On The Scene: October 30

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Nohelani Cypriano is surrounded by Silicon Valley fans at her Santa Clara Hawaiian Divas concert.

It was a grand night of Hawaii music and entertainment when Hawaiian Divas Malveen, Nohelani Cipriano, and Ho’omana performed in Santa Clara University Music Building in front of an enthusiastic small group of fans and friends. Lori Wong and her Honeebee Productions team and dancers rounded out the two hour show which made everyone long for the swaying palms of Hawaii. Lori’s daughters Christina and Danielle were accompanied by their Santa Teresa High School Hawaiian Dance club members Judy Vitek, Irish Abat, Charlene Romero, Maddy Toeder, Danielle Wong and brave sole male dancer Jacob Geibig. Stars of the show were the Hawaii Divas, Malveen and Nohelani Cipriano, and they belted out enthusiastic fast numbers as the dancers tried to keep up in traditional hula manner. Christina trekked off to perform at Thunder Valley Casino with the Divas, and no matter what changes come along as one ages, the Divas Nohelani and Malveen prove the voice and showmanship are never lost. Clapping with the beat were frequent Hawaii visitors Sandy and Ken Joe, Sylvia and Roger Eng, Calvin Wong. Also seen were Frank Ching, Homer and Joanne Tong, Janet and Richard Lim, Maelene and Aaron Wong.

Hawaiian Divas Malveen and Nohelani sang in Santa Clara and Thunder Valley Casino.



Lori Wong, left, with daughters Danielle and Christina, and proud grandma Lana Wong, and cousins Gerrye and Calvin Wong at Divas concert



Chi am Circle Women’s Club members join in CAWC  50th anniversary celebration.

Chinese American Women’s club Founders: seated Pauline Lowe, Ethel Chong; standing: Ethel Chew, Charlotte Shannen, Cory Chinn

In transient Silicon Valley there aren’t many who have lived in the area for 50 years, let alone joined an organization that is also becoming of age. Hence, it was a grand celebration when the Chinese American Women’s Club celebrated its golden anniversary last month. Founders Pauline Lowe, Ethel Chew, Ethel Chong, Charlotte Shannen and Corrine Chin were lauded for their foresight in starting the club in 1962 in downtown San Jose Area. The festive occasion happened at the dining room of the Villages Golf and Country Clubhouse in the south side of San Jose with over 100 old friends and members having a good time renewing old acquaintances.  Seen in the happy room were Aimee Leung, Emily Yue, Hong Chin, Sheryl Chan, Marguerite Sue, Susie Lee, Carolyn Jow, Mary Ann Wong, Anita Kwok and mother Betty Wong. I would like to congratulate all the new and old members of this women’s social service club. Please continue your good work to the community. As a show of continuing service to the community, the CAWC awarded grants to Asian Americans for Community Involvement and other organizations.


The CHINESE CULTURE FOUNDATION OF SAN FRANCISCO falls just three years short of its 50thannual dinner, but its 47th annual dinner was certainly festive, with over 400 attendees last week at the Empress of China Main Ballroom. As I listened to the Honoree presentations of Yuan Yuan Tan, a ballerina, Maurice Chuck, a journalist, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, I felt as if it were déjà vu because my own event that I co-chaired for, Angel Island, also had honored the Senator and Ballerina.

Honoree Yuan Yuan Tan, center, shows her gift to her parents, (left) Lillian Sing, and Senator Dianne Feinstein and husband Richard Blum.

Maurice Chuck, the Lifetime Achievement in Community Building Award winner, has been an active fighter for the rights of Chinese in America, an accomplished journalist, a writer, and a tireless advocate of US-China relations. Senator Feinstein, in accepting her Building Bridges Award, recalled taking a delegation to China in 1979 which included Maurice Chuck and Gordon Lau to establish San Francisco-Shanghaisister city relations.

Enjoying Chinese Culture Foundation’s Harmony and Bliss Dinner are Yuan Yuan Tan, Judge Lillian Sing, Gerrye Wong


Chairing the event very capably were Esther Li and Susan Tom who said their dinner was to be tantalizing dishes from Beijing paired with a plethora of wines carefully chosen to pair with each colorful dish. To be congratulated for pulling this capacity crowd together were committee members Sherlyn Leong, Jonas Miller, Ivy Shen, Minna Tao, Yee Tom, Patty Wong, Brian Yee and Shannon Yip. President Gin Ho and Vice president Minna Tao did an admirable job as MC, and Maggie Miu and Executive Director Mabel Teng kept the honoree program moving very efficiently and interestingly with video introductions. Jim Patrick was a forceful auctioneer to bring in over $15K from a selection of open auction items, the most popular being a print of a water color painting penned by Senator Feinstein herself. The title HARMONY AND BLISS exemplifies all the hard work the Chinese Culture Center has done to unify and inspire the Chinese community. As Mabel Teng proudly announced, the Foundation’s work has reached over 43,000 participants in 2012 alone. Among all its activities, the participation in the SF Fine Art Fair, Launched C-Cubed, Friends of Chinese Culture Center, launched engagement initiatives in partnership with the Chinese Progressive Association, and a 2 year Artist-in-Residency Program at Starr King Elementary School. As an old time board member from the 1980s, I feel very proud of the progress Chinese Culture Foundation has attained in the thirty years since I served under the efficient presidency of Dr. Rolland Lowe. Seen supportive of CCC’s fundraising activities were Eileen Tong, Mary Jane Tom, Paul and Agnes Lam, Yvonne and Toby Lee, Sherman Tang, Pausang Wong, Helen Hui and Gordon Lau, Dr. Richard and Tatwina Lee, Irene and Dan Riley, Ada Tom, Dr. Randal and Dottie Low, Pat Tseng and Calvin Li.   


Across the town in San Francisco was another gala party. More colorful and splashy was San Francisco Beautiful’s annual Together for San Francisco A Masquerade Soiree, which drew the beautiful, bold, and brazen out in their most lavish finery or outlandish costumes. It was like an early Halloween party but in a much more elegant setting at the Westin St. Francis Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Another sell-out crowd of partygoers enjoyed a night of silent and open auctions, efficiently produced under the chairwomen Sharon Seto’s hands. San Francisco Beautifulis a fine organization with a mission to keep our city as beautiful as it should be, and with the proceeds from this event, it is certain that they will be able to continue their drives to see that this beautiful city by the bay continues to shine on in the eyes of us natives as well as its many visitors.

San Francisco Beautiful Masquerade Soiree Committee Chairs


SF Beautiful Event chair Sharon Seto with her three generation family members


The small town of Locke has always claimed the distinction of being the only solely built and inhabited Chinese city in the United States. It is today much like a ghost town with barely 100 people living there, mostly non-Chinese in fact. However, its history is documented in the Chinese school that once taught all the Locke children and served oftentimes as the community center and meeting room of the town, still stands proud with its old wooden school chair/desk combination and its upright piano. A museum of gambling, once the popular pastime of all the farm laborers who came to Locke as their only welcoming place of recreation, shows many games of chance once played there.

The wooden sidewalks and crumbling wooden buildings still stand precariously for the history buffs, and people continue to visit this historical place. Connie King, now gone but often called the unofficial mayor of Locke in recent years, built a small garden in remembrance of those pioneers who once built this town, and sold places on surrounding walls to visiting friends who supported her mission to preserve the history of this once thriving town in the early1900s. If you haven’t had a chance to visit this piece of Chinese American history, do so before all is lost. I brought friends Evangeline and Hampson Lum of San Francisco and Clifford and Susan Chang of San Rafael there recently for a brief historical visit into our Chinese American roots. Walking tours are available through a local store.

San Franciscans Hampson and Evangeline Lum visit the Heritage Memorial in the once only solely Chinese built and inhabited city in the US, Locke, CA.


To be sorely missed:
Active fundraising guru who worked tirelessly for many of the Chinese community’s non-profit organizations, FORREST GOK

A happy lady who always with a smile was willing to give cooking demonstrations or work on community projects, forgetting and forgiving of the harsh life she faced during growing up before coming to the Ming Quong Home, RHODA WING. 

A familiar face to those who visited San Francisco’s Gift Center and his Golden State Co. chocks up with gift items we all loved to buy, greeting everyone with a friendly smile alongside wife Bettie, WAYMOND LUM. 


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