Archive for October, 2008

Lao Walkathon and Pincher Creek Oktoberfest

October 24, 2008

Thought it was about time to do an update on some of the recent fundraisers.


Lao "Walkathoners" Andy, Greg, Shannon, Ben, and David. John joined the walk for the last couple of days.

Lao "Walkathoners" Andy, Greg, Shannon, Ben, and David. John joined the walk for the last couple of days.


Here is a brief report from Andy about the Lao walkathon:

The walk was relatively uneventful. We had a support team who carried our stuff and picked us up in the evening and took us back to our guesthouse. Everyone enjoyed it and remained in good spirits the whole time despite blisters and sore limbs.

Every morning we set off at 5:30 and walked until about 11:00. After lunch we rested/collapsed into bed for a few hours. Beginning again at about 4:00, we walked for a few more hours until it was time for some good food and a few of the Lao brewery’s finest before hitting the sack.

On day 5 we stumbled into Vientiane looking bedraggled and rather pathetic, but still victorious. A massive Thank You! to Anna and Chan who formed our support team and saved us from dragging along heavy backpacks.


Good work team! Walking for five minutes in the Lao heat and humidity is enough to drench my shirt. I can only imagine what walking for 5 days and 156 km would be like. You guys really earned your Beer Lao’s!

Many thanks to the walkathon donors including: 
– Department of Education, Umea University
– Inge Van Dijk
– Erik Haggqvist
– Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia
– Andrea Wilson



Friends of Boun Lod from the Pincher Creek Rotary Club.

Friends of Boun Lod from the Pincher Creek Rotary Club.

At their Thursday, Oct 16 luncheon meeting, the Pincher Creek Rotary Club presented the Boun Lod Fund with a cheque for the proceeds from their Oktoberfest. The $2550 cheque is most welcome and much appreciated. Thanks again Rotary Club for your help and support!


Tremendous Support for Boun Lod

October 6, 2008

A lot has happened in the three weeks since we last updated this blog.

To begin with, Boun Lod and her parents have received their US visas. Yea! We’ve also booked their air tickets, and they will leave Vientiane on October 26, and arrive in Cincinnati on October 27. Boun Lod’s first medical appointment is scheduled for October 31, and her first surgery is scheduled for November 10.

Cathy and I are planning to drive to Cincinnati, and we’ll meet Boun Lod, Via, and Noy when they arrive. With the family’s permission, Cathy will attend the initial medical evaluation so she’ll be in a better position to explain the surgery and treatment plan.

The fundraising has been going tremendously well. People have been very interested in Boun Lod and her story, and the outpouring of compassion has been heartwarming. Individuals, families, groups, and companies have made very generous contributions to the Boun Lod fund. Thanks to you all!

I hate to single out any specific contributions, because they’ve all been wonderful and much appreciated, but here are some examples of the sort of assistance the Boun Lod fund has received.

The students at the school at the Pincher Creek Colony sent a lovely donation with a note that said, ” [We] Would like to donate this year’s Christmas monies to your cause.” Thanks students! Your donation is a big help.

On September 20, the Bosch family sponsored a bike rally to raise funds. The riders paid an entry fee, and got sponsorship for their rides. McClelland Meats, Sobey’s, and the Co-op donated food. Some 57 riders “rode for Boun Lod”, and over 100 people attended the event. In the end, over $6000 was raised. Good work Marla, Jeff, and family, and many thanks!


Bike Rally

Bike Rally


Some of the Riders

Some of the Riders


On the same day as the bike rally, but on the other side of the world, an evening fundraiser was taking place in Lao. There was food, a quiz, and other activities, and about $1000 was raised.

Not long after the evening fundraiser, a group of teachers from Vientiane College lead by Andy, David, and Ben set out to walk the 156 km from Vang Vieng to Vientiane to raise money for Boun Lod. While we’re still waiting for details and photos, we’re pleased to report that after some five days of walking the group arrived, “relatively unharmed”, in Vientiane. The walkers are still soaking their feet, and counting the pledges, but they think they have raised almost $5000.

We really have to commend our friends in Lao for raising some $6000. This is a great deal of money anywhere, but an amazing amount for a poor country like Lao. Thanks folks, this is an awesome achievement!

On September 27, Neige had a party to celebrate her fifth birthday. Instead of bringing presents for her, Neige asked her friends to make a donation to the Boun Lod fund. Thank you Neige. It was very sweet and kind of you to think about another little five-year-old girl from the other side of the world.


Megan and Neige


This past Friday night saw us eating sausages and sauerkraut, and drinking beer, while dancing to polkas, waltzes, and the chicken dance. It was the Pincher Creek Rotary Club’s annual Oktoberfest celebration, and all the proceeds of the event will be donated to the Boun Lod fund. We’re not sure what the final tally will be, but there was a good turnout, lots of beer was consumed, and the items in the silent auction were well bid on. A sincere thanks to Ingrid, Karin, and all the members of the PC Rotary Club.

Not only did Val and Jim make a very generous donation, but Val also made a lovely “cuddle quilt” for Boun Lod. Thanks for your thoughtfulness Val. Hopefully the quilt will give Boun Lod some comfort during the difficult and painful days that are to come.

Last Friday I went to Canyon School and spoke to the students about Boun Lod. The students have started raising money for the Boun Lod fund, and Canyon and Matthew Halton schools are having a competition to see which school can raise the most money. Thanks and good luck!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Cathy and I will be thinking of all of you who have been so kind and generous in your support for Boun Lod. Raise a toast to yourselves. You deserve it!