Last week, many in the Asian community came together to honor their own — if anyone can call the wildly diverse countries of China, Korea, Vietnam, Nepal, Japan, and Philippines all one’s own, which they do. It was the Northwest Asian Weekly’s annual Top Contributors celebration at the House of Hong.
You could feel the pride in the room — many of the honorees are immigrants whose forbears, or they themselves, took a giant leap of faith and came to America. They brought with them, or received from their parents, a rich culture and a work ethic that allowed them to achieve more than they might have dreamed possible. Now they are shining examples to others in the immigrant community, especially young people struggling to fit in, in overcoming obstacles and searching for their own path to success.
But what is success? These folks prove that success is much more than material wealth or a prestigious station in life. In each case, Friday’s Top Contributors spoke of their own success in terms of their abilities to use their talents, gifts, opportunities, and perseverance to achieve not only their own dreams, but to help carve a pathway for those who follow. The honorees expressed feelings of gratitude and blessings, yet they were all being celebrated for their contributions to others in the Asian community.
They have raised money for victims of disasters, advocated for students, volunteered, worked in public service, shared their joy of music, provided resources for our youth and elders, dispensed information freely, furthered educational opportunities, and so much more.
A personal favorite up-and-coming top-contributor-in-the-making was the talented 10-year-old Lena Hou with her inspiring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Lena reminded us that children always hold the promise of a bright future. They are the reason people such as our honorees do what they do.
So, congratulations to Rey Pascua, Sue Taoka, Dr. Austin Huang, My-Linh Thai, Dr. Bjong Wolf Yeigh, Bryan Yambe, Mohan Gurung, Dr. Jae Hoon Kim, and the Chinese Information Service Center. You are all the tops with us! (end)