Welcome from the new CMIRC Bulletin Editor
Hi!  Welcome to the New Year.  I've agreed to take on the responsibility for producing CMIRC's monthly "Bulletin" of news, sent to several hundred Rotarians and friends of Rotary.  Our current club President, Jerry Nelson has done an award-winning job of producing our monthly News in the past, but it's clear that he's carrying more than his share of the club administrative work.  Since I had previous experience in producing an electronic newsletter for the Chiang Mai Expats Club, I thought "how difficult could it be to produce CMIRC's less complex bulletin?"  We'll I've found out with this first edition, now about a week past my self-imposed deadline of sending the month's News during the opening of the month.  I'll do better next month and look forward to working with the Project Champions, Officers and other members in reporting the many activities of our small, but active club.
You may notice that I've selected a fairly small font size for the Bulletin.  HINT:  If you'd like to see a more readable version of an article click on the "Live Link" that is the article's title and you'll be taken to a nice webpage version of the article.  Use your browser's back arrow to return to the Bulletin to see the next article.

President's Message January 2018
Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! While it’s a brand-new year in the Gregorian Calendar, it’s half year in the Rotary Calendar.  This seems to be a good time to review what we’ve accomplished, and discuss what we hope to accomplish.
On the 7th of December, CMIRC had the honor of hosting our District Governor and his lovely Rotary Ann for his annual official visit.   One of the things I mentioned to him was our goal of having 30 members by the end of this Rotary Year.   We started at 20 and currently have 23.  Obviously, we have a lot of work to do, but under the great leadership of our Charter President and Membership Chair, Roger Lindley, I believe this impossible challenging goal is attainable!
January is Rotary’s Vocational Service month.   Past RI International President Glen W. Kinross noted that “Rotary’s greatest strength will always be the Individual Rotarian.  No other organization has such powerful human resources”.    The task at hand for CMIRC is to identify outstanding candidates and make our club an irresistible avenue of service.  We are looking for Chiang Mai residents who wish to give back to the community, good people from all walks of life.  The experience of former Rotarians from other countries is sought.  Potential members will quickly realize that our emphasis is on service, meeting attendance requirements are much milder than in the past, dues are affordable, and we have built a team of people who truly enjoy what we do.  Our members do amazing service work and understand that results are the main benefit of membership in CMIRC.
Our Children’s Water Safety / Drowning Prevention (CWSDP) project has partnered with Safe Child Thailand!
We intend to establish a Rotary Community Corps involving the 11 Tessaban schools of Chiang Mai where we will continue to support the students in the Thai public schools.  What we may be able to accomplish in this community will in large part depend on Vocational Service by our members. These efforts will require members who live by our Rotary motto of “Service Above Self”.
One of the best things about our club is the many service opportunities available to members, in fact it is a privilege of membership to be a part of these great projects. One of my favorite service projects is at the BCMF B.K.Kee Patient House.
If you are a Chiang Mai area resident, or soon may be and you are looking for an opportunity to give back to the community, please contact us.  One of my very favorite things to do is have lunch with a prospective member.   It that you?
Rotary District 3360 covers most of Northern Thailand and extends into Laos.   This year the district's annual conference will be held at the Empress Hotel, Chiang Mai 17 – 18 March 20218.    Hope to see you there!
The Story Behind the Golf Ball Drop
On 3rd of March, CMIRC will be having our Charity Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser in association with the Thailand International Balloon Festival.  This is a major fundraiser for our club and funds raised go exclusively to support our many local projects associated with children’s health, safety and education.  All club members are encouraged to sell tickets and friends of Rotary can contact the club to purchase their golf ball -- paying via cash, bank transfer to Rotary’s account or Paypal payment to  Overseas support is welcome; the winner does not have to be present to win.
Three cash prizes will be awarded for the three numbered balls landing closest to the hole – 30,000 baht ($US940), 10,000 baht ($US310) and 5,000 baht ($US155).  Tickets are 1000 baht each and no more than 300 will be sold.  With three prizes, this means the odds of winning are at least 1 in 100.
After our club was chartered in February 2014, we recognized the need to raise funds to support our planned service projects. Several ideas were discussed and our charter member from Australia and project service chair, Laurence O’Keeffe, came up with the idea of a golf ball drop.  click here to read more about the History of the Golf Ball Drop
Mae Tao Clinic - January 2018
The Mae Tao Clinic was established to provide health care for Burmese Migrants in Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand.  Over the past 20 years it has evolved into an organization which not only provides health care at the main campus in Mae Sot, but in several smaller clinics located inside Myanmar.   Mae Tao Clinic also has an extensive training program and an excellent Child Development Center.  Their accomplishments are too many to mention in one article so I encourage you to visit and  Funding for this good work has come from donors large and small all over the world!  However, over the past couple of years many large donors have decided to put their money elsewhere, leaving the Mae Tao Clinic with the same work load and a fraction of the funding needed.
2017 saw the end of Mae Tao Clinic’s support from USAID.  The year before it was the end of a very large grant from Australia. Today the splash page on their website feature an urgent plea for help! “250,000 people along the Thailand-Myanmar Border at Risk of Losing Access to Essential Health Care and Protection”.   Mae Tao Clinic conducted a Fund Raising Campaign during the 4th quarter of 2017.  The text of their “Thank You for your Great Support” email is:
Dear friends of Mae Tao Clinic,

We are pleased to present to you the result of our fundraising campaign, which was held from October until 31st December, 2017. Our appreciation goes to all individuals, partners and organizations who have supported us. 

Highlights of the campaign are the kind offer of Borderline Collective, a teashop in Mae Sot, to donate all proceeds of its sales of one December weekend to Mae Tao Clinic. On December 31st, Mae Tao Clinic’s team organized a lucky draw event: over 25,000 tickets were sold at THB 25 each. In addition, individual supporters voluntarily carried raised funds in their home countries, including Spain, the UK and South Kor

Overall, with the campaign outcomes we can cover 20% of the costs of our 2018 activities!
in addition to these lovely fundraising initiatives, we have engaged in new partnerships and have extended programs with existing donors. At the same time, our departments have thoroughly reviewed and assessed their programs to assure cost-effectiveness and sustainability. Even though there will be challenges, we are confident that we remain able to care for the vulnerable and displaced people of Burma in 2018.

Once again, thank you to everybody who has made our campaign a big success.
Please help us to raise awareness for the communities along the border and in Eastern Burma.  
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Want to get involved or raise funds for Mae Tao Clinic? Contact
Chiang Mai International Rotary Club supports the Mae Tao Clinic with awareness tours and fundraising campaigns.  We have raised over a quarter of a million baht in the past few years and that money has helped, but more, much more needs to be done.  Currently we are at the end of a fundraising campaign to fund General Education Development (GED) testing for migrant students.
Pre-GED Class at Mae Tao Clinic's Child Development Center
We would like to raise another $2,000 USD to pay for 8 G.E.D. tests.    Learn more at  Other ways to donate include: 
  1.  Make a direct deposit to our   MTC Fundraising Bank Account:
BANK:   BANGKOK BANK,  Kad Suan Kaew  branch
ROUTING NO:  026-008-691 (For USA)
ACCOUNT NUMBER:  424-407348-4
  1.  Make a deposit in our PayPal account:
  1.  If you are in Chiang Mai, just hand me cash and I will deposit it in the account making sure you get the credit you deserve for your generosity.  
On December 6th, I had the honor of attending Dr. Cynthia’s birthday party. It was truly heartwarming to see so many people come to wish her well and thank her for the marvelous work she is doing.  Representatives from the community, academia and the government were on hand.
We will organize our next tour of Mae Tao Clinic in late February or March. Those interested in participating are urged to contact me with the dates you might be available.
In the Child Protection area, Birth Registration continues to provide delivery certificates to babies delivered at MTC. Of the 2,341 live births at MTC, 2,195 received birth certificates from the Thai authorities within 15 days of birth.  Helping to fund this critical area will be our next fundraising campaign on behalf of Mae Tao Clinic, so that these children can have access to education and medical care within Thailand.      
We realize that we cannot do all that needs to be done, but by concentrating on one area at a time, we hope to have the best impact possible.
A Brief History of CMIRC
On 3rd of July 2013, then District Governor Suparie Chatcunyarat for Rotary District 3360 announced her support for formation of a new English speaking Rotary Club in Chiang Mai. She appointed Elsie Choy, a member of the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North, as her personal representative to help in the formation of the new club. Elsie would later become a charter member of our club but eventually returned to be a member of the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North. Elsie became an honorary member of our club on our first year birthday celebration. Roger Lindley was the provisional president for the club and T.J. Bouma was the provisional secretary.
Charter Secretary T.J. Bouma and Charter President Roger Lindley in back and Adviser Elsie Choy at center, surrounded by other Charter Members at the 1st club meeting.
From our first notice sent to potential charter members for club: “We hope you, or others you know, can come to learn more at our first meeting, Thursday, August 22 at 7:30 pm.  We’ll give an overview of the objective, goals and history of Rotary International and Rotary in Thailand.  Also, we’ll share more details about proposed club projects and requirements for membership. We plan to continue meeting every Thursday evening, starting on August 22, at least through September to gauge if sufficient interest exists to charter the new club.”
At our first meeting on 22nd of August there were about 64 people in attendance in the upstairs dining area of River Market Restaurant. Over the coming months the weekly attendance numbers dropped into the mid-teens. To form a new Rotary Club requires having twenty persons commit to being charter members of the club.
The club initially met on Thursday evenings but due to some having conflicting meeting on Thursday evenings the meeting day was changed to Tuesday which continues to be the club’s meeting day.
Finally, on 9th of February 2014 we had the required twenty charter members and attended the regular Wednesday meeting of the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North on the 12th of February to obtain signatures from our sponsoring club’s president and from the District Governor. The signed documents were faxed to Rotary International and they issued the club charter dated 21st of February 2014.
The Rotary International President’s theme for the Rotary Year 2013-2014 was Engage Rotary, Change Lives. This aligns well with our intent to be an engaged service club with heavy focus on service to our community.
Of the original twenty charter members, there are six still with the club: Colin Jarvis (now an Honorary Member), Shana Kongmun, Nancy Lindley, Roger Lindley, Jerry Nelson, and John Schorr, Nancy Lindley and Roger Lindley.  Our member turnover is a reflection of the transient nature of the expat population of Chiang Mai, and not any special dissatisfaction among outgoing members.   It presents an interesting membership recruiting challenge.  
We're looking forward to our 4th birthday to be celebrated at our meeting on 20 February.
2017 Winter Clothing Appeal a Big Success
This year the club delivered six truckloads of winter clothing to three different sites in the mountainous northwestern region of Chiang Mai. PP Shana Kongmun set up collection boxes at 14 locations in and around Chiang Mai in mid- October at government offices, shopping malls, hospitals, international schools, super markets, and restaurants.  Friend of CMIRC Peter Barlow collected the clothing as it accumulated in the boxes and brought it to P Jerry Nelson’s house, where it was sorted according to quality and usefulness. 
On November 11th, Peter Barlow, his friend Mrs. Nat L’houmeau, and CMIRC member Mike Lake delivered the first three truckloads of clothing to four locations in Piang Luang near the Burmese Border, including a Shan Refugee Camp and Sweet Home Orphanage.
Peter Barlow then delivered a truckload of clothing to each of three sites: a rural school in mountainous Om Koi on Nov. 20th, a rural school in Mae Ai near Fang on Nov. 27th, and a village back in Piang Luang on Nov. 28th.
Peter Barlow at the Red Lahu Women's Empowerment Group on November 28th
Sallo Polek of the Chiang Mai charity Philanthropy Connections arranged with local school officials at the various sites for the deliveries. After Peter made the last delivery on Nov. 28th, we still had a roomful of clothing to distribute, but Sallo had no more destinations for us, as we had already far exceeded his expectations. We then decided to donate the remaining clothes to local organizations.
Serviceable clothing not suitable for cold-weather hill tribe use (t-shirts, bathing suits, summer dresses, etc.) went to the Free Bird Café, which supports the Thai Freedom House for indigenous peoples; a dormitory for Karen hill tribe children; Child’s Dream, a charity in Chiang Mai dedicated to improving the lives of children; scholarship students of Stu and the Kids, a local educational NGO; and the B. K. Kee Patient House in Chiang Mai, which houses Burmese children with severe medical problems that can’t be treated in Burma.
This year, our collection was nearly twice as big as last year's, with hundreds of disadvantaged men, women, and children throughout Chiang Mai province and beyond benefiting from the kindness of residents in the capital.

Engage Rotary, Change Lives
Every year, Rotary International has a new president. The president designates a theme he wishes to focus on in his/her Rotary Year of service.
Our club was chartered in Rotary Year 2013-2014. For that Rotary Year, Rotary International's President Ron Burton chose for his theme “Engage Rotary, Change Lives”.
He unveiled his theme during the opening plenary session of the 2013 International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA, the annual training event for incoming District Governors.
In explaining his presidential theme, Ron told the incoming District Governors:
“If we really want to take Rotary service forward, then we must make sure that every single Rotarian has the same feeling about Rotary that each one of us here has today,” Burton said. “We need to make sure that every Rotarian has a meaningful role to play, that they’re all making a contribution, and that their contribution is valued.”
The theme is just four words but contains a lot of room for thought.
Let’s start with the word Engage. This is a proactive word not a passive word. It means to participate or become involved in. Rotarians by nature are engaged people. Engaged with their families, their job and their community. They have chosen to help their communities by becoming members of a Rotary club and to support Rotary’s world-wide effort
The next word is Rotary. This is our world wide organization whose members are dedicated to the concept of “Service Above Self”.
The third word Change is again a proactive word not a passive word. It means to make or become different. For our purposes this is in a positive sense of change for the better.
The fourth word Lives refers to the people who we impact as Rotarians and this includes ourselves.  Yes, our service projects do bring positive change to the people who we help. But, in the process of helping others we are also help ourselves. Feeling good about what we do for others has been proven to make us happier and healthier people.
So, it was really fortunate that Ron Burton chose this theme for his Rotary Year. It aligns with one of the basic premises stated when forming our club – we were going to be a service focused club.
Save the Dates, Jan - June 2018
Here are a few of the important dates for Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC). These are opportunities to meet some of us and learn more about what we are doing in our community.
16 January, Tuesday -- CMIRC Regular Club meeting, 7 pm, Hong Kong Lucky Restaurant, 5/8 Soi 7, Ratchadamnoen
(Soi 7 is opposite the big police station)  Click Here for Map  Speaker:  Patrick Keeney, talking about the Petchabun Project, medical expeditions that serve the marginalized Hmong villagers in Petchabun province.
20 January, Saturday– Justice Health Fitness Fair, Huay Tueng Tao Park, Chiang Mai (  This will be an amazing day featuring races, water safety demonstrations and much more. Please drop by our booth and say hi!
28 January, Sunday – 3rd Annual Bike for Health and Environment sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lampang at Wat Tha Khu, Lampang.  
30 January, Tuesday -  CMIRC Social Night, The Dukes, Maya Lifestyle Mall, Chiang Mai (  This is an open event.  Please let us know if you will be attending.  Last minute drop-ins are always welcome.  Club provides appetizers and pizza and a great chance to socialize and learn more about Rotary.  Purchase of Golf Ball Drop tickets and a raffle with prizes from local restaurants will be a great way to contribute to CMIRC's service projects. 
6 February, Tuesday -- CMIRC Regular Club meeting, 7 pm, Hong Kong Lucky Restaurant, 5/8 Soi 7, Ratchadamnoen (Soi 7 is opposite the big police station)  Click Here for Map  Speaker:  Past District Governor David Kennedy, from Rotary District 9700, New South Wales, Australia.
20 February, Tuesday, 7 pm – CMIRC Birthday Party Meeting (   This will be a regular Rotary Meeting open to all current Rotarians and Invited guests.
03 March, Saturday – CMIRC Golf Ball Drop, Cowboy Army Riding Club, Chiang Mai (  This is CMIRC's largest fundraiser; all money goes to support our efforts to improve Child Safety, Health and Education.   Tickets are on sale now!  See Article Above for details. 
17 – 18 March, Saturday & Sunday – Rotary District 3360 Conference, Empress Hotel, Chiang Mai
29 May, Tuesday – CMIRC Thank you night, Chiang Mai , details to follow
23 – 27 June 2018 – Rotary International Convention, Toronto Canada, (