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Golf Balls Drop From The Sky In Chiang Mai

The club's second big fundraising event of the season had it's ups and downs this past weekend: Patty Schulze and Christian Bollier went up, and nearly 500 golf balls came down around 5:30 p.m. Saturday as hundreds of balloon festival visitors looked on. The midday heat had kept many folks away during the early part of the afternoon, but by 4p.m. families were strolling the Payap grounds sampling the food, drinks and sales goods from more than 60 tents encircling the balloons. Many stopped at the CMIRC tent to toss an American football or blow bubbles and ask questions about "Route 66."

Patty Schulze demonstrating her football throwing form for visitors at the CMIRC tent.

Nancy and Roger Lindley take a break from all of the craziness of setting up tables and selling tickets.

The winning ball turned out to have been one of club member Bill Mason's, who's been under the weather with health issues and couldn't make the event. David Shumber took the 10,000 baht second prize. Annelies Yokyama (pictured above with club treasurer John Schorr) won the 5,000 baht third prize.

Once the sun was down, the balloons went up, much to the delight of the happy onlookers.

Here are some notes from the "post-mortem" of this year's golf ball drop:

One thing in the lessons learned department was that 500 is an awfully large number of golf balls to drop at one time. Also, the pricing structure did not increase our net revenue as we had hoped. Other lessons learned:

- March is not the best time of the year to expect large crowds to attend an outdoor festival.

- As Bob Carroll pointed out, a more detailed schedule would have prevented visitors from wandering around in the early afternoon with nothing to do while vendors set up their tents.

- Elsie Choy remarked that she missed the actual golf ball drop and suggested a countdown next time.

- Mike Lake recommended that whoever determines the winner next year should be more theatrical & flamboyant when picking up the winning ball, and should then get it to the stage MC more quickly (even though Shana did a great job of vamping while the information on the winners was being pulled out of Jerry's computer)

- The fundraising committee as a whole considered modifying the price structure next year so that each ticket will cost 1,000 baht, with a maximum of 300 sold, and a single grand prize of 50,000 baht.

All that being said, the event did net the club 130,000 baht for current and future projects.

PS: Bill, I have your winning ball - if you'd like to discuss ransom terms, let me know...


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