Posted by Roger Lindley
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. These types of fundraisers have been held in Australia, U.S. and other countries using helicopters to drop the golf balls. After extensive searching on the internet, we couldn’t find evidence of similar fundraisers in Thailand.  Undaunted, Laurence volunteered to champion the effort.
Laurence began exploring the possibility with aviation companies that had helicopters. Initial interest was high but it was soon discovered there is a law in Thailand prohibiting dropping of objects from a powered aircraft.
So, the question then became is there some other way to drop golf balls for the fundraiser? Laurence became aware of the Thailand International Balloon Festival, held annually in Chiang Mai. The event is coordinated by the firm Earth, Wind and Fire, Ltd., managed by Khun Napassanan “Aom” Krainara.
A CMIRC working committee was formed composed of: Laurence O’Keeffe, Roger Lindley, Nancy Lindley, Shana Kongmun and Jerry Nelson. A number of meetings were held with Earth, Wind and Fire and with the board of the Gymkhana Club, the location hosting the event in 2014.
We decided to try to sell one thousand numbered balls at one thousand baht per ball.  Tickets, posters and displays were designed and produced. Golf balls were procured from driving ranges. A sales tracking data base was produced. Members went forth and sold locally and internationally to friends using PayPal.
We found we were a little overly optimistic on the numbers of balls sold. We succeeded in selling about one hundred and seventy balls, with a net income of about 130,000 baht. On the evening of the drop, 6th of December 2014, the lucky ball closest to the “hole” was number 311. The winning ball ticket had been bought by club member Alan Dick as a present for his father Jim Dick who was about to relocate to Thailand.  The 30,000 baht prize helped Jim to get “settled” in his new home.
You can view a video of the drop here: