Gung Hay Fat Choy & Sun Nein Fay Lok!
Dear Friends and Members,
Happy Lunar New Year and I welcome you all to the year of the Ram – my Best Wishes to you and your families for a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!
This year is truly historic and significant because of our Chinese contribution in California history. On Jan. 5, I attended the oath of office for Betty T. Yee, State Controller, and John Chiang, State Treasurer. The ceremonies took place at the historic ballroom at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. This is the first time in California history that two Chinese were elected into constitutional offices in our great State of California. That day, I also attended the inaugural ceremony for Dave Jones, State Insurance Commissioner, at the Sacramento Central Library, and the eventful day concluded at the California Railroad Museum attending Gov. Jerry Brown’s reception. The end of the day is just the beginning of what is planned to commemorate two historic events honoring the pioneers who built the foundations for the 100-year anniversary of the town of Locke and the 150-year anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.
At CACS, we are delighted to welcome Anne Luong, of the Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center, to the Board. Her experiences with the Sacramento community will greatly benefit our goals for youth development and after-school programs.
Our Board will continue to cultivate collaborative partnerships with Asian Pacific Islander and other organizations to educate the community about Chinese culture and heritage. Since the last newsletter, the Board supported these programs: Care for Kids, Operation Santa Claus, and Scholarships to support the Asian Pacific State Employees Association, Asian Pacific Islander Public Affairs Association, and the Sacramento County History Day. We extend our outreach to support My Sister’s House and other community programs related to youth development, anti-bullying awareness, and Chinese languages and culture.
I thank the CACS Board, members, sponsors and volunteers for the past year and for remembering their generous contributions to support the CACS programs. In October 2014, CACS inducted County Supervisor Jimmie Yee into the Frank Fat’s Hall of Fame and presented Maeley Tom with the Frank Fat Founder’s award at our Gold Mountain Celebration. The GMC story and others events that CACS attended during the past months are featured in this newsletter. I hope you enjoy the pictures also!
I look forward to meeting you at our future events.
Honey Lum, President 2014
The 27th annual Gold Mountain Celebration (GMC) was held Oct. 3, 2014, at the Happy Garden Seafood Restaurant.
The Gold Mountain Celebration is the Chinese American Council of Sacramento’s (CACS) event to recognize and honor two outstanding individuals (or organizations) in the community with the awarding of the Frank Fat Founder’s Award and the induction of an honoree into the CACS Hall of Fame. The Frank Fat Founder’s Award was established by the CACS Board in 1997. The award is to acknowledge those in the community that have given more than just their time, but also that special “something” back into the community. The 2014 recipient of this prestigious award was Ms. Maeley Tom.
The Hall of Fame was established in 2004. The induction into the Hall of Fame is a lasting tribute to those individuals (or organizations) that have achieved the next level of commitment in giving back to the community. The 2014 Inductee was the Honorable Jimmie Yee.
This year another Jimmy Yee was on stage. Jimmy “The Entertainer” Yee provided entertainment this year with his impression of ELVIS.
The CACS Board gives special thanks to the following sponsors: Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, Carpenters Union Local 46, Sharif Jewelers, Frank Fat Family and Restaurants, Sacramento City Council Members, Darrell Fong, Steve Hanson, Kevin McCarty, US Bank and the many community table sponsors and generous individuals who supported our dinner.
All proceeds from the GMC event benefit the “Care for Kids” program and the “Operation Santa Claus” program put on by CACS in conjunction with the Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center.
The success of this annual event could not have happened without the hard work of our Board and Advisors, lead by co-chairs Franc Martinez and Charlie Moy! CACS will see you at the “2015 Gold Mountain Celebration” event!
By Brenda Fong
One of CACS’ commitments to the community is helping the children through our “Care for Kids” program. Working in partnership with the Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center (SCCSC), we donated much-needed school supplies and sporting equipment to two after-school programs. A big thank-you goes to Anne Luong of the Service Center for help in coordinating this program.
Three fully-loaded cars of supplies were taken to AM Winn Waldorf Inspired School and Nicholas Elementary School. CACS members Merlayna Yee-Chin, Franc Martinez, Brenda Fong, Charlie Moy, and City School Board Member Darrel Woo were met by Anne and the respective school staff members. A dozen or more very happy students from their after-school programs helped unload the many boxes of supplies and equipment. The kids were more than happy to pose for photos and expressed their thanks to CACS with large and colorful signs and posters. It was a fun afternoon and very rewarding to see how our funds helped these two schools and their students.
A BIG thank-you goes to Dr. David Young, Chairman for this project, for again taking his time and effort in shopping for all of the school supplies and playground equipment.
At the Council on American Islamic Relations - Sacramento Valley (CAIR-SV) fundraising dinner at CSUS on Sept. 6, CACS shared a table with Florin JACL.
By Jim T. Chong
Last year, along with other board members from CACS, I attended the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraising dinner.
This was an interesting event designed to bring together the community to raise funds for the organization. They announced nearly 1,000 in attendance. As in any culture, there are perceived positive and negative stereotypes of the Muslim community. One strong overtone in the messages given were the sentiments towards the racial “hate crimes” that occur at all age groups for this ethnicity. One example was a girl’s story of how claiming to be an American-Muslim caused some discussion about what that meant and if that was really possible. Another was how another individual was chased and beaten here in the states because of her dress attire and being Muslim. With all the media coverage about terrorism and unfortunate negative overtones (whether accurate or not) projecting the Islamic/Muslim community as a whole as being violent and having anti-American attitudes, it is no wonder people in America might feel entitled to defend the country’s honor by pigeonholing every Muslim in this category, but that is both wrong and unfortunate. Fortunately, CAIR is focused on helping deal with the negative stereotypes and fighting the hate crimes toward the Muslim community as well as trying to educate others that most Muslims are definitely NOT as depicted negatively in the American media and do not support the violence that some smaller factions of their community exude.
The evening ended with the Ambassador from South Africa stating that the most powerful thing to move any community forward in general is “consistency.” No matter which ethnicity or culture you may hear about, it’s the consistent and accurate flow of information that will help us all learn more about the ways we can work together, rather than apart.
CACS is pleased to have Ms. Anne Luong join our Board. Anne has been employed with Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center since 2002 as a Community Outreach Manager. She has worked with CACS as our lead coordinator for our “Care for Kids” and “Operation Santa Claus” projects since it first started. She and her staff have been instrumental to us in identifying the schools in south Sacramento and the needs of their students, especially for “Operation Santa Claus.” Anne Luong came to United States in 1975 and has resided in Sacramento since. She has been married for 28 years and has two grown daughters. Prior to joining the Center, Anne was in the restaurant industry for seven years as co-owner, with her husband, of two restaurants. Anne is well-connected and respected with many API communities; she continues to attend many community events to learn, become connected, and obtain resources to better acquaint herself with our community.
By Brenda Fong
On Feb. 14, four CACS Board members attended a very special program at the California Museum hosted by the “Northern California Time of Remembrance” Committee and local chapters of Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). The purpose was to commemorate the civil and human rights lessons of Japanese-Americans who were interned at camps during WWII and how these Japanese-American families triumphed over unspeakable adversity and hardships.
The Museum is currently showing the amazing photographic work by Paul Kitagaki Jr., senior photographer of The Sacramento Bee. As described in an announcement by The Bee, the exhibit juxtaposes historic images of Japanese-Americans interned during WWII with contemporary photos of the same individuals or their descendants by Kitagaki. Paul spoke about how he researched his work and his continuing quest to identify and locate the Japanese-Americans in these photos and their current-day descendants. Nine individuals, representing our culturally-diverse community, participated in a moving candle lighting ceremony; they are the “Keepers of the Japanese American WWII Legacy.” For information on the “Northern California Time of Remembrance,” visit their website at www.NCTOR.org.
By Brenda Fong
On Jan. 29, I participated as a judge at a spelling bee contest hosted by the Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center at the Luther Burbank High School auditorium. The children who participated were from nine schools in South Sacramento and represented the primary and intermediate levels.
The 12 children that we judged represented the third grade level. The auditorium was full of proud parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends supporting and cheering for their contestants who were seated on the stage decorated with their school banners and colorful balloons.
3rd grader Chloe, from Camellia Basic Elementary School, successfully spelled the word “observation” and won first place! Each winning contestant from the different grade levels was presented with a winner’s medal, educational gifts, and a new backpack. Congratulations to all the students for their participation, SCCSC staff, and to all the educators who organized and coordinated this spelling bee contest.
By Karun Yee
What would we do without our holiday season to brighten the cold dark days of winter? CACS along with numerous Santa’s helpers and hours of planning and organizing have the answer. Our 2014 Operation Santa Claus started with a meeting in October between Anne Luong and myself to set the criteria for this year’s event. Our annual volunteers’ breakfast at Aviators on November 1 distributed the 100 families among the shoppers.
A special thanks to Charlie Moy, who purchased sporting goods, Tonka toys and Barbie dolls from the Folsom Target Store at a discounted rate. My special thanks to the following volunteers, for without them this program would not happen: Mike & Helen Fong, Janet & Doug Louie, Stephanie & Christopher Louie, Ken Wong, Susan Kwong, Bill & Joyce Tom, Kim and Pete Rabbon, Deanne & Eugene Ng, Cindy Won-Nakata, Wendy Okuda, Brenda & Brian Fong, Franc Martinez, Merlayna & Frank Chin, June Fong, Jennifer Louie, Trent Thomas, Joan Hirose, Cathy Wei, Joyce & Alex Eng, Anne Luong, and Debra & Karun Yee.
Anne Luong and her staff from the Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center gathered all the children from the designated schools – Camellia, Caroline Wenzel, Earl Warren, John Still, Martin Luther King, William Land, and Woodbine – for a special holiday party where we presented the gifts. Special thanks to Ray Giles, the wonderful photographer, who donated his time and talent to capture the holidays for our families with complimentary photographs.
Many thanks to Brian & Brenda Fong for being the toy depository for the mountains of gifts; Merlayna Chin-Yee for recruiting all the volunteers; Charlie Moy for making the special Target purchases; and Joan Hirose, who donated bags of much needed items.
It’s all a labor of love and the joy of giving that brightens the holiday spirit. The winds of change are blowing as Anne Luong will be chairing this program next year with more of a focus on the children in the Asian community.