–By Matthew Smith–  

It was a steamy Monday for January and clouded with haze for much of the day. But not even unfavorable elements could stand in the way of launching the RIS Phoenix Swim-a-Thon for the second year in a row. Now an annual fundraising event, this year saw more than 75 swimmers band together to exhibit the true meaning of Ruamrudee’s principles of “Head, Hand, and Heart.”

The RIS Swim team completed a marathon innings of two hours in the water, counting each and every lap in attempt to raise as much money as possible for the Baan Nok Khamin project in Uthai Thani—a highly respected charity for underprivileged orphans. Initially, our goal was to raise 50,000 baht, which would help to pay the construction costs for self-sustainable projects in the orphanage, such as chicken coops, a fish pond, and vegetable gardens. However, thanks to the efforts of our 75-plus swimmers and the support of the wider RIS community, we were able to raise an incredible sum: close to 310,000 baht!

Each and every swimmer who participated in this event deserves to be applauded for their magnificent efforts. However, I do want to take this opportunity to highlight some outstanding individual performances:

  • Jaye Ruh (a student from the RIS Swiss Section) swam over 250 laps and raised more than 44,000 baht!
  • Newcomer Matt Napraprukchat (grade 11) collected 62,000 baht in sponsorships from his family and friends.
  • Bene Puengchanchaikul (grade 5) raised over 25,000 baht.
  • And our youngest swimmers, first-graders Nina Chiaranaipanich and Pleng Tuaycharoen, combined their efforts to swim more than 25 laps … and they are just 6 years old!

Very well done, swimmers! Our school community could not be more proud of the efforts you’ve shown in trying to make this world a better place through a union of hearts!