The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, May 18, 2015, Page Page 8, Image 8

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    Scholarship & Awards Banquet
AR Photo/Eugene Wong
May 18, 2015
AR Photo/Jan Landis
COMMUNITY HONORS. The Lee’s Association Dragon & Lion Dance Team (top left photo) kicked off festiv-
ities at The Asian Reporter Foundation’s 17th Annual Scholarship & Awards Banquet. In addition to performances,
the evening featured the 2015 Most Honored Elder awards (top right photo) and the issuing of Asian Reporter
Foundation scholarships (bottom right photo). Pictured at bottom left are performers with Halau Hula Kaleinani
o ke Kukui, a program of the Ke Kukui Foundation.
AR Photo/Jan Landis
AR Photo/Eugene Wong
Annual AR Foundation banquet honors
members of the Asian community
By Kate Hubbard
The Asian Reporter
pproximately 350 members of the community
spent an evening last month at the Asian Reporter
Foundation’s Scholarship & Awards Banquet. As
guests arrived for the social hour, volunteers extended
warm welcomes while ushering them to their tables,
which featured lush bouquets and decadent place
settings. A whole roasted pig on display near the silent
auction tables and a photo booth was a sure sign the night
was going to be fun and delicious.
A boisterous performance by the Lee’s Association
Dragon & Lion Dance Team provided a thunderous start
to the evening’s ceremonies. Lions became as cuddly as
kittens in the hands of the skilled dancers who
maneuvered the beasts on the stage and around the tables
of banquet-goers.
The presentations were guided by master of ceremonies
Zeke Smith. Dolly Specht delivered a beautiful invocation,
inviting guests to honor the knowledge and wisdom of our
elders. The food soon started flowing to the tables — a
mouthwatering array of yakisoba noodles, macaroni
salad, shoyu chicken, kalua pig, teriyaki beef, and rice.
While the room hummed with the sounds of silverware
and happy eating, Smith kept the crowd entertained.
Following remarks by Asian Reporter publisher Jaime
Lim, the foundation’s Most Honored Elders were
introduced — each with their inspiring life story. This
year’s awardees ranged in age from 70 to 79 years old,
adding up to centuries of incredible personal experiences
and achievements. The 2015 recipients included Luz
Aviles, Sho Dozono, John Lim, and Angie Turla.
The elders were followed to the stage by this year’s
accomplished young scholars. The Asian Reporter
Foundation, the Philippine American Chamber of
Commerce of Oregon (PACCO), and generous sponsors
worked together to award $20,000 in scholarships.
As the young people were introduced, the audience
heard an impressive list of extracurricular activities,
community service, and other accomplishments for each.
Higher education can be expensive; these hardworking
students deserve all the help the community can provide.
While waiting to have her name read, PACCO scholar
Dessa Salavedra said, “We’re very thankful for the
awards, because without a scholarship like this, we
cannot afford to further our education.”
While guests dined and sipped beverages, members of
Halau Hula Kaleinani o ke Kukui, a program of the Ke
Kukui Foundation, took the stage. The dancers spread
some tropical sunshine and happiness with Hawaiian and
Polynesian performances.
The final ceremony of the evening was the presentation
of the Exemplary Community Volunteer Effort awards,
which honor organizations that work very hard to
preserve cultural traditions and enhance the world
around us. The two groups recognized this year were the
Philippine Nurses Association of Oregon & Washington
(PNAOW) and the Van Lang Vietnamese School.
As the evening neared its end, people vying for silent
auction items found out what they won. The bidding was
active all evening on many different items — wine tours,
weekends getaways, sports jackets, a home-cooked native
Hawaiian dinner, a signed Timbers jersey, and more.
While people purchased their auction items and danced to
tunes spun by DJ Music By Listening Man, 50 guests were
treated to surprise scratch-it tickets provided by the
Oregon Lottery.
The Asian Reporter Foundation’s 17th annual awards
event was a great opportunity to dress up a little,
recognize individuals and groups in the Asian community,
and have some fun. Combined with the delectable food
and great cultural entertainment, it was a lovely evening
out. In January of next year, look for nomination forms
and scholarship applications for the 2016 event, and we’ll
see you next April!
The Asian Reporter Foundation extends many thanks to our banquet sponsors.
Without them, this annual event would not be possible.