03/03/05 - Thairath Daily

Beautiful, compassionate, selflessly generous. Porntip Bui Nakhirunkanok Simon, initially famed by her title as Miss Universe, is now distinguished by her humanitarian efforts towards her native home, Thailand, which was devastated by the December 2004 tsunami. After her marriage to American, Herb Simon in 2002, she established the Angels Wings Foundation International. Her mission? To raise millions to build new schools and to provide scholarships to the underprivileged children of Thailand. The tsunami devastation launched new opportunities for Bui to aid and support her people. The outpouring of donations was directed towards building new homes in Phang Nga, building new fishermen’s boats, and locating adoptive families for the parentless children of this tragedy.

On February 28th, Bui officially introduced her Angels Wings Foundation International to Thailand for the first time. At The Emporium Shopping Complex, Bui gave a message of hope and restoration in honor of those who had lost family, homes, and livelihood. Bui sang “You’ve Got a Friend,” as a poignant remembrance to those lost in the devastation. In addition, the Emporium auctioned off 35 limited-edition Roberta di Camerino crocodile handbags imported from Italy to raise tsunami-relief funds.

On furlough with her work in Thailand, Bui returned to her home in Santa Barbara, California in March where she reported on the progress of the work done and invited a group of family and friends to aid in the fundraising efforts.

Her work continues as she plans to return to Phang Nga in April to further the relief efforts there.