President's Message

I will start with an appeal. We are off to a very busy start for 2019. Our club’s mission to improve the lives of children in Northern Thailand through our club projects focusing on Child Safety, Health, and Education demands a great deal of effort and commitment from CMIRC members and friends. There is much to do, and if you would like to help us by joining the club, or by making a donation, please see the information at the end of this article.

What happened in January:

One of the real pleasures of being president of the CMIRC is visiting and seeing first-hand how our club has changed children’s lives. For the past two years we have partnered with the Warm Heart Foundation on various projects, in fact, the directors of Warm Heart, Michael Shafer and Evelind Schechter have become important community resources for our club. Their foundation provides housing, board and education for nearly forty children in Phrao. CMIRC has for the past two years supported one of those children, Nong Saa (pictured at right with me). She is a delightful young person, and very much wanted to thank us for what we have been able to do for her.

Another great community partner for CMIRC is Philanthropy Connections, led by Sallo Polak. President Designate, Clarence Shettlesworth and I had an excellent meeting with Sallo to discuss our continued joint efforts to provide warm winter clothing to children in mountain villages here in the North. We also explored possible school-based clean drinking water projects and village-based public health projects.

I’d also like to mention one of my personal favorite community partner events. Every year we send a CMIRC team to help judge the Chiang Mai International School (CMIS) National History Day Event; this year over a quarter of the judges were from CMIRC! CMIS is the home of our CMIRC-sponsored Interact Club and it is always a pleasure to see the well-researched work these young people produce. Several were selected to go to the regional event in Singapore and I’m sure some will be selected to go to the finals in Maryland/Washington, D.C.

Above left with Jan Pieter Brinkman from RC of Hilversum-International (NL) and above right with Miguel Ferrer from the RC of Kunming (PRC).

This past month CMIRC hosted visiting Rotarians from: Kunming, China; Hilversum, Netherlands; Zagreb, Croatia; Iowa City, USA; Independence, MO, USA; Rotary E-Club of Dolphin Pattaya International, Thailand; and, Rotary Club of Bangkok-South, Thailand. Our club is always looking for Rotary Club partners to help with our children’s charities, and we are happy to serve as a resource with international projects as well. For example, we are in the initial stages of forming a university scholarship fund for students who are admitted to college but cannot afford to attend. The Rotary Club of Zagreb-Central has been managing such a fund for many years, and we hope to learn a great deal from them. If we are successful it will be a great example of this coming year’s RI theme “Rotary Connects the World.”

This year the Upper Northern Thailand Rotary Chapters, thirty-one in all, honored the CMIRC by selecting us to work with the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai – Wattana to organize and plan Chiang Mai Upper Northern Thailand Area Installation of 2019-2020 Rotary Club Officers. This has meant PE Colin Jarvis and I have been quite busy in January helping to plan an event