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Phuket expat football fan club kicks off charity initiative

PHUKET: The Mushy Peas, one of Phuket FC’s most jolly and loyal supporters groups, kicked off its own community charity programme last week with the donation of B18,000 worth of sports equipment and school supplies to Wat Sawang Arom School in Rawai.

By Steven Layne

Wednesday 6 August 2014, 11:19AM

“Every month for a year, we’re going to donate to worthy causes and projects in the community,” remarked Richard Dillon, group co-founder and operator of Property4SalePhuket.com

This month’s initial donation included soccer and sepak takraw balls, badminton rackets and birdies, stationery, books and future board, while Richie added that the group also donated B2,000 but to support the Rawai Junior Football team, who will compete in a youth tournament in Patong this week.

Located adjacent to a Buddhist temple of the same name, Wat Sawang Arom School is one of three public schools in Rawai, and has about 800 pupils from Anuban (kindergarten) up to Mattayom 3 (9th Grade or Year 10), who are some of the poorest in the southern part of the island.

“About half of our kids come from impoverished homes,” says 3rd grade teacher and school coordinator, Ms Prapa Boonkong.

“We’re a government school, but the funding we do get is not always enough to buy sufficient supplies, especially for art and P.E. Schooling is free, but parents have to compensate for most other things, and many of our students just can’t afford much.

So we’re so grateful when they [the Mushy Peas] came to ask what we needed,” she said.
Richard, or as fellow supporters know him, “Richie” said that the Mushy Peas are committed to make similar charitable donations to worthy projects every month for the next year.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“We’ll make similar donations to the other schools in Rawai for starters, then will decide and vote among the group which other projects to pursue, whether it be painting walls at the temple, or sporting projects, football nets, balls and so forth… We’re open to any suggestions from the community,” he said.

Asked about the fund, Richie said that he doesn’t anticipate it getting any smaller.
“This month we had about 20 contributors to the fund. Next month, I reckon we’ll get more. It will only grow. Our group is growing, and we all want to give back to Rawai... to Phuket,” he said.

Mushy Peas was formed in 2011 by Richie and the late and great, James “Shaggy” Lakin who sadly, passed away in his sleep in 2012.

“Phuket FC had just got promoted to the first division,” Richie recalls. “Shaggy and I were at a game, in the stands looking down at all the green-clad fans. Shaggy made a comment that it looked like ‘Mushy Peas’, and the name has stuck ever since,” he laughed.

To reach out to The Mushy Peas, call Richie on 084-844-6476. To reach out to Wat Sawang Arom School, Ms Prapa Boonkong can be reached on 081-891-6619.



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