BANGKOK, 30 November 2016: Three winners of the YAANA Venture Operation Smile Charity Fight Night won adventure holidays at the fundraising event late last week in Bangkok.
Fight Night is an annual charity boxing match, silent auction and raffle that raises money to give free operations to children in rural Thai provinces to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.
The event is organised by YAANA Ventures, the travel group that owns and manages Khiri Travel.
YAANA Ventures CEO, Willem Niemeijer, said: “Our travel brands take a long-term sustainable approach to business and we aim to continue a long-term relationship with Operation Smile, which is a brilliant example of a transformative charity.”
The silent auction closed last Friday with Greg Jacobs winning a three-day/two-night stay the group’s at Banteay Chhmar tented camp among exotic Khmer temple ruins in Cambodia. The trip includes roundtrip flights between Bangkok and Siem Reap and has a value of THB89,500 if the participant paid the full ticket price for a stay at the ‘glamping’ resort.
Two other winners won three-day/two-night for two people at Anurak Community Lodge, a forest nature experience in Surat Thani, including return Bangkok Airways fares; and 50% off a boat and bicycle tour by Grasshopper Adventures in Bangkok. The bicycle trip is for up to five people.
All three prizes are YAANA Ventures travel experiences. YAANA and formerly its charitable arm Khiri Reach have sponsored Operation Smile in Thailand for three years.
The money raised from the event will sponsor nearly 200 surgical operations to correct facial deformities in babies and children in rural Thai provinces.
“All of us at YAANA Ventures have a special place in our hearts for Operation Smile in Thailand,” said Mark Remijan, CFO of YAANA. “The surgeons’ work gives a positive life changing boost to so many young lives.”
Operation Smile Thailand – facts at a glance
In as little as 60 minutes, one cleft lip surgery can change a child’s life forever.
A cleft lip or cleft palate operation costs approximately THB25,000 (USD800).
Untreated cleft lips and/or cleft palates are far more common in rural Thailand than urban areas.
Children with facial deformities who do not receive reconstructive surgery often have difficulty breathing, drinking, eating and speaking. As a result, many suffer from malnutrition, medical and psychological problems.
Operation Smile Thailand was registered as a Thai charitable foundation in 2001. Donations to Operation Smile Thailand are tax-deductible.
Operation Smile Thailand has treated over 9,000 children since 1997.
In 2006, Operation Smile Thailand partnered with the Thai Speech and Hearing Association to produce the first Thai language manual for parents and their children who need integral cleft lip and cleft palate care.
Grasshopper Adventures CEO Adam Platt-Hepworth also attended the charity event.