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ON THE SCENE    BY  Gerrye Wong

OCA San Mateo gala 28th anniversary committee welcome dinner honorees (center) Jeff Gee and Sai Ling Chan-Sew
Organization of Chinese Americans, San Mateo Chapter (OCA SM) opened the month with its 28th annual awards gala dinner and scholarship recognition event.  Titled “Individuals Who Inspire”, the group honored two leading citizens Jeff Gee and Sai Ling Chan-Sew.  ABC-TV  long time reporters David Louie and Vic Lee were the very personal MC’s of the evening and opened the program chiding each other on their longevity in the TV media realm.  Both, they revealed are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year with ABC7 News and this is the first time they have ever co-anchored as  master of ceremonies.  As David recalled, “ I grew up taking photos with a Brownie, learning how to process black and white film.”  He built his first computer and not only wrote for the high school newspaper but delivered papers too.  His hobby now is using a high-end Canon DSLR and travels the world to take photos that he processes in digital imaging software.    David donated one of his prize pictures taken of the Sydney, Australia famed Opera House during the city’s Festival of Color in 2014  which I am proud to say I became the owner of, outbidding all at the silent auction.

Gerrye and Calvin Wong, top bidders for framed photo of Sydney Opera House  photographed and donated by ABC7 News Reporter David Louie, center.
Vic Lee, he recounted, is a second generation reporter, following the footsteps of his father who was a foreign correspondent assigned to Japan during the post World War II occupation while his mother was an opera actress.  Vic, like David, has many Emmy’s and awards from Asian American Journalists Association, and Vic’s investigative series on the hidden health hazards in Silicon Valley’s semi-conductor industry earned him the George Polk Award of Journalism for best local TV reporting. That night he was prouder to show off the latest pictures and news of his first grandchild even more than the daily news as only first time grandfathers can do.  Both David and Vic kept the program moving at a wonderful pace with their informal presence  and efficient programming.

OCA San Mateo awards 8 students scholarship grants at the South San Francisco annual dinner.
Scholarship Recognition is a big part of OCA-SM’s work with youth and 8 lucky young people were granted honorariums for their college careers.  Earning the Wang Scholarships were Vince De La Cerna, Victor Lee, Parisa Moghaddam, Brian Ng and Daniel Spottiswood.  Receiving the Adrian and Monica Arima Scholarships were Christine Abella and Ryan Cheong.  Recipient of the Lew memorial Scholarship was Meagan Chan, who had once served as an OCA intern and will continue graduate studies at UC San Diego.  Presenting  Senate certificates was California Congressman Mike Honda who expressed his thoughts about the importance of youth of today, and lauded the OCA SM for honoring these fine students.

Congressman Mike Honda, center, is welcomed by his supporters,l to r:  Michael and May Moon, Carol Ong, Ivy Shen, Calvin and Gerrye Wong
Honoree of the evening Jeff Gee has served for many years on the Redwood City  Council, and was unanimously selected by his fellow City Council members to serve as the city’s major. He has a long list of active participation in government and non-profit boards, but his main focus is working on reducing traffic congestion, protecting the environment and air quality, and ensuring that Redwood City and San Mateo County’s local economy is vibrant and that the quality of life for residents remains protected and enhanced.  Congratulations to Jeff Gee, who is obviously a well deserving choice to be OCA SM honoree of its 28th annual dinner. 

President Melodie Lew welcomes MC’s David Louie and Vic Lee
 Joining Gee as Honoree was Sai-Ling Chan-Sew who has served for 16 years as the San Francisco County Director of Child, Youth and Family Section of Community Behavioral Health Services. Always a strong advocate of disadvantaged and vulnerable children, she initiated many programs of significance in San Francisco School-based Mental Health Partnership Program. In 1977 she was a key founding member of Wu Yee Children’s Services, a child care and early childhood education provider affecting the lives of more than 10,000 families.  Again, congratulations to another fine member of the Chinese American community to be honored. And much applause is warranted to the OCA San Mateo Board of Directors and the Gala committee members for a job nicely done.  Let’s clap for President Melodie Lew and her assistants Chris Bush, Sarah Chew, Martin Jung, John Lau, and Franklin Kang.
CHI AM CIRCLE, an Asian American women’s club in Silicon Valley, will be holding its annual scholarship dinner May 12 to an anticipated audience of over 200 members, friends and families of the 30 students honored that evening.   Cleo Jong and Susan Lew Lee, Co-Chairs of the Chi Am Scholarship Sponsorship program expressed appreciate for the many members and community foundations who continue to support Chi Am’s Scholarship program to enable the club annually to award over $50,000 in grants to students on basis of merit as well as need.  Dinner Chair Liza Wong has lined up State Assemblyman Evan Low as guest speaker, and promises a program of many fine prizes for its raffle drawing which will replenish the pot for next year’s awards dinner. Among recent  donor/sponsors included Callison Foundation and the Kathy Kwan/Alan Eustace Charitable Foundation, Bloomingdales, George Ow Family, Eva Jones, Diana Chan, Lily Chinn, Antonia Tu and many other members and Chi Am Circle friends and supporters.  

Murder at the Dragon’s Den  dinner show welcomes all to Chinatown.
MURDER AT THE DRAGON’S DEN OF THE FORBIDDEN CITY NIGHTCLUB  is San Francisco Chinatown’s latest  entertainment come-on to bring more people to Chinatown for an entertaining evening.  Presented at the Utopia Café in 139 Waverly Alley, the show is followed by a free walking tour of Chinatown where the guide tells some little known mystery facts on ghosts of Chinatown.  Traditional Chinese fare is offered by the restaurant’s fine staff to be enjoyed before or during the show which begins at 6:30pm. Limited performances will be presented on May 6, June 18 and July 16 so plan your next outing to Chinatown on one of these evenings.  Produced by Cynthia Yee, who has been treating tourists to Chinatown tours for many years, the show proves to be a different show time bit of entertainment in the atmosphere of Chinatown.  Reservations: 415 793 1183.
Chinese Christian Family Conference will convene for the 83rd year at Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Grounds July 31-August 5 this year and promises always an atmosphere of fun, fellowship and Chinese American culture.  The theme this year is “Learn de skills to de-stress” which will include scheduled events for adults, teens and kids with a cultural , spiritual and family-oriented focus. This conference is open to all cultures and religions and has a long tradition of offering attendees a wonderful week of fun and fellowship alongside the azure blue waters of Lake Tahoe.    Contact: mailbox@ccfctahoe.wix.com

Self Help for the Elderly 50th Anniversary Golden Family Honorees Steve and Tina Tsai Family

Longevity Ball Emcees were Jana Katsuyama and David Louie
Self Help for the Elderly celebrated its 50th anniversary in fine fashion with over 700 attendees honoring well deserving supporters who have been key leaders of the group since its inception.  Held at the Hyatt Regency Burlingame, the event’s title sponsor were the Au Family, consisting of Dr. Sik-Kee & Mandy Au and sons, CEO Veritas Investments Yat-Pang Au, and President AEC Alarms Yat-Cheong Au.  

Golden Family Awardees the Joseph and Sieu Mei Tu Family
 Self Help CEO Anni Chung is always very good at honoring those community activists who have been key leaders throughout her reign as President.   Recipients of the Friend of the Elderly Award 2016 were Eva Lai-Kit Jones, Rosalyn Koo and Linda Wang.   Awarded the Golden Family Award 2016 were the Au Family, The Tsai Family and the Tu Family who all came on stage happily showing off their family’s three generations of followers. 

Friend of the Elderly Award Eva lai-Kit Jones received honors by Title Sponsors Dr. Sik-Kee & Mandy Au.
 There were many highlights of the evening, but the piece de resistance was the fashion show featuring traditional Chinese dresses inspired by the paintings of the late Chen YiFei.  Long a supporter of Self Help, Mrs. Sophie Chen, wife of the late artist, brought over their YiFei models from Shanghai  for this Longevity gala.    Senator Jerry Hill of the 13th District was a very energetic auctioneer spurring audience members to bid for live auction prizes, assisted by MCs  Jana Katsuyama and David Louie. 

YiFei models of Self help Longevity Ball
A very active silent auction of over 100 prizes kept the reception crowd very busy vieing for prizes, as organized by committee member Helen Hubbs.  The hard working committee presenting this event were Chairs Virginia Bakken and Bill Schulte, aided by Helina Au, Alicia Chang, Helen Hubbs, Eva Jones, Collette Kondo, Linda Lam, Diane Lee, Russell leong, Ida Ma, Christina ng, Antonia Tu, Barbara Why, Joan Wilson and Flora Zee.  

Longtime supporters author Amy Tan and DingDing Columnist Gerrye Wong
Self Help for the Elderly has senior centers throughout San Francisco, the Alameda Senior Center in Oakland, San Mateo, and the Santa Clara Senior Center at the Good Shepherd Christian Church in Cupertino.  Over 25,000 seniors are given assistance that is sorely needed in the community by Self Help.  Kudos to this fine agency who has served for such a long tenure.

Committee members Diane Lee, Helen Hubbs, Eva Jones, Flora Zee
SHE provides adult day services, affordable housing for independent seniors, health insurance program, residential care facilities, social services,  citizenship, civics and ESL classes.  They welcome support from all concerned about the care of seniors in the Asian American community. www.selfhelpelderly.org

Enjoying the 50th Anniversary of the Self help for the Elderly – l. to r. Mary Ann Sing, Helen Chew, Gerrye Wong
Past and present board members and active supporters seen that evening were Ken and Mabel Lai, Margaret Gee, Debbie Pao, Wilma Chu, Bill Locks, Richard Quons, Al Chengs, May Wong, Richard Woos, Eppie Lam, Maggie Mui, Vicky Wong, Mike Houlihans, Robert Cheungs, and many many others supporting this wonderful cause for seniors.

Ruby Sponsors Dr. Andrew and Flora Zee were awarded money leis by chairs Virginia Bakken and Bill Schulte