Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix 2019 July 4th event was a great success. We appreciate the generosity of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to let us use their Scottsdale Camelback Stake Center again for this event. We have around 500 attendants, serve around 400 hamburger, 500 hotdogs, 12 trays of Chinese food, numerous water melons, and many trays of cookies; the most important of all, provide a great time for our community in such an important days of our nation.
Behind this success, there were many, many hours of volunteering work. We start the planning in April, and intensify our effort in June by meeting in weekly bases, till everything is organized and planned. We would like to show our greatest appreciation to all those volunteers to make this event possible. We will like to invite anyone in the community interested to help out in this event to join us for next year’s event, believe or not, it will be here before you know it.
We create an activity hour before our free buffet lunch. As for kids, or kids at heart, we had Chinese Yo-Yo game, Sprouting water bowl challenge (if you do not know what this is, come next year to find out), chopstick to pick marble competition, rock painting, paper airplane folding/flying competition. As for adults, we had karaoke, ping pong set up.
One of the game is actually to learn Chinese family relationship; it was an eye opener to most people how complicated that was. Let’s see, do you know how to properly address your mom’s other sister? Oh, by the way, that is different from your mom’s younger sister. Of course, it is also different from your dad’s sisters. If you do not know, don’t feel too bad, even a lot of Chinese born and raised in China are confused with that anyway.
Oh, how anyone can miss the cooking demonstration by Norma Yee. She showed us how to make a traditional Chinese New Year cookie; it is actually called “open mouth smile”. I can tell you I surely had a fair share of that. Now, the toughest time to decide is what will we cook next year?
We also proudly to provide two Census 2020 stations; many people got some great information and understand the importance of such event.
Our local historian, Homer Zhang also put up a display for the Chinese Historical Association; it include a photograph of the first Chinese School dated back in 1940’s, and many other photos of significant events and people in our community. Might be one of your grandpa or grandma’s photo is in there; or you might have some historical photos that you can share next year.
I would like to congratulate to all the Art contest participates; practically with splitting hair effort, we selected the winners. Most of those young artists were there to receive their award, and their winning art works were also displayed as well.
We also continue our tradition to have a food drive for local food bank. We collected many non-perishable can good and dry goods for the needy, and deliver to a local food bank afterward.
We need to give a big shout out for our wonderful program chair Lynne Win. She put together a colorful, diversified and cultural program for all ages. We had young dancers from various Chinese schools and dance studio. We had the vibrant senior dancers to provide traditional Chinese dance; they even did a fashion show. We also had a semi professional Cantonese opera singer, with the whole Chinese instrument ensemble to provide a traditional Cantonese opera; it was well received even though most of the audience did not really understand it. Our local Chinese musical instrument orchestrate also delighted the audience with some wonderful traditional music. Even the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints performed for the event. They said a Church hymn with English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Then they said one of the very popular Mandarin pop song “Friend”, it echoed with the audience and join in with waving movement.
This year we created a special fund to rent bus to transport our senior from the 3 senior housing projects to our event. We raised almost doubt the amount we needed. We like to say thanks to all those donate to this great cause, we intend to continue this effort to assist all those senior to come and enjoy the celebration of our national birthday.
We even have a dance after the program; I estimate there were around 40 some people to stay for that. Of course, it was leaded by our dancing queen Lynn Win. Way to go, Lynn.
Oh, did I mention we had our Post 50 to present color for our event; we greatly appreciate those veterans to provide great service to our country, and our community.
We also recognized 13 newly sworn in US citizens from our community. Most of them are seniors, and we are very proud of their accomplishment. We also recognized a lady reach the age of 103; what an honor to have someone with that age to join us in the event.
In conclusion, I hope we can follow our ancient philosopher Mencius advice, “Care for any elderly as my own; love any young children as my own 老吾老以及人之老, 幼吾幼以及人之幼”. I hope this July 4th activity not only to honor our beloved United State of America, but carry the beautiful traditional Chinese culture.
2019 July 4th Committee Chair