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January 25, 2005

Equity’s Guy Pace is Eyewitness to Tsunami Devastation

Guy Pace, Senior Consultant and long-time Equity staff member, saw the devastation first-hand. He had traveled to Thailand for a vacation and decided to take an unscheduled weekend trip to Patong Beach on Phuket. Originally booked into a room at a beachfront hotel, Pace arrived to find his reservation gone and so was moved to a hotel a half- mile from the water. It turned out to be a lucky change of plans.

“That morning I was thrown out of bed by the earthquake,” said Pace. When the quake subsided, he chose to forego his usual walk on the beach and went instead to have breakfast. He heard a woman screaming and people running, when he saw water and a car float by. Pace continued his story, “I was frozen like so many others with me. But suddenly we realized it was a dangerous situation and a Thai woman told us it was a tsunami. We immediately started waking the other guests. I saw the second tsunami come in, and I thought the waves were eight feet high. I later learned they were over sixteen feet. We made the decision to go to the roof of the hotel and we watched as the waters raged towards us. Miraculously, the water stopped at the steps of our hotel.”

Later that day and the next, Pace and others learned the full scope of the damage and the loss of life. He noted that the Thai people were very helpful to the foreigners when they themselves were facing insurmountable devastation and loss.

Pace moved on to Chiang Mai as originally planned and there, he helped organize a blood drive among the many foreigners who live in the area. He also helped develop a benefit that was held January 14 and raised $25,000 for the Kings Foundation, which assists orphans.

“This was a life-changing experience,” said Pace. “And it was amazing that the world jumped to help all of the survivors. Now I learn that so many members of Equity are raising money, too. Its gratifying to be a part of this community.”

Pace plans to return to Thailand, to help the country to which he has traveled so often, to rebuild.

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