An Angel Amongst Us
In 2002, former Miss Universe, Bui Simon created Angels Wings Foundation International, a non-profit organization aimed at assisting the underprivileged children of her native country of Thailand. Since its inception Angels Wings has built schools, provided educational scholarships, healthcare, and many other critical services for the youth in Thailand. Under the careful guidance of native Thai philanthropist, Bui Simon, Angels Wings continues to address the evolving needs of the country’s young and vulnerable citizens with increased educational opportunities and various forms of aid.
In response to the December, 2004 tsunami in South East Asia, Founder Bui Simon raised funds to aid those affected by the natural disaster. In addition to providing a fleet of boats, building schools and new playground equipment and providing support for orphaned children, Angels Wings Foundation constructed 100 new homes in just three months. “
Prior to founding Angels Wings Foundation, Bui Simon spent fifteen years actively involved in philanthropic work. In 1988, Bui Simon established a fund to help the needy children of Thailand. That same year, Simon advocated the Rights of the Child bill in front of the United Nations as Thailand’s Goodwill Ambassador. In the mid-1990s, Bui organized a 10-city charity national concert tour that raised enough funds for food, new schools, and the construction of a pediatric AIDS Wing for a rural hospital for Thai children with medical needs. In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the nation’s people, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand awarded her with a Thai Royal Medal of Honor.
In 1996, while working as a journalist, Bui Simon became an anchor on the highly regarded television news program 60 Minutes II, and also appeared on Television Broadcasting Corporation Channel 7 in Thailand. In 2002, Bui Simon, married Herbert Simon, a businessperson and owner of the NBA team Indiana Pacers and (now) Chairman Emeritus of Simon Property Group. Their marriage ceremony was held at the Royal Summer Palace and presided over by Thailand’s Queen Sirkit. The Simons have two children of their own and are also raising Bui’s late sister’s three children.
A constant believer in the importance of education, Simon developed the Bui Simon Thai Endowed Scholarship Fund along with her alma mater, Pepperdine University. This scholarship opportunity allows Thai college students to visit the United States and study at the Malibu, California institution. As a highly regarded alumna, Pepperdine University elected Bui Simon to its Board of Regents in 2009. With a passion for philanthropy, Bui proudly serves on the board of governors for the Dream Foundation, the first and largest national wish-granting organization for adults facing life-threatening illnesses. She currently devotes her time to taking care of her own extended family as well as the underprivileged in Thailand. At least twice a year, Bui Simon flies back to her home country to personally oversee developing projects sponsored by her foundation, Angels Wings.