Posted in December 2016
For archive (Updated on February 25, 2019)
- Welcome to this gathering! Today is a special gathering organized by the 64/65 intakes and sponsored by the “Steeve and Helen Kay Saya Health Fund“.
- Today’s event complements last month’s 64/65 intake held an Acariya Pu Zaw Pwe and tomorrow’s seventh RIT Grad Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe.
- In addition to paying our respect to the sayas and sayamas, today we would also like to present to Ko Thaung Sein (Steeve Kay, EC70) an appreciation award for his continued support.
- Although Steeve migrated to the US in 1971 to pursue his dreams, he never forgot his roots, his alma mater and his friends.
- Over the past 17 years, Steeve has made various contributions totaling $200,000. Highlights of those contributions are as follows:
- As you recall, the first ever RIT Grad Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe was held in the year 2000.
- It was started by a group of RIT students in San Francisco, among them Ko Benny Tan and me.
- I remember when I sent out the invitation flyers, we received a $1,000 check from Ko Thaung Sein.
- Later, he donated $3,000 as seed money to assist with fundraising efforts.
- Throughout the years, Steeve has supported multiple world-wide reunions and SPZP as a Golden Sponsor.
- In June 2005, Steeve set-up a $50,000 Saya Health Care Fund administered by U Win Khaing of MES and his administrative committee.
- Many saya/sayamas attending today have benefited from that fund.
- Steeve also helped to set-up a second fund, administered by the 64/65 intakes, as a supplemental retirement fund for the sayas and sayamas.
- In May 2013, Kay Family Foundation, a philanthropic foundation set-up by Steeve Kay, sponsored the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) delegation to visit Centers of Excellence in California.
- The delegation was headed by the late Dr. Ko Ko Oo and Professor Nyi Hla Nge.
- Last year, in October 2015, Steeve Kay donated $30,000 in matched funds to hold the RIT in Southern California, Los Angeles.
- During the gathering, he sang a Burmese folk song ‘Shwe Me’ to express his feeling towards Myanmar, the land where he spent his youth growing up.
- This year, Steeve Kay’s own health fell ill.
- We wish him good health. Instead of attending the RIT Grad Reunion himself, he asked Ko Benny to hold a gathering and Pu Zwe Pwe this year.
- Ko Benny consulted with his classmates and decided that December 28, 2016 – the day preceding the Seventh RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe – seemed to be the right time.
- The classmates, in turn, would like to honor their life-long friend and sponsor of numerous RIT-related activities.
- The history of Steeve and his philanthropic work should be recorded and preserved for posterity.
- Every saya and sayama will be presented with a gift package from Steeve.
- A short biography of Steeve
- The commemorative issue of the RIT Alumni Newsletter for SPZP-2000
- A two-set DVD of SPZP-2000
- A CD of photos and articles related to SPZP and RIT-related activities
- A monetary gift for each saya and sayama
Today’s event covers three parts:
- Paying respect to the sayas and sayamas who taught the Combined Intake of 64 and 65 students
- A mini-gathering of the Combined Intake of 64 and 65 students
- Appreciation award to be presented to Ko Thaung Sein (Steeve Kay, EC70)
Ko Khin Maung Lay will be the emcee.
Selected sayas and alumni will recall Steeve’s work and their importance and impact to the RIT community.
Editor’s Notes in 2019 :
- U Ohn Khine (M70) took me to the meeting of the Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65.
- I explained about Steeve’s request for a special Acariya Pu Zaw Pwe.
- I requested them to help prepare some of the material for the gift package.
- SPZP-2000 was recorded on a 3-hour tape. I had it converted to a set of two DVDs. U Win Htay and his team copied the DVD sets to be given to the sayas.
- I served as Chief Editor for the Commemorative Issue of RIT Alumni International Newsletter for SPZP-2000. Saya U Thein Aung (Met72) and Henry Lim (Alumnus, Editor of BAPS Newsletter) served as Associate Editors. Maurice Chee (M75) served as Publisher. U Win Htay and his team printed copies of the Newsletter to be given to the sayas.
- The female members of the Combined Intake (e.g. Mai Khin Nyunt) took care of preparing the monetary gifts.
- Every saya and sayama received K1 Lakh.
- Selected sayagyis received K2 Lakhs.
- I was the key note speaker for the event.
- Ko Benny talked on behalf of the alumni.
- Saya U Win Mra talked on behalf of the sayas and sayamas.
- Reserve tables had to be used to accommodate the large number of attendees.
- In addition to those from the Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65, those who had volunteered for the “Steeve and Helen Kay Health Care Fund for RIT Sayas and Sayamas” were also invited.