How can we make the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club’s reach even stronger? I think a good way to approach this question is to first embrace the notion that only with more members, and more participants can we serve more, and change more lives. We’re not a small Rotary club at 27 members (the average club size is 36), but now that we’re gearing up towards returning to in-person meetings and getting back into the community, I’d like to challenge each and every one of you to think about introducing someone to the club this year. As Paul Harris said: “The foundation upon which Rotary is built is friendship; on no less firm foundation could it have stood.”
September was a good month for the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) and hopefully also for those we aim to help. Thankfully, we raised an additional 10,000 Baht for the Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) during the final month of our fundraising appeal.
Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Pierce and others continued making supply drops at the Burma Children Medical Fund’s B.K. Kee Patient House. Secretary Nick Dale raised 3,000 Baht for his Teddy Bear Appeal. This Initiative aims to lift the spirits of lonely patients who are undergoing medical treatment without family members present and often at treatment facilities located outside of their home country.
Viki and I have begun working with Interact Club Advisors at both the Chiang Mai International School and the Unity Concord International School, as well as officials at the Chiang Mai University Demonstration School (Sathit CMU), the Lanna International School, Rimping Supermarkets, and Makro to get our Annual Children’s Winter Clothing Appeal boxes built and put in place on October 15th.
Food Initiative Champions Bill and Nicha Trempus continued their ongoing efforts to support the CMIRC’s Food Initiative by delivering even more urgently needed food staples to the North Gate Jazz Co-op’s Food Bank. Nicha frequently appeared live on Facebook to demonstrate all the work that goes into preparing the survival packets of essential cooking oils, fish sauce, seasoning powder, rice, cans of fish, milk, and noodles. Sadly, we received an announcement shortly after their last delivery that this particular food bank has now closed, but they have found out-of-work residents in migrant labor camps in need of assistance.
In other news, thanks to the continuing efforts of Charter President Roger Lindley, Treasurer Nancy Lindley, Bill Pierce, and Bill Trempus, the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club Foundation is continuing to move forward as planned and nearing its official formation.
At present, Thailand is reporting that 23% of its population is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Since the majority of our club and the entire staff working at the Royal Peninsula Hotel has already or is scheduled to be fully vaccinated by the end of this month, we are hoping to return to in-person meetings on November 2, 2021. Naturally, face masks and social distancing will still be required. While the hotel restaurant will be open for dinner before our meetings to those that are vaccinated (we are a dinner club after all), the meeting room itself will be limited to bottled water only. We will establish a Safe Zone for any current members who are unvaccinated. However, all future guests and speakers will be required to provide proof of vaccination prior to their attendance. In addition, in-person participation in all service projects and initiatives moving forward will also require participants to be fully vaccinated. More information on this to come.
I look forward to meeting with you face to face again.