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AAAYA NorCal: Yale Day of Service 2011 – Recap

AAAYA NorCal:  Yale Day of Service 2011 Recap

From helping preserve the historic Angel Island Immigration Station to helping those in need in today’s Asian American community…from packing thousands of pounds of pasta at the SF Food Bank to what seemed like thousands of fans screaming their noodles off at the Yale Glee Club’s Anti-Bullying Benefit Concert with Glee’s Darren Criss, NorCal AAAYA member made a difference at the 2011 Yale Day of Service!  This was a “seed year” for NorCal AAAYA with a small but committed group volunteering at two AAAYA sites and also other Yale sites throughout the Bay Area.  It was also a family affair, with many alumni volunteering with their children and spouses.  We’re looking forward to extending the Yale Day of Service beyond one day and continuing to grow a relationship supporting these two AAAYA sites throughout the year and making the Yale Day of Service at these two sites annual events.  Thanks to everyone who participated this year — looking forward to seeing even more AAAYA members participate next time!

— Julie Wong ’86 TC, NorCal AAAYA president

P.S. RSVP to (click here to reveal email address) if you are interested in being contacted for upcoming volunteer opportunities during this year at Angel Island or AACI, or at next year’s Yale Day of Service.  JW

Return to Angel Island

AAAYA NorCal-Angel Island Team (L-R): Robert Stevenson '94 ES, Wayne Lew '72 TC, Carol Mimura '79 BK, Grant Din '79 BR, Camille Lew, Joan Young '01 M. Arch, Christopher Park, Mary Lau '89 CC

In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act infamously became the first and only time that the United States government ever specifically banned immigration based on race or country of origin.  The heartbreak, pride, rage, and shame of those detained at Angel Island are carved into the very walls of the Immigration Station.  This marks the second time AAAYA has had a Day of Service site at Angel Island.  Six Yalies and two friends of Yalies participated in this year’s Yale Day of Service by doing spring cleaning and landscaping maintenance at the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island State Park. Catching the 10 a.m. ferry from Tiburon and a minivan ride to get to the immigration station, the group was quickly tasked with dusting and cleaning the exhibition rooms of this registered National Historic Landmark and sweeping and clearing debris (such as, droppings from geese, fallen fronds and bark from palm trees, errant decomposed granite pebbles) from the exterior pathways and grassy lawns around the buildings.  Grant Din ’79 BR headed this effort and was assisted by Wayne Lew ’72 TC.  After the clean-up, a state park ranger led the group on a private tour of the buildings that historically housed the mostly Chinese detainees, who were questioned for months on end to qualify for immigration into the United States during the early part of the 20th Century when the Chinese exclusion law was extant.  The day was cool and blustery with intermittent clouds, but the outing on this island in the middle of San Francisco Bay was affirmed by all who participated as an eminently worthwhile workout with great views.  This Day of Service activity was organized by the Association of Asian American Yale Alumni and co-sponsored by the Yale Club of San Francisco, which provided the group with t-shorts commemorating the event.

— Submitted by Wayne Lew, AAAYA NorCal VP Mktg/Comm, and his daughter Camille

Angel Island DOS Photos:

Joan Young '01 M.Arch, Christopher Park and Camille Lew loading debris onto wheelbarrow

Preserved poetry carved into the wall at the Angel Island Immigration Station

Sleeping quarters for immigrant detainees at Angel Island

New San Jose Site – Asian Americans for Community Involvement

Asian Americans for Community Involvement is a community services organization based in San Jose with a 38 year history.  It oversees a broad range of programs including the operation of a medical center, providing counseling services, tutoring of students, recovery programs for substance abuse and senior wellness activities.  This year AAAYA-Norcal and the Yale Club of Silicon Valley sponsored a Day of Service event in support of AACI’s family services programs.  Yale alumni volunteers and family members spent the afternoon sorting, separating, and labeling of household goods in a storage facility which contains donated items for families in need who are clients in AACI’s support programs.  We’re looking forward to working with AACI for future events.  It was great to have an opportunity to not only serve our community but also be involved with an organization that is led by its president and CEO Michele Lew ’92 JE who came by the work site to thank the volunteers on Saturday.

— Submitted by Mu Young Lee, AAAYA NorCal Advisory Council and Yale Club of Silicon Valley Board Member

AAAYA NorCal - AACI team: L-R names: Brenda Lee '81 PC, Lanae Chang, Harry Chang '84 SY, Hamsa Murthy '98 MC, and Mu Young Lee '92 JE

SF Food Bank

Many AAAYA NorCal members volunteered at six sites all over the Bay Area organized by Daniel Vu ’99 TC and Lata Prabhakar ’97 TD from the Yale Club of San Francisco.  Michael Chai ’84 MC and his family volunteered at one of the most popular site, the SF Food Bank and sent in these comments: We had a fun time at the SF Food Bank this weekend. All told, the combined Yale & Stanford volunteers (50-60 people total) packed over 10,000 lbs of food in three hours!

— Submitted by AAAYA NorCal member, Mike Chai and Family

Helping at the Food Bank, assembly line style: Eva Yin '09, Evelyn, Jeremy & Max Chai --- wife and sons of Michael Chai '84 MC

Michael Chai '84 MC with sons Max and Jeremy at SF Food Bank

Yale Anti-Bullying Benefit Concert with Glee’s Darren Criss

Under the fabulous direction of Moving Theater Company founders, Ryan Kelly and Brennan Gerard, and organizers extraordinaire, Mark Dollhopf, Exec Dir of AYA, Mickey Dobbs, AYA Dir Major Cities, and stage manager, Thomas Dolan, AAAYA and other Yale alumni volunteers helped out at a fantastic benefit concert featuring the Yale Glee Club, SF Girls Choir Alumnae Chorus, the Duke’s Men, and Glee’s Darren Criss.  A broad range of groups came together for this gala event sponsored by the Assn of Yale Alumni with Eli’s Mishpacha, Yale’s Jewish Alumni Group, and Yale GALA, Yale’s LGBT Alumni Assn wiith support from the Yale Club of San Francisco, the Yale Club of Silicon Valley, the Yale Latino Alumni Assn, Yale Black Alumni Assn, and AAAYA and USNA Out.  The concert benefited “No Bullies” and “YouthAware”, two organizations promoting a message of tolerance and compassion among Bay Area schools.  Neither last minute flash floods on stage nor dealing with the amateur backstage help from Vice Chair, AYA Board of Governors, Jimmy Lu ’77 TC and his daughter, Julia, and AAAYA NorCal president, Julie Wong ’86 TC and her children, Emilie and Marc Robert Wong, could prevent the Yale Glee Club from raising the roof with its powerful rendition of “Anchored in the Lord.”  The Duke’s Men stole the show with the best number of the night (sorry, Darren, but we call it like we see it!), a sexy vocal and dance version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella.”  When Darren Criss joined Da Doox singing Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” the average age of the audience seemed to drop by at least 30 years, and tween screams resounded!!!  After an intimate set which showed Darren’s range and versatility, Gleeks knew that it was “Anthem” time, when the show closed with all the singers joining together to send the audience home with a message of love and hope: no matter what the slurpee throwers say, you are “Not Alone.”

— Submitted by Yale Alumni Generation Next: Emilie and Marc Robert Wong, and Julia Lu

Members of the Duke's Men of Yale and Yale Glee Club at Yale Anti-Bullying Benefit Concert

Darren Criss of TV Show "Glee" & the Duke's Men of Yale

Darren Criss of "Glee" with Marc Robert Wong (son of Julie Wong '86 TC)

Darren Criss of "Glee" with Julia Lu (daughter of Jimmy Lu '77 TC)

Backstage with AAAYA NorCal volunteers Julia Lu, her father Jimmy Lu '77 TC and Julie Wong '86 TC


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