BAMBI’s 35th Birthday Charity Concert

Published on: March 07, 2018

To celebrate BAMBI’s 35th birthday, we held a charity concert to benefit the Immanuel Orchestra of Khlong Toey.

By Faye Wheeler / Photos by Azusa Uchida

BAMBI is 35 years old! To celebrate this fantastic milestone, we held a charity concert to benefit the Immanuel Orchestra, with numerous performers, activities and vendors to entertain BAMBI families and friends at St Andrews International School in Ekkamai. 

To kick off the proceedings, Mel, the founder and patron of BAMBI and our guest of honour, welcomed all the families. Since 1982, when Mel and seven new mums gathered to support each other through the trials of parenting in Bangkok, BAMBI has grown to over 1,000 current member families with numerous offerings such as playgroups and events. 

BAMBI’s first-ever charity toy drive was in aid of Father Joe’s Human Development Foundation, the Mercy Centre in Khlong Toey. It is only fitting that our 35th Anniversary event supported the Immanuel Orchestra, a project from this same community. 

In the year 2000, the music school project started as a part of Immanuel Lutheran Church’s outreach in the slum community of Khlong Toey. The orchestra provides opportunities for children of the slums to learn music and perform to audiences like BAMBI families. We were very honoured to have this opportunity to help them raise money for their project.

The charity concert was host to some great talent on stage. Immanuel Orchestra showcased their phenomenal music school, with conductor and full-time teacher Varin (Ton) Artvilai, who started his professional music career at the Immanuel music school. 

We had Baby Bounce from Little Pea with some great exercise for mums and dads with their little ones in carriers, followed by a beautiful hula dance performance by Pili Aloha Hula Studio. Anette Sestol Anderson entertained the children with nursery rhymes. Tim Fournier from Purple Crayon wowed the children with tap, jazz, hip-hop and more, while the always wonderful magicians from Thanksgiving home brought joy to the kids. The music was beautiful and we were privileged to be able to showcase so many wonderful talents from Bangkok.

Off-stage, the families enjoyed arts and crafts, train-building, football, playhouses, face-painting, and the giant bouncy castles. Many vendors offered beautiful products including our charity partners Central Thailand Mission, Second Chance Bangkok, Roy Rak and Thanksgiving Home, spoiling everyone for choice.

We enjoyed delicious food from several vendors, including Steps with Theera, a coffee shop and vocational training centre supporting people with special needs transition to sustainable employment opportunities. 

A huge thank you to all who came to help us celebrate and support the work of the Immanuel Orchestra and music school. This event would not have been possible without the support from St Andrews International School, our sponsors Asian Tigers, Bangkok Dolphins and Tomy, and of course, the wonderful volunteers who give up their time to make our events so special. 

The views expressed in the articles in this magazine are not necessarily those of BAMBI committee members and we assume no responsibility for them or their effects.

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