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Cleveland Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association

On Sunday, July 13th, we only went to one event which was the annual picnic of the Cleveland Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association at the upper pavilion in Edgewater Park. We got there early and introduced ourselves to the kind people who were coordinating the picnic and, of course, quickly discovered that they all knew of Margaret W. Wong and more than a few were her friends, including Debbie Hanson of ClevelandPeople.com. We stayed for about an hour, just before lunch was served and watched the people arrive; it had been estimated that there would be about 150 people here today and it looked like this estimate would be correct. Among those who were there was our very good friend Ms. Lisa Wong from OCA and was registering voters here today so we helped her set up her table.

Just before we left, we visited with Mr. Ming Chan who said that he knew Ms. Wong for about 40 years now; even though Mr. Chan's father was a U.S. Citizen, Mr. Chan mostly lived overseas for the first part of his life and settled in the United States in the 1950's. Mr. Chan really likes it here so we discussed immigration reform with him for a few minutes.

After we arrived home later in the day, we were curious about the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association so we looked it up on line. Unfortunately, we could not find much specifically about the Cleveland Chapter but we learned that it is a historical association established in various parts of the United States with large portions of Chinese. According to its website, it is "long recognized as the representative organization of overseas Chinese in the United States."

According to the website, its duties include combating discrimination against Chinese people in the United States, assisting those who are "unreasonably detained" by Immigration and Naturalization Services, providing education in the Chinese language for all overseas Chinese Children, supporting charitable organizations, encouraging Chinese Americans to run for public office and to support the democracy movement in China.

Certainly these all seem to us to be worthy goals and we are all very fortunate that there are organizations like this one to do the things that it does.

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