By Ruth Bayang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Despite the pouring rain and miserable driving conditions, more than 400 people attended the Northwest Asian Weekly’s 35th anniversary gala celebration on the evening of Oct. 21, at China Harbor Restaurant.
In addition to celebrating the 35-year milestone, the purpose of the event was to raise funds for two scholarship endowments for students of color at the University of Washington (UW).
The UW is near and dear to the heart of the Asian Weekly’s publisher and founder. Assunta Ng showed off her Husky-inspired attire — a purple sequined top and pants with gold sequins down the side. A UW alum, Ng received a scholarship in her junior and senior years.
She and her husband, a UW research assistant at the time, also received a housing benefit for married students. Without having to worry about the cost of housing, they were able to save money for a down payment on their first home after two years. Ng was 25 years old.
“This financial achievement was a tribute to UW,” said Ng. “Thank you [UW] President [Ana Mari] Cauce for your vision to develop more housing programs for married students.”
At the beginning of the event, guests were treated to a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by MX360 Fitness CEO César Amaral on the trumpet. Emcee Mimi Jung, KING 5 anchor, introduced several guest speakers, including UW President Cauce and Nate Miles.
Miles also challenged guests to donate more to the UW scholarship endowments.
Throughout the evening, many individuals were called on stage to be acknowledged. They included Lifetime Achievement Award winners, Corporate Appreciation Award recipients, sponsors, and even the best dressed guests. Geekwire.com’s chairman and co-founder Jonathan Sposato was among the best dressed. One person from each table also won Sposato’s new book, “Better Together: 8 Ways Working with Women Leads to Extraordinary Products and Profits.”
Guests enjoyed a 10-course meal, including lobster cooked with green onion and ginger. Tracy Luu provided a delicious variety of desserts for the Dessert Dash. During dinner, auctioneer Harold Taniguchi took bids in a lively live auction. The most popular item, which also received the highest bid, was airfare for two from Alaska Airlines. Other items auctioned off included a Seahawks jersey autographed by Tyler Lockett, a Seahawks game day package on New Year’s Eve, a food walk in the International District with Tomio Moriguchi, a Wing Luke history tour and lunch, and a Mariners game day package.
There was also a video presentation by Matt Chan about the history of the Northwest Asian Weekly and Ng.
In all, the event raised over $169,000.
The Northwest Asian Weekly would like to thank the organizations that sponsored the event, purchased tables, donated auction items, as well as its readers, subscribers, and supporters for the past 35 years.
Ruth can be reached at email@example.com.