News from our favorite newscaster Kristen Sze tells us that her daughter Lauren Wong has caught her mother’s on stage presence and talent to play a leading role in Narnia, the Musical, presented by the Bay Area Educational Theater Company. Opening November 2-11, the show will be held at the Canada College Main Stage Theater at 4200 Farm Hill Blvd., Redwood City, and will feature Bay Area performers from ages 8-18 representing dozens of San Mateo County schools and theater-loving adults. This joyous interpretation of one of the most beloved childhood stories of all time by C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia will have brave mythical creatures and intelligent talking animals live in a perpetual winter imposed by the evil White Witch. Starring in this fun-filled not-to-be-missed musical are talented performers Courtney Sullivan-Wu, Ishani and Aanika Gupta, Kelly Hoffman, Abhaya Krishnan-ja, Keya Pardasai, Veyna Karanth and not to be forgotten, our own Wong cousin Lauren Wong playing “Lucy”.
Tickets: www.bayareaetc.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY GOES TO CHINA
Exciting news for China audiences will be that our own San Francisco Symphony with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas will perform for the first time in Beijing, on a six city, 10-concert tour of Asia in November. Traveling to two concerts in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the orchestra will play its first concerts in Taiwan in 20 years. Two concerts in Tokyo will mark a first return to Japan in 15 years, and this exciting tour will open on November 7 at the Macau Cultural Center for its debut there. Pianist Yuja Wang, a native of Beijing, will solo in all six cities on the tour. This is the Orchestra’s seventh Asian tour and their fifth visit to Japan since their debut on their first international tour way back in 1968. The orchestra returned in 1975 under then-Music director Seiji Ozawa who led the Orchestra from 1970-1977.
Based in one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the United States, the San Francisco Symphony has a similarly diverse musician roster with of the 100 plus musicians, almost a dozen are Chinese or Japanese Americans. Don’t forget to mark on your calendar February 2 for the annual Chinese New Year Concert, which features many children’s activities and is a great jaunt for families to come together.
ROYALTY REIGNED AT OLD ST MARY’S
A Royal Tea Lunch benefiting St. Mary’s Building Fund was held in Old St. Mary’s Cathedral Auditorium, which was transfigured into a beautiful elegant room. Colorful pastel lanterns covered the usual overhead chandeliers with chiffon drapes festooned around the basement pillars. Rev. Daniel McCotter, Pastor and Director of St. Mary’s School and Catholic Center welcomed the filled room and a parade of hats designed by Mr. Earl Cornell followed. Among the hat models in this luncheon event, chaired by Special Events chairperson Barbara Yee, were Susan Chang, May Jew, Dolores Joe, Mei Lam, Phyllis Lee Leong, Shirley Wong and Jennifer Ho. Chefs overseeing the delicious lunch were Lisa Lam and Ronald Ng. Truly it was a royal experience and all for a good cause.
AN AUTUMN GARDEN PARTY
When Sam Leftwich and his Leftwich Events Specialists put on an event, it is the place to be and experience, and his Autumn Celebration at Green Gables in Woodside as no exception. On a brilliantly warm and sunny day in this beautiful South Bay setting, Sam partnered with Entire Productions Entertainment and Lighting, the Prestigious Woodside Vineyards, Mills Wine Group, Purity Vodka, McCallum Designs and Lucas Valet Parking for this private party for his special friends hosted on the grounds of the elegant private Fleishaker country estate. Leftwich President Richard Okiuye welcomed guests to the lavish gardens behind the 100-year-old mansion. With guests enjoying a jazz ensemble while sipping wines and dining under umbrella-topped tables immersed in the beauty of this wooded estate, it was a perfect Autumn Garden Party. If you’re looking for an excellent party planner, check out www.leftwich events.com. Seen enjoying the ambiance of the party were Xiaojun and Junming Li, David and Sharon Seto, with her fatherStephen Lee and Sophia Sun.
HAPPY TIMES FOR FAMILIES
Weddings are always fun to report on, because everyone is in a happy joyous mood, especially the Chinese parents. Mr. And Mrs. Sing Wah Chin and Mr. And Mrs. Jiu Li likewise were happily greetings family friends to their children, Jason Chin and Joanne Li’s, wedding banquet at Ming’s Restaurant of Palo Alto. Seen toasting the happy young couple were Art and Judy Wong, Nellie Jones, Lorraine and Joe Young, Mrs. Harry Wong with sons Richard and Dennis, Tom and Camilla Chinn.
There’re no happier people around than first time grandparents, and that was true of Norman and Antonia Tu who beamed when showing off Baby Dylan in their own backyard garden party. Guests had the choice of Mexican or Chinese buffet on a beautiful California afternoon in Los Altos Hills. Photo ops were wonderful for a four-generation picture of the Tu family, as witnessed by friends Bassie Lee, Rose Tsai, Richard and Vicky Woo, Steve and Diana Chan, Clarence Bakkens, Tom Hubbs, Phil Chai, Jane Chan, Margaret Gee and many other friends of the popular first time grandparents.
ASIANWEEK FOUNDATION’S HEP B FREE
Fundraising dinner held at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco raised awareness to the 300 patrons of the necessity to be tested for this disease. Leading the program was television anchor Alan Wang and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, joined by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Asian Week Foundation’s Ted Wang was lauded for his work in bringing attention to Hep B so that thousands of people have been tested in the past years.
ASIAN AMERICAN DONOR PROGRAM
Congratulations to the Asian American Donor Program which sponsored the Barry Foon Legacy Golf Tournament at the Round Hill Country Club with over 100 golfers in attendance to brave the hottest day of the year in Alamo’s history. Executive Director Jonathan Leong and Executive Director Carol Gillespie welcomed the players with golf shirts, balls, and numerous snack pack items. Barry Foon, for whom the tour
nament is named, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a blood cancer in 2004. His family learned that the best chance for long-term remission was through a bone marrow transplant. However, after a difficult search where a donor was found, Barry was unable to receive it and passed away in 2007. Celebrities seen supporting this fine cause were Erik Johnson, Fred Breining, Kristi Yamaguchi, Bret Hedican, and NBC Anchor Diane Dwyer, as well as family members Lisa Foon, Burt, Brady and Curtis Foon.
More power to the AADP, which has hosted 405 communities, drives during the past year as well as registered over 14,200 new donors. To be really applauded is the act that 50 lives were saved last year by AADP donors. Not only did people hit the ball that day, they had a ball knowing they were helping this organization continue its good work in the community. For more information on getting tested or helping get the word out to your friends and family, call 510 568 3700; www.aadp.org or info@aadp.
THE AMERICA’S CUP
The China Team competing in the October America’s Cup races this month in San Francisco was very happy with some victories in the three-day races. A New Zealand group of sailors had been commissioned to man the China Team boat and thrilled patrons on the Marina Green with their sailing prowess. I had the chance to meet the China Team crew members who are still inexperienced in sailing, but assist in the maintenance. The New Zealand team said they have been sailing, as are most of the Auckland citizens, since children, and felt very upbeat about their capacity to bring honors to China in the competitions. Stanley Mo, a media advisor for the China Team, says to be sure to watch for them when the team returns in 2013 to compete in the Youth Competition where all sailors have to be natives of the country the boat is representing.
Friends of Children with Special Needs will host their annual fundraising gala on November 3 titled “Share Our Dream” at the Santa Clara Convention, announced by co-founders Anna and Albert Wang. Formed in 1996 by 10 Chinese American families to support families with special need children, the FCSN has raised multi-million dollars to build a Dream Center in Fremont, CA in 2006 and increased serving over 800 multi-ethnic families. In 2011 FCSN relocated their South Bay Center to 3675 Payne Ave., in West San Jose and is now ready to duplicate many of the successful programs offered in their Fremont center. In 2012 FCSN’s Chinese Music Band and its Dream Achievers Rock Band performed in Beijing, joining other local organizations serving children with Autism. Come to their upcoming fundraising event, where they need everyone’s help. Info:www.FCSN1996.org.
HATWALK, presented by the Asian American Cancer Support Network (AACSN) will be a happening on November 10 at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel. Talented pianist, a Carnegie Hall veteran, will be providing music with guest speaker being Vivian Mubani, a cancer survivor sharing her inspirational journey through her illness. Committee members include co founders May Bakken and Fidelia Butt, Amy Ho, Ahnee Min, Catherine Leung, Charleston Pierce, Chiao Au, Michael Ghaldy, Mimi Kwan, Nusi Vum, Leyina Chen, Lily Dong. Info: www.aacsn.org.