Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation opened 2014 hosting a special recognition reception for its first year/founding Pacific Passages Circle members at the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco’s Presidio. A special tour was arranged with the Museum’s Curator Michael Labrie to see the Tyrus Wong exhibit. Enjoying the experience of learning of the life and career of Disney cartoonist and illustrator were new members Arthur Tom, Emily Lee, Stella Wong, Zeny and Vincent Seid, Franklin and Daisy Leong. Sam and Jennie Louie were so impressed with AIISF’s future plans as explained by Executive Director Michael McKechnie, and President Buck Gee, that they joined the PPC group on the spot. This exclusive PPC members-only event was a thank you to these members for helping build this donor-giving circle who give $1000 or more annually to the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. This event is in addition to other benefits that AIISF Pacific Passages Circle donors will receive this year, such as private tours of the immigration station at Angel Island.
All on the tour enjoyed the Tyrus Wong exhibit honoring an immigrant hero who was once a detainee at Angel Island and still continues his talents making paper kites at 104 years young.
As Development Director Kendra Adams explained, “Tyrus Wong embodies the struggle and stories that our AIISF mission is based on – from adversity and difficulty to a successful life as a prolific successful artist for Disney films, including being the lead animator for the movie Bambi which revolutionized animation. Thanks to Southwest Airlines Representative Kim DeLevett, a special drawing of two Southwest airline tickets was won by Pacific Passages Circle member Felicia Lowe. It always take a group of dedicated supporters to keep valuable programs going for any organization, and these Pacific Passages Circle members were acknowledged and thanked by President Buck Gee, and Board members Larry Low and Gerrye Wong. For information on how you can join the Pacific Passages Circle and make a difference, contact Adams at (415) 348-9200, Ext 13.
Chinese Historical and Cultural Project is another long-standing organization which opened 2014 with ever-growing enthusiasm and activities.. At its recent Annual membership and Chinese New Years Dinner, which welcomed approximately 100 patrons to the China Stix Restaurant dinner, over 15 new members were recruited and everyone had a wonderful time visiting with fellow supporters of CHCP since its inception in 1987. President Brenda Wong and Dinner Chairman Yvonne Ching welcomed guest speakers Stanford Professor Barbara Voss and Advisory Board member Connie Young Yu. Among those joining this well-organized historical group that oversees its mission of “Educating, Preserving and Promoting Chinese & Chinese American History and Culture in the Santa Clara Valley” were Cleo and Peter Jong, Rose Tokugawa, Bruce Low, Miriam Ngai, Wanda Ching, Daisy Chu, Adam Tow and Rae Chang, Helen Yamauchi, Elyse Wong, Josephine Zimmerman, Sharon Lai and Celine Chan.
CHCP celebrated Chinese New Year with an open house festival day at the History San Jose park with tours of the Ng Shing Gungmuseum and Chinese musical instrumental music on its second floor. Chairman Liz Chew brought her Lion Dance group to entertain the children, with everyone being amazed at the young boys who skillfully manned the large lion heads. Children’s craft activities were enjoyed by the visitors Tom and Joanne Tanabe, Alan Fong and Hong Chin and families. Dedicated CHCP members Brenda and Willie Wong, Carol Fong, Anita and Yucaipa Kwock and Lillian Gong-Guy were ever-present volunteers welcoming all to this nice Sunday outing.
Another hidden gem of downtown San Jose is San Jose Repertory Theater, which brings in top notch productions to Silicon Valley audiences. Coming up is FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, 2006 Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award recipient for excellence in theatre. Opening February 26, Forbidden Broadway, which is celebrating its record-breaking 31st year in New York, will roast Broadway favorites such as Book of Mormon, Les Miz and Chicago. Its take on Rock of Ages and Jersey Boys will bring many laughs and promises to be a fun night for Rep audiences. www.SJRep.com for ticket info.
NEWS FROM SOUTHLAND
A PEEK AT AMERICAN SCHOOLS THROUGH THE EYES OF CHINESE TEACHERS is the subject keynote speaker Rick Harrington will be giving at a dinner hosted by The Museum of Teaching and Learning. The Ayres Hotel Costa Mesa/Newport Beach is the site of the event on March 21 6pm. Harrington is a Program Developer at Cal State University Fullerton and Teacher of Chinese language. He is well known for educating hundreds of Chinese educators and business people who have come to America to learn more about American eduction.
San Francisco Symphony’s Chinese New Years Celebration Imperial Dinner and Concert at Davies Hall once again proves to be a highlight of the season, as reported by leaders Sharon Seto and Sharon Juang. Samatha Seto supported the Symphony’s education program by bringing her line of CheongSam Seto clothing collection to be sold at the SFS Gift Shop and donating all proceeds. It is nice to see young people getting involved with this very successful annual fundraising event, which brings the Chinese new year traditions and celebrations to the general music loving public. I have seen this program evolve over the years and it is indeed a great occasion for families of all ethnicities to learn more and enjoy observing Chinese New Year in a wonderful atmosphere enjoying San Francisco Symphony music.
Birthdays are another event where friends and families can get together to celebrate. ABC TV Anchor Kristen Sze with husband Jasonpulled off a coup surprising their mother Eleanor Wong at a luncheon in honor of her 70th birthday. She thought her daughter Darcie and Wilson Lee were merely hosting her to a simple birthday breakfast at their lovely San Mateo home as she and husband Ira had just returned from a Bhutan vacation a few days before. Nice to see someone truly pleasantly surprised when all her grandchildren ran up to hug paw paw as she walked in to face a bevy of friends. Congratulating her were Vernon Wong, Irene Lee, Matthew Wongs, Ivan Wongs and flying down from Portland, old friends Marvin and Liz Lee.
A group calling themselves the Birthday Babes has been celebrating together for over 20 years and of course, they look younger with each year, they proclaim. Sam’s Chowder House in Palo Alto was the scene this month for the memorable birthdays of Lovelle Shak and Pauline Fong, as heralded by Silicon Valley friends Muriel Kao, Mary Ann Sing, Virginia Bakken, Pat Lum, Nancy Mar and yours truly For lobster foodies, the lobster roll at Sam’s is the best around at its new convenient location in downtown Palo Alto.