The Crowd: Making a difference for Orange County seniors

The Asian American Senior Citizens Service Center (AASCSC) raised nearly $200,000 at a holiday fundraiser held at The Irvine Marriott Hotel. Chaired by Orange County's philanthropic Ruth Ding, who also happens to be the founding chairwoman of the Orange County Chinese Cultural Club, the event attracted more than 500 guests who came together to make a difference for seniors in Orange County.

NBC-LA anchor Ted Chen joined magazine publisher Lynn Liou of Vivid Magazine serving as emcees of the evening affair. The crowd was dotted with celebrity support, including noted operatic tenor Oscar Zhang and his equally accomplished wife soprano, Madeleine Wu. The American Chinese Cultural Assn. Dance Troupe performed a synchronized Tibetan Folk Dance to the beating of multiple drums. More dancing delighted the crowd as the Beverly Hills Cotillion Dancers performed Viennese waltzes, moving about the dance floor like birds in flight.

The holiday event also heralded the coming of the Chinese New Year 4709, the Year of Rabbit. Two ladies, Madison Tang and Sandra Chu, were among a number of young Chinese American ambassadors honored for their service to community organizations, including the Orange County Food Bank, Boys and Girls Clubs, Orangewood Children's Home, Junior State of America and the Rotary Club. In addition to Tang and Chu, 12 young people were named community ambassadors for their civic volunteerism.

Spotted in the crowd were major donors included Tom and Misa Yuen, David and Diana Sun, David and May Hsu, and the extended Tang family led by the evening's producer, Ding. Corporate donors helping to underwrite the party were Cathay Bank, Tawa Supermarket, SRS Labs and Kingston Technology — to name only a few. Also deserving recognition for their dedication to the evenings cause were Ann Wu, Lily Goh, Amy Wong, Angela Wang, Ken Faust, Fannie Ma, Sandy Lee, Ying and Sally Wang, Beatrice Sun and Grace Yong. Supporting the AASCSC committee were Shirley Yu, Ivy Huang, Amy Kiang, Tom Gee, Julie Chin, Josephine Yang, Donna Lin and Annie Chu.

Ding, a second-generation Chinese immigrant, is a founding member of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, recently renamed the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

"I have been truly blessed and it is my desire to assist the older generation (Winter) and to motivate future generations (Blossom) into giving of themselves," Ding said.

Her philosophy is in line with the ancient words of Confucius, "Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart."

May the Year of the Rabbit 4709 be blessed with enormous heart.

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