May 2021
We'd just gotten over the second Covid-19 wave spread at New Year's holiday events and resumed in-person club meetings and service project activity, when the third Covid-19 wave hit Thailand and Chiang Mai province with a vengeance in early April.  Young adults partying in entertainment venues was the cause, and the spread out of Bangkok was fueled by the Thai government's decision to permit travel during the multi-day April Songkran holiday when traditionally younger working people and students return to visit their older relatives in their villages.  It's thought that most of the third wave infections are of the newer, more infectious variant.   
At right is a graph of the confirmed cases for Chiang Mai province where the local health department made a wise decision to quarantine asymptomatic patients at the local convention center for fourteen days to reduce spread among family members and the public. Predictably it has come to be called "Camp Covid" and videos have emerged of the mostly young, seemingly healthy "patients" engaging in a variety of hijinks, but given that the average dead Covid-19 victim has been age 66 with pre-existing conditions, letting the young, asymptomatic patients have some fun seems to be a small price to keep them isolated.  This is from the perspective of someone who is age 67 with pre-existing conditions.
Meanwhile, some of our members are now traveling to their home countries for the purpose of obtaining Covid-19 vaccines, with the knowledge that they may not be able to return to Thailand for many months.  Details about when vaccination will be widely available in Thailand, which vaccines will be available and if/when foreigners can be vaccinated are uncertain. The club will continue to operate via Zoom meetings, isolating its non-vaccinated members as best as possible.
Thoughts from the President for May 2021

Well, just when we thought it “safe to go into the water again” here comes Covid-19 wave number three. At our regular club meeting on April 6th we decided that with rising infection numbers in Thailand and Chiang Mai, that meeting would be probably be our last face-to-face meeting until the Covid-19 infection numbers significantly dropped. Later, the board decided that until Covid-19 infection numbers significantly declined our club would hold no more face-to-face meetings (regular, board or committee). Any meetings, regardless of number attending, would be ZOOM only. All service projects are on indefinite hold.

Even when the Covid-19 infection rates drop, as they have been, we will probably not be able to engage in service projects where we come into close contact with children or patients until our members are able to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with an approved vaccine. The Thai government has wisely decided to delay the start of the school year until June 1st and will probably extend it further, so, with luck, our service projects this school year may not start until our members are vaccinated.  

We are in need of someone to fill the CMIRC Speaker Chair role for RY 2021-2022. IPP (and Charter Member) John has said he will be unable to continue filling this role. The Speaker Chair has responsibility for identifying, scheduling, communicating and coordinating the speakers for our first and third Tuesday club meetings. This is not identified as a Board position. I filled this role for approximately the first 2.5 years of the club when we held weekly meetings and found it to be a good opportunity for a member, even a newcomer, to develop knowledge about our community and to gain contacts.  And since our meetings will be via Zoom for the foreseeable future, the geographic range of potential speakers is larger.

BEAM & B.K. Kee Working Together
This is the concluding story of the Vocational Training section of BEAM Education Foundation supporting patients at the Burma Children Medical Fund's B.K. Kee Patient House.  Below is a report from Michele Maclellan, who runs the Certificate Sewing Program and BEAM school and conducted a very well-received series of training sessions at the B.K. Kee House. 
Over the month of March 2021, The BEAM Foundation Sewing Team held an outreach workshop at the B.K. Kee Patient House.
This wonderful organization is part of the Burmese Children Medical Fund which sponsors medical care for Burmese children, as well as providing support and housing for their families, while they are in Chiang Mai receiving treatment.
Many families in the program, have been stuck in Chiang Mai due to Covid and the ongoing situation in Myanmar. They expressed interest in working on their sewing skills while here. The good people of The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club, who provide support to many great organizations in Chiang Mai, connected us to the B.K. Kee Patient House, to provide sewing training. 
As many participants of the program have to stay at the foundation site, we brought portable sewing machines, fabric and other related equipment from our sewing studio at the BEAM foundation.
We held classes twice a week, for the duration of the month of March. We were able to leave the machines and equipment for participants to practice when we weren’t there. They were eager to sew and flew through projects at a great speed!

Over the course of the month, we completed four projects, zipping through the majority of our normally forty-hour "Foundations of Sewing" course. We completed: zippered bags, collared button-down shirts, elastic waistband pants and a skirt.
Our avid participants were such an amazing group to work with. We were very impressed by their motivation and enthusiasm to sew!  (Below, right, two of the students model their completed projects with smiles of joy and happiness.  Masks were removed only for the photos.)
We communicated in a mixture of Burmese, Shan, Karen, Thai and English; but didn’t find it too difficult to understand each other, thanks to the team members who were able to translate and to give visual examples of various tasks.
It was a wonderful month. We are sad to have to leave but are so grateful for the connections and friendships that have been made.
I feel like I would be remiss not to take a moment to address the ongoing horrific events presently transpiring in Myanmar. I would urge the reader to stay informed and to sign as many petitions as possible imploring the international community to support Myanmar’s democracy and to provide aid towards putting an end to the mass atrocities, brutal killings, arbitrary arrests and the repeated violations of human rights that are being carried out by the Military Junta.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the people of Myanmar, and we remain hopeful for a brighter future.

Michelle Maclellan

Below: Sewing team and members of the BEAM Education Foundation


B.K.Kee Patient House in April 

Fellow Rotarian Nick and I were able to make one visit to the Burma Children Medical Fund's B.K.Kee Patient House during the month of April. Our team of enthusiastic students from the Interact Club of Chiang Mai International School (CMIS) were noticeably absent but that was due to the fact that they are on a well-deserved holiday break. Nick and I (right) were pleasantly surprised to be given hand-sewed bags from Mi Aye, with our two organizations beautifully added to the front of the bags. 

While we were there, we did some review of the vocabulary we (along with the students from CMIS) have been working on with the patients and caregivers. Using a favorite game of theirs, bingo, we gave every patient and caregiver a photo of an animal. Nick and I took turns calling out the name of an animal and the patients/caregivers had to recall if they had that specific animal. Then they would take a turn calling out a bingo number. We played two games, one using animals and one using letters of the alphabet. We had prizes to award as usual for the participants. In addition, we handed out supplies and treats as is our usual custom.

Sadly, not too long after that visit, the cases of Covid-19 here in Chiang Mai began rising dramatically and we were informed that it would be best for everyone’s health and welfare to stop in-person visits for a time. We are still staying in touch with the house and dropping off basic supplies and treats for the patients and caregivers and will continue doing that until circumstances change and we are given permission to resume normal visits. We are also staying in touch with Mai, the president of CMIS Interact club and keeping her informed of the situation.

Ending on a more positive note, Mai indicated in the past week that a colleague of hers recalled that one of the patients had an interest in learning how to play the guitar. The colleague has graciously agreed to donate a guitar and is working with Klao in order to make arrangements to drop it off. This is coincidentally, the same patient who we had planned to honor with a birthday party for on our second scheduled visit for the month which we had to cancel. Yet one more example of the wonderful things that happen as a result of our partnering with the Interact club of CMIS.

Children's Water Safety Program Fully Funded for Upcoming School Year

Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC)-Kru Payu  Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program (CWSDPP) 

Not much to report this month since all of our survival swimming and water safety courses are municipal-school-based and all Thai municipal schools have been closed for warm season holidays in April. The good news is that we are fully-funded for all our swim programs in Rotary Year 2021-2022.

However, now we have learned that school openings have been delayed due to a Covid-19 surge in Thailand. We hope schools will be able to reopen in June, but even if they do, the national order to close all swimming pools also due to Covid-19 may not be rescinded by then. So, we will do our best to be flexible and to work with our partners to ensure that all of our courses at the 24 municipal schools in Phrao and Chiang Mai are conducted this school year!

In addition, we still have not received word that the Thai government will allow the reopening of the Migrant Learning Centre in Banya, Phuket Province where we also have funding to conduct a program for 50 elementary school children. Interesting times!!

Here are a couple of pictures of what we hope to be doing again in June of this year in Chiang Mai, Phrao, and Banya, Phuket. Wish us luck!!

Finally, we’d like to thank all the organizations listed below for their continued support, and we’d like to welcome the support for our swim programs from the Rotary Club of Grand Monadnock, New Hampshire, USA. The Rotary Club of Grand Monadnock provided funding for all the children’s swim equipment needed for this year’s programs. There are also three Thailand-based philanthropists, who wish to remain anonymous, who have helped us fully fund our Phrao and Chiang Mai swim programs. Thanks to all who make this program to address the leading cause of children’s deaths in Thailand possible!!!

CMIRC Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Team and Sponsors:

The Thai Thaim Foundation

Update on Plans for This Year's School Vision Screening Program

Not much to report this month since all of our CMIRC School Vision Screening Project (CMIRC SVSP) activities are municipal-school-based and all Thai municipal schools have been closed for warm season holidays in April.

The good news is that we are close to fully-funded for Rotary Year 2021-2022. However, now we have learned that school openings have been delayed due to a Covid-19 surge in Thailand. We hope schools will be able to reopen in June, but even if they do, the CMIRC SVSP involves large numbers of Rotarian, Interact and other volunteer screeners plus the Thai optician. During the process we all have close contact with an average of 100 children at each school we screen. So, the CMIRC Board supports delaying the start of the screening process this year until a sufficient number of screener volunteers have received vaccinations and have been immunized. This points to a program start probably in September of this year or even later, but even with a November start, we are confident we can complete screenings at all twelve schools we serve before the school year ends in March.

So, we are proceeding with planning for the 2021-2022 school year, probably beginning our screenings of 3rd and 5th graders in September or November (October is a school vacation period). The screenings this year will also include a follow-up examination with the children who received glasses in 2020 (most will be 4th and 6th-graders at the same schools) and then screen the new 3rd and 5th-graders at each of the twelve schools.

Finally, while our plans are coming together nicely for the 2021-2022 Rotary Year, we have not yet found full funding for the project. The program cost per prescription including the optician’s fees, frames, and lenses this past year was about 600 Baht (US$20); the glasses are provided for free to the children. The total program budget for next year is estimated at about US$3,000.

If you wish to learn how you can help, please contact Project Champion John Schorr at or tel.: 66 (0)8 5030 2143

Our 2020 School Vision Screening Donor Team:


The Thai Thaim Foundation, Park Rapids, MN  

Eyewear Designs, Bethpage, NY

Register Now for the Rotary International Virtual Convention, June 12-16
Mark your calendars for an exciting opportunity to connect with Rotary members worldwide at the 2021 Virtual Convention: Rotary Opens Opportunities, 12-16 June. Registration through May 7 is at a special rate of $49. After May 7, you will pay $65 to register.

You can also join us early at a preconvention for intercountry committees, Rotaract, and Rotary Youth Exchange officers, 10-11 June. Each preconvention costs an additional $20.

The 2021 Virtual Rotary Convention and preconvention events are open to all Rotary members and participants. Both the convention and preconvention fees include access to the virtual House of Friendship.

Don’t forget to visit the convention event page on Facebook to connect with others and stay up-to-date on event news and program highlights!

Update on The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club Foundation

We have had discussions within the club for several years about the possibility and desirability of having a foundation to support the club’s focus on children’s safety, health and education in Northern Thailand. CP Roger’s last club in the USA had such a foundation and we know that the Rotary Club of Patong Beach and the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North have foundations. Rotary Clubs in Thailand are not legal entities and cannot have bank accounts (unless grandfathered) in club's name but only in the name of members.  This raises questions when people want to make donations to the club.

We have secured a local Thai lawyer with extensive experience in forming formations. We have drawn up bylaws for the operation of the foundation. We have verified with Rotary International that we can use the name “The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club Foundation”. A required provisional bank account has been established holding the required minimum 250,000 Baht and once legal requirements are met the account will be in the name of the foundation. A three-year contract has been signed with the Royal Peninsula Hotel for the official office for the foundation.

We're in the process of legalizing required criminal records checks of potential foundation officers. First we imported FBI approved fingerprint cards, rolled fingerprints here in Chiang Mai and sent the prints back to the US using a private US-based firm to coordinate overall handling. That US firm identified an approved “FBI Channeler” firm to expedite the handling of the criminal record checks. The FBI reports are complete, so the next step is for the US firm to send the FBI reports to the US Department of State for apostille certification of each report. After the Dept of State certification, the reports with apostille certification will have to be sent to the Royal Thai Embassy in the USA for their final approval process. After that, the records will return to Thailand and be attached to the entire foundation formation application documents. These documents will have to then flow through the local Chiang Mai government, Provincial Governor and the Ministry of the Interior for their review and approval. In addition, Foundation signage and official stamps will have to be produced.  Whew!  As those of us who deal with Thai Immigration know, Thai government officials love their stamps and embossed seals, even on FBI reports for foundation officers who haven't been in the U.S. for over a decade.

At this time there is no plan to establish a similar foundation in the USA to qualify for 501(c)(3) status. Roger and Nancy Lindley are personally completely funding all the costs (bank account minimum deposit, lawyer’s fees, criminal record check processing costs and Thai government charges) associated with establishing the foundation here in Thailand. If someone wishes to take on such an effort to establish a foundation in another country, it is suggested they discuss this with the CMIRC Board.

Once the CMIRC Foundation is established, the club will have a legal entity to accept gifts, donations and bequests.  Please remember the club in your Final Will and in selecting beneficiaries for your Life Insurance policies. 

From the proposed CMIRC Foundation By-laws



Section 1. The purpose of this foundation is to financially support the service projects, present and future, of the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (Chartered by Rotary International as the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai International and designated by Rotary International as Club Number 85590).

Section 2. The service projects of the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club are focused on “Children’s Safety, Health and Education in Northern Thailand”.

Section 3. Perform public service and cooperate with other charitable organizations in the furtherance of children’s safety, health and education in Northern Thailand.

Section 4. The Foundation will receive, manage and disburse designated, specified, restricted or unrestricted gifts, grants or funds for support of the service projects of the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club.

Section 5. The Foundation has responsibility for growing the value of the Foundation funds by managing a conservative investment strategy in instruments such as, but not limited to, mutual funds.

Section 6. The Foundation will comply with all relevant laws, regulations and requirements of the country of Thailand.

May is Rotary Youth Service Month

May is Youth Service (formerly called New Generations) Month when Rotary Clubs around the world focus on youth services, Rotaract, Interact, RYLA, Youth Exchange and Earlyact.


It's a global movement of young leaders who are developing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18-30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service. In communities worldwide, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through service. From big cities to rural villages, Rotaract is changing communities like ours. Rotaract clubs decide how to organize and run their club, manage their own funds, and plan and carry out activities and service projects aligned with causes that are important to their community. Rotary club sponsors offer guidance and support and work with Rotaract as partners in service. The Rotaract Club at Payap University, sponsored by CMIRC received its charter on March 13, 2019 (right). Most of the members graduated in 2020 and the current leadership remains outside Thailand because of Covid-19.  It's hoped it can reorganize after the university returns to normal operations. 


Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self.  Serious leadership can be seriously fun. Interact clubs organize at least two projects every year; one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Rotary club sponsors mentor and guide Interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills.  CMIRC sponsors two Interact clubs at Unity Concord International School and Chiang Mai International School (CMIS Interactors pictured, below, with CMIRC members, patients and staff during a recent visit to the B.K.Kee Patient House).


Earlyact operates in a way similar to Interact for those youth in a primary aged school in the community. EarlyAct™ is a school-wide service club for elementary students from ages 5 to 13.The mission and operation of EarlyAct™ are closely linked to the ideals of Rotary and provide the foundation for and natural succession into Interact. EarlyAct™ provides young students the opportunity for gaining an increased awareness and knowledge of their community and the world. At a young age, all students can easily be encouraged to be caring and helpful. Their minds are open to recognizing the dignity and worth of each individual which builds respect for others.

Rotary Peace Fellowships:

Each year, Rotary selects up to 100 professionals from around the world to receive fully funded academic fellowships at Rotary Peace Centers. Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok is one of the six partner universities.

Rotary Community Corps:

Finding community solutions to community challenges, Rotary Community Corps unites Rotary members with non-members to make a positive difference.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA):

RYLA is a leadership development program for young people who want to learn new skills, build their confidence, and have fun. Events range from one-day seminars to weeklong camps.

Rotary Youth Exchange:

Rotary Youth Exchange builds peace one young person at a time. Students learn a new language, discover another culture, and truly become global citizens.

New Generations Service Exchange:

New Generations Service Exchange is a short-term, customizable program for university students and young professionals up to age 30. Participants can design exchanges that combine their professional goals with a humanitarian project.


For 100 years, The Rotary Foundation has been turning project ideas into reality. Clubs receive funding to support humanitarian projects, scholarships, and international exchanges.


Rotary invests more than $7 million a year in our future leaders and philanthropists by funding scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study.

What You May Have Missed in April 2021
CMIRC members were able to have one of their regular every other Sunday morning visits to the patients and their families at Burma Children Medical Fund B.K. Kee Patient House here in Chiang Mai where members socialize, play games, bring food and engage in craft projects with the patients and their families during April before the Patient House was closed to visitors during the upsurge in Covid-19 cases in Chiang Mai.
The first and third Fridays of the month Chiang Mai Expats Club breakfasts, where we promote CMIRC and swap "Change for Children" owl banks, were cancelled due for April to low attendance during Smokey Season.

Monday, April 5, the CMIRC Children's Water Safety & Drowning Prevention Program committee met at Bronco Kids Sport Club with representatives from the US Military Civil Affairs Group to exchange information and preliminary plans around the Civil Affairs group Navy SEAL members staging water survival training for children in Nong Khai.

Tuesday, April 6, CMIRC's regular meeting at the Royal Peninsula Hotel with the evening program presented by our club Past President John Schorr PhD (right) on the topic "Thailand and SE Asia: A Demographic Look at the Future". We learned of implications to the region related to the effects of fertility, mortality and immigration.

Friday, April 9, our monthly 9@9 ZOOM meeting which helps our members outside of Chiang Mai and Thailand stay connected with club members and activities here in Chiang Mai.

Tuesday, April 20, due to the recent surge of Covid-19 infections in Chiang Mai, our regular meeting was held as a ZOOM-only meeting. The scheduled program presenter was unable to attend and the program segment was replaced with a member catch-up session finding out about our individual members' current situation and activities.

Tuesday, April 27, meeting of the CMIRC Fundraising Committee using ZOOM due to the surge of Covid-19 infections in Chiang Mai.

Tuesday, April 27, the monthly CMIRC Board meeting held using ZOOM due to the surge of Covid-19 infections in Chiang Mai.

Friday, April 30, our last Friday of the month “Let’s Talk Rotary” informal lunch gathering was called off due to the surge of Covid-19 infections in Chiang Mai.

Save the Dates, May and Beyond

The needed protection measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused the cancellation of many events. Others are being conducted online and others have been postponed. Below is a list of events and their status, as we currently understand them. Please remember the situation is extremely fluid and things change daily. Some of our scheduled speakers may be willing to participate in online meetings. The latest news for CMIRC events is at:

Here are just a few of the important dates for members of Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC). These are opportunities to meet some of us and to meet other Rotarians from around the world!

Every other Sunday visits by club members to Burma Children Medical Fund's  (BCMF) B. K. Kee Patient House to socialize, play games, do crafts with the patients and their families has been put on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Interested for the future? Contact Rotarian Bill Pierce.

4 May 2021 CMIRC Club Meeting Meeting, 7 pm., with social time at 6:30 pm via ZOOM. The program will be presented by local photo journalist Will Langston. More about our speaker here Access to the meeting is meeting ID and password controlled. If interested in attending this meeting please contact

6 May 2021 Moshe Mandleman's Birthday

8 May 2021 Peter Dawson's Birthday

9 May 2021 CMIRC "9 at 9" 9 pm Thai time.  A ZOOM social meeting for members in and out of Thailand.  Contact IPP John

18 May 2021 CMIRC Club Meeting Meeting, 7 pm., with social time at 6:30 pm via ZOOM.  Guest Speaker is: International Rescue Manager of Destiny Rescue Thailand. For more infrmation go to: Access to the meeting is meeting ID and password controlled. If interested in attending this meeting please contact 

15 - 16 May Rotary District Conference, Phitsanulok.  cancelled due to the Covid-19 upsurge

25 May 2021 CMIRC Board Meeting via Zoom 1:00 - 3:00 pm  Contact CP. Roger

29 - 30 May Rotary District Training Assembly, Uttaradit.  Not cancelled yet, but President Roger has notified the organizer of the CMIRC Board's decision that the club will not participate in service projects until members receive Covid-19 vaccines. Thus, club officers will not be expected to attend this DTA if it is an in-person event.

12 – 16 June 2021 - Rotary International Convention, virtual convention. 

4 – 8 June 2022 - Rotary International Convention, Houston, Texas, USA

Thank You to Our Sponsors
 Rotary is not free; we give our hearts, we give our time and to some extent we give our money. Most of our heart, most of our time and most of our money goes to support our children’s projects. Yet we have operational expenses, for example, our website with its powerful tools such as this bulletin. We ask that you consider our sponsors for your needs.
The Lila Thai Massage Ex-Inmate Employment and Skill Development Center was established in 2014 by "Naowarat Thanasrisutharat" to help and support women being released from prison. The ladies receive a massage training course from certified massage instructors (ex-inmates who work for Lila Thai Massage); these programs are endorsed by and meet the requirements of the Chiang Mai Public Health Department. This project reduces the women conviction rates in Chiang Mai and helps to solve the societal problems that perpetuate the situation, bringing about our long-cherished dream for a better community. The quality of massage at Lila Thai Massage is consistently superb.
Royal Peninsula Hotel is an excellent international standard hotel located in the heart of Chiang Mai. They have 150 guest rooms with all amenities including free wi-fi. There is ample onsite, covered parking. The outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi are available to guests. There is both an indoor restaurant, featuring Thai cuisine and outdoor beer garden next to the swimming pool. The Royal Peninsula Hotel has two conference and banquet rooms, well decorated, with good acoustics. The staff at Royal Peninsula are very accommodating. The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club meets at the Royal Peninsula at 7:00 PM on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, with many members and guests gathering about an hour before the meeting in the hotel's restaurant for fellowship and an optional meal, ordering from the restaurant's menu of reasonably-priced Thai food.
Our sponsors donate money that supports our operational expenses, freeing funds for the projects we love. Please give them your support. 
ClubRunner Mobile