Arcadia Chamber member organization Arcadia Chinese Association President Francine Chiu and Co-President Shelley Liu threw a fun, semi-formal dinner gala Saturday night, November 14, 2015, that was one of the biggest and most entertaining in the 33-year history of the organization.
It was also the most successful even before it began thanks to many big sponsors of the event and the yearbook, and more than 200 ticket sales.
But the revelry and celebration began only after an appropriate moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris 24-hours earlier.
Mayor Gary Kovacic and two other City Council members as well as Congresswoman Judy Chu and her husband, Los Angeles Community College District Vice President Mike Eng, were among the dignitaries in attendance, along with Arcadia Chamber CEO Scott Hettrick.
The elegant ballroom of Arcadia Chamber member DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel served as the pleasant venue and provided delicious dinner salmon and chicken and delectable dessert at the program made possible by Diamond Sponsor Forest Lawn (also a member of Arcadia Chamber) and Gold Sponsor Farmers’ Insurance, among many other sponsors and advertisers. The lobby outside the dinner ballroom featured a photo area in front of a sponsor banner, as well as a no-host wet bar.
Entertainment sponsor Sceptre and its “Wonder Girls” of sexy young models dancing with blue tooth speakers alongside terrific singer Janet Li provided reason for most people to stay until the very end of the nearly four-hour program to find out if they won any of the many raffle prices from Sceptre, including the blue tooth speakers and three big-screen TVs.
Shortly after dinner began being served about 7:30, amiable hosts Aaron Rose and Wendy began the program after the moment of silence with presentations from the dignitaries and acknowledgement of the dozens of all-volunteer members of the ACA board and fundraiser committee who work so hard to produce the annual yearbook and event that raises more than $30,000. That money is donated throughout the year to many groups, organizations and projects from police, fire and library to the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and others.
Then the many entertainment acts began that included a costumed man called Wei Qi Zong whose face mask repeatedly changed every time he shook his head or turned around — from an ancient warrior to Spider-Man and many other characters. A beautiful ballet was performed by Meilu and Cameron Schwanz, followed by a line of young ladies dressed in modern fashionable costumes playing orchestral rock music on stringed instruments and a solo by a woman playing a stripped down electric violin. Then came a solo singer and two poetry readings.Congresswoman Judy Chu congratulates the ACA Presidents.
The 2015 yearbook is subtitled “Respect: Give it to Get it” and features summaries of all the many events produced by the ACA the past year as well as personally-written articles by everyone from Chiu and Liu to the Mayor, City Manager, police and fire chiefs, the Arcadia school board President and Superintendent, and many others.
Arcadia Chamber President Andrew Gregson of The Executive Factor also contributed an article for the yearbook. Chamber CEO Scott Hettrick is seen in several photos in the yearbook from last year’s event at which Scott was wearing a traditional Chinese dress jacket he got while on a Chamber group trip to China.
— By Scott Hettrick