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20th Anniversary Gala and Fundraiser for Asian Services in Action

Our second event on Friday was the 20th Anniversary Gala and Fundraiser for Asian Services in Action held on the third floor of the Student Center at CSU on Euclid Avenue.


Tonight special emphasis was placed on obtaining financial support for two of their most important offerings which were the "Lucky Senior Program" which provides senior citizens with activities to help them enjoy life because it is very easy for an older person to fall into the trap of becoming isolated and depressed especially if his/her family  is not nearby and the "Citizenship Program" which thus far has helped over 500 people become U.S. Citizens.

During the course of the program, three women from Bhutan who were studying to become U.S. citizens were interviewed and Ms. May Chen and Ms. Mary Lee, both of whom helped to found Asian Services in Action, were img_6119 honored and received great applause.

When we arrived we were greeted by Mr. Ming Chang, ASIA Board Member and co-emcee along with Mr. Brett Watts, and his wife, Marquita. Mr. Chang told us that he knew Ms. Margaret W. Wong and her family at a time in Cleveland when all of the Asian people knew each other. He went on to tell us that his father helped to establish a successful Asian restaurant about the time that "Pearl of the Orient" was founded.


We also visited with Mr. Robert Smith who is now the Senior Manager of Public and Media Relations for the Cleveland Clinic. Mr. Smith said that he and Ms. Wong go back many years together. He recalled a time when he used to work for the "Plain Dealer" and Ms. Margaret W. Wong was upheld as the "go to person" when information was needed concerning immigration issues.

As we were walking around, we entered into a conversation with Ms. Gabi Oberdorfer who is involved with a program  titled "Developing Alternatives for Women in New Communities" that helps Bhutanese women master sewing skills so that they can become financially independent.


We later sat down at Ms. Oberdorfer's table for a few minutes and dialogued with Mr. Bruce Lyman who is the ESL Director at Crosspoint Alliance Church in Copley. He said that teaching English to immigrants can often be fun and he remembered meeting our Mr. George Koussa at an event put on by the International Institute of Akron.

This was the third consecutive time that we attended this annual celebration but it was by no means a record; shortly before we left we ran into Mr. Lee and Ms. Paula Holmes who have attended every Asian Services in Action Gala since 2005! This is quite a record, and, we are sure, one most appreciated.


Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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