in cooperation with Thailand International Balloon Festival. This was followed by similar events at Payap University in 2016 and at the Army Cowboy Riding Club in 2018. The fundraiser event halted with the shutdown of the Thailand International Balloon Festival and the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Some may ask why does the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club fundraise? CMIRC’s mission is to improve child safety, health and education in Northern Thailand. Two examples of projects focused on this are the School Vision Screening Project (SVSP) and the Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Project (CWS&DPP). Both projects are carried out yearly at the eleven tessaban public schools in Chiang Mai.
The SVSP provides free vision screening for the 3rd and 5th graders. Those needing either reading glasses or distance vision glasses have glasses provided at no expense. CMIRC provides a Thai optician, vision screening personnel, glasses frames and prescription lenses for the frames. For children having unique vision problems they are referred to a Thai ophthalmologist for further evaluation. About 800 students are screened each year. About 15% of students are identified as needing glasses. The costs for identifying vision problems and providing needed glasses is about 700 Baht per student receiving glasses.
Drowning is the leading cause of death for children in Thailand. Our CWS&DPP provides fifteen hours of water safety and survival swimming instruction for fourth graders at the eleven tesaban schools in Chiang Mai. CMIRC funds the swimwear, pool time and qualified Thai water safety instructors. To date, over 2000 students (about 350 per year) have participated in the program. It takes an investment of approximately 900 Baht per student to fund the program.
So, a big thank you to all who attended and participated in our event. Your support helps to improve the lives of children in our community.