On the Scene: Springtime in California

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Chinese American Community Foundation Directors L to r Back Hanson Li, David Lei, Dien Yuen, Ted Dang, Buck Gee; L to R Front Emily Leung, Dr. Rolland and Kathy Lowe

Chinese American Community Foundation Directors L to r Back Hanson Li, David Lei, Dien Yuen, Ted Dang, Buck Gee; L to R Front Emily Leung, Dr. Rolland and Kathy Lowe

Great news in the Bay Area was the CACF – Chinese American Community Foundation’s recent launch of a new report on the giving characteristics of Chinese American philanthropists in the Bay Area.  Chairman of CACF Dr. Rolland Lowe told over 100 attendees his sage thoughts on Chinese Americans giving prowess, saying, “We hope this report can serve as a tool to spread greater awareness of Chinese American contributions to the Bay area, urge more giving now and in the future, and help community organizations strengthen their relationship with donors. As a longtime reporter of Chinese American activities for the past 30 years, I was asked to participate in the study and was happy to share my thoughts and experiences with the Chinese American community of the Bay Area during my non-profit fundraising projects. Executive Director Emmett Carson of the Silicon Valley Community Foundationexpressed pleasure in partnering with the CACF in studying Chinese American giving practices and how it can be increased.  The report was published in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and can be downloaded at CACF’s website – www.chineseamericancf.org.  You will find some interesting and surprising truths in the study produced after over 40 interviews with Chinese Americans all over the United States showing thoughts of the young and old and the cultural differences between the older persons born abroad and the native born Americans in regards to spending patterns and family.  Among participants at the launch, held at the Portsmouth Square Hilton Hotel, as arranged by Doris Grover and sponsored by Chinese Culture Center’s Mabel Teng, were Nhi Chau of East Bay Asian Youth Center, Anne Im of Asian Americans for Community Involvement, CACF founders Buck Gee and David Lei, Ted Dang, Vicky Wong of Dae Inc., Asian Pacific Fund’s Director Audrey Yamamoto, Planning Financial Advisers Robert Lew,  Anna Wang of Friends of Children with Special Needs. One never knows what the future brings and that is why it was said this Chinese American Community Foundation, no matter how small in its formative years, is being established to help those in need financially through the program.  CAFC Director  Dien Yuen should be commended for excellent handling of this launch luncheon.

At CACF San Francisco launch, Kelly Matsuura, Gerrye Wong, Kendra Adams,  Robert Lew

At CACF San Francisco launch, Kelly Matsuura, Gerrye Wong, Kendra Adams, Robert Lew

Silicon Valley Community Foundation Director Emmett Carson meets CACF Directors

Silicon Valley Community Foundation Director Emmett Carson meets CACF Directors

San Francisco Ballet brought back its production of Cinderella by popular demand, and when I went to the closing performance last Saturday, I could easily see why and appreciate the fact it did come back for San Francisco audience approval.  Standing ovations and loud clapping shook the San Francisco Memorial Opera House after each of Yuan Yuan Tan’s solo and duo performances as Cinderella.  Her grace and beauty as she danced with the prince was a mind boggling experience, with even the youngest children in the audience so awed by her beauty and grace, there was nary a peep out of any of them.  Yuan Yuan later told me she had injured her back the night before, but I assured her her perfect formations and graceful dancing certainly belied the fact she was in discomfort.  She is truly a show woman to carry her duties on at closing night. No matter what the age, everyone in the audience, I could tell, loved this production ofCinderella and we hope she makes another comeback for everyone to see sometime soon.

Yuan Yuan as Cinderella

San Francisco Ballet’s Cinderella, Yuan Yuan Tan welcomes Gerrye Wong

FUN  HAPPENINGS ON THE PENINSULA

A chance to see the famed Carolands Chateau in Hillsborough was offered to patrons at the Third Annual Gentry Philanthropy Issue Celebration.  Editor Stephanie Lingle together with publisher Elsie Floriani and Owner Sloane Citron welcomed over 200 people who swarmed and oohed and aahed at the beautiful woodwork and special features of the opulent rooms of the famed Carolands Chateau. Fifty philanthropists of the Greater Bay Area were featured in the latest copy of the magazine and this was the magazine’s annual celebration. Among guests included David and Sharon Seto, Lillian Chun, whose husband, David, was unable to attend.  I had nominated him for his community service, and it was announced that night he was among the top 50 featured in the magazine.   Other supporters of Gentry’sphilanthropy program, were Barbara Campisi, Paul Lukas and Mary Gottschalk, Asian Pacific Fund’s Audrey Yamamoto, Development Director Anne Im of Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and Gentry Advisory Council Member Sharon Seto with husband David.

At Gentry event at Carolands Chateau,l to r: Gerrye Wong, Lillian Chun, Audrey Yamamoto, Sharon and David Seto.

At Gentry event at Carolands Chateau,l to r: Gerrye Wong, Lillian Chun, Audrey Yamamoto, Sharon and David Seto.

The invitation sent out by the Jones and Zee Families, hosts of “An Evening with Princess Eva” promised an evening of fun to celebrate the birthday of Eva Jones. And fun it was, with elegance and glamour at the Sharon heights Country Club Ballroom in Menlo Park.  Eva is well known for her devotion to good causes, which was evidenced when speakers came up to laud the work she has done for their various groups.  Speaking were Alzheimer’s Association CEO Bill Fisher, Sequoia Hospital’s  Human Resource VP Linda Cheema, El Camino Hospital Corporate and Community VP Cecile Currie and Self help for the Elderly CEO Anni Chung about Eva’s continuing volunteer work.   Most heartwarming was a dance performed by the senior citizen students Eva dedicates to teaching hula weekly  - to which Eva gladly joined them in a beautiful midnight blue strapless gown and topped with a symbolic tiara as the crowning Queen for the Day.  Her two tuxedoed young grandsons and a white costumed Elvis also joined in the fun to herald Eva Jones’ big day.  Happy Birthday, Eva.

photo by May Bakken

Eva Jones’ “Ya Ya Sisters” with surprise guest Elvis. Photo by May Bakken.

Congratulating Eva Jones were her son Leon Jones, Marylou Whitcomb , Spencer Jones, Dr Jim Ostroff, Arlene Fernandez, Patrick Fernandez, Pacey Jones

Congratulating Eva Jones were her son Leon Jones, Marylou Whitcomb , Spencer Jones, Dr Jim Ostroff, Arlene Fernandez, Patrick Fernandez, Pacey Jones

When one wants to host and impress an out-of-town guest, there is no better place than The Sea by Alexanders in Palo Alto.  Sharon Seto, Stefanie Lingle and I visited with Chanile ChangPresident of Alexanders and Tim Halstead, General Manager, who told us of the different qualities of the corporation’s three different restaurants.  Alexanders of Cupertino, it seems, has become well known by businessmen as the perfect place to bring business associates who appreciate a good cut of meat in a relaxed setting.  Alexanders in SOMA district of San Francisco is a more casual venue for the young high tech people who are mobbing to move into the busy financial area and also for the tourists visiting AT&T park.  The Sea, Chanile told us, is the great place for ladies to lunch or businessmen wanting a quiet relaxing atmosphere to take their clients.  Families come in the evening and The Sea’s 250 capacity ballroom/conference room in back is busy hosting weddings and family gatherings as well as business meetings.   www.alexanderssteakhouse.com.

Meeting The Sea Executive Chef Yumin Lin and President Chanile Chang were Sharon Seto and Stefanie Lingle Beasley.

Meeting The Sea Executive Chef Yumin Lin and President Chanile Chang were Sharon Seto and Stefanie Lingle Beasley.

Hawaii-born author, Pam Chun presented “her story” and evolution of her three novels, MONEY DRAGON, WHEN STRANGE GODS CALLand her most recent, THE SEAGULL’S GARDENER to the Chi Am Circle members at the China Stix Restaurant of Santa Clara.  She gave a power point presentation of her cultural heritage and how it unraveled into her spell bounding novels. Chun’s first novel, MONEY DRAGON is now being pursued by the cinema world for a possible future movie. Chi Am Circle committee members hosting this monthly speaker meeting included Muriel Kao, Pat Lum, Shelly Sze, Ruby Fong, Miriam Ngai, Carol Fong, Carolyn Jow, Sandy Young and Joyce Tom.

Author Pam Chun, fourth from left, meets Chi Am Circle members at luncheon

Author Pam Chun, fourth from left, meets Chi Am Circle members at luncheon

Coming to the stage of the Louis B. Mayer Theatre on the Santa Clara University campus will be a humorous comedy titled “3-BLONDE MOMS” which brings together three unique moms and unlikely friends in the close quarters of living in a cul-de-sac.  Created by Joanie Fagan, the show, said Fagan, has been touring for over 10 years but it keeps changing with different new situations in the world. The three stars, Fagan, Donna Cherry and Beaumont Bacon have been touring with the show for the past five years to sold-out theatres in Chicago, Southern California and will play in Santa Clara for two shows on Saturday April 5. A particular crowd pleaser is when Cherry, a Julliard trained singer, does singing impressions of famous moms, while telling of the chaos raising two teenage boys.  Joanie Fagan capsulizes her show this way: “It is fun and uplifting with hysterical stories of what we all go through in being moms, from diaper days to college years.”  Tickets: www.scupresents.org.

Menlo Park’s Left Bank Brasserie is a jumping place for the lunchtime crowd eager to sample its excellent meat entrees and innovative desserts.  My group of friends, who title ourselves The Fun Food-loving Friends, enjoyed meeting General Manager Khephra Molloy with her suggestions of favorite items on the menu.  Enjoying a beautiful spring day in March with the restaurant’s large open windows decked with spring floral arrangements were Mary Ann Wong, Carolyn Jow,  Mabel Lai, Patsy Ja, Jeanette Yee, Joanne Tanabe, Carol Fong, Ginger Lai and Barbara Why.

EASY BAY NEWS

South Bay Chinese Service Club SBCSC will hold its scholarship awards banquet April 16 6:30 pm at the Union City Mayflower Restaurant. Dinner Chairman Joe Woo explains the club’s goal, saying annually the SBCSC awards scholarships to exemplary high school students of Chinese descent who reside in Fremont, Newark or Union City.  In 2013 the club awarded 15 scholarships for a total of $12,000 in awards to happy students. Personal individual scholarship donations are coming in support of this education program and Woo encourages any persons out there who believe in honoring hard working students in all disciplines to lessen their college payments, to come forth and celebrate this happening next week.  Info:  www. SBCClub.org. Send all donations to Gordon Jang, 38742 Glencoe Dr., Fremont, CA 94536.

 

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