AACA gala celebrates 46 years of success

By Ling-Mei Wong

 

The Asian American Civic Association gala took place aboard the Odyssey Cruise Ship on June 7. Despite torrential rain from Tropical Storm Andrea, 95 percent of the guests attended the gala to raise $260,000 for the agency’s language and job-training programs.

“The AACA is all about helping people reach their full potential,” said Eric Beyer, president and CEO of Tufts Medical Center.

(Fourth from right) Eric Beyer, president and CEO of Tufts Medical Center, with student ambassadors at the Asian American Civic Association gala aboard the Odyssey Cruise Ship on June 7. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.) 華美福利會業績慶典6月7日在遊輪上舉行。(左四)塔芙茨醫療中心主席及行政總裁Eric Beyer以及華美畢業生合影。(圖片由黃靈美提供。)

(Fourth from right) Eric Beyer, president and CEO of Tufts Medical Center, with student ambassadors at the Asian American Civic Association gala aboard the Odyssey Cruise Ship on June 7. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.)

The annual community service award recipients were Bob Rivers, president and COO of Eastern Bank, and state Rep. Donald Wong.

Bob Rivers, president and COO of Eastern Bank. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.) 東方銀行主席兼營運總監Bob Rivers。(圖片由黃靈美提供。)

Bob Rivers, president and COO of Eastern Bank. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.)

Rivers strives for greater minority representation. During his time at Eastern Bank, the board went from being 92 percent white and male to roughly 60 percent, welcoming more diversity. “I’m always looking for opportunities to listen and learn,” he said.

Representing the 9th Essex District, Wong has a long history of community activism. “Public service and paying it forward was instilled in me by my parents and grandparents,” he said.

State Rep. Donald Wong of the 9th Essex District. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.) 州議員黃子安在晚會上致詞。(圖片由黃靈美提供。)

State Rep. Donald Wong of the 9th Essex District. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.)

Two AACA students were recognized for outstanding achievement. Haider Alhemayri received the Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation College Achievement Award. He came from Iraq with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, but his poor English limited him to cashier work. After completing the Next Steps Transitional English Program, Alhemayri was accepted to Boston University’s BioScience Academy. He graduated in April and is now a research assistant at the university.

Haider Alhemayri received the Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation College Achievement Award. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.) Haider Alhemayri 獲得Richard & Susan Smith Family 基金學業成就獎。(圖片由黃靈美提供。)

Haider Alhemayri received the Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation College Achievement Award. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.)

Thupten Samdup received the George A. Russell Jr. Career Advancement Award. He came to the United States as a Tibetan refugee from Nepal in 2002, working odd jobs. With an interest in landscaping, Samdup enrolled in the Building Energy Efficient Maintenance Skills program in 2007, became a top maintenance technician and is now a building supervisor assistant at Winn Residential.

Thupten Samdup(左) 獲得George A. Russell Jr. 職業進步獎,由State Street 基金會營運長Joe McGrail頒獎。(圖片由黃靈美提供。) Thupten Samdup received the George A. Russell Jr. Career Advancement Award from State Street Foundation COO Joe McGrail. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.)

Thupten Samdup received the George A. Russell Jr. Career Advancement Award from State Street Foundation COO Joe McGrail. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.)

“In this country, you can reach your dream if you work hard,” Samdup said.

Image by Ling-Mei Wong. 圖片由黃靈美提供。

AACA board members Yongmei Chen, Joe McGrail and Madge Meyer. (Image by Ling-Mei Wong.)

The gala also featured the photo essay exhibit, “Their Courage to be New,” depicting portraits of 10 immigrants and telling their stories in a booklet.

The portraits displayed included John Corcoran and Mary Merrigan, parents of Corcoran Jennison Companies’ chairman Joseph Corcoran; John Denison Crocker, great great grandfather of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s president and CEO Eric Schultz; Frank J. Fritchie, grandfather of New England College of Optometry’s president Clifford Scott; Mei Yee Man Li, mother of Boston Harbor Association’s president Vivien Li; Evelyn Clarke, mother of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ executive director of multicultural marketing Juliette Mayers; Chin Sen, grandfather of BJ’s CEO Laura Sen; Joseph Tye, father of then United Liquors’ president A. Raymond Tye; David Wong, entrepreneur and owner of Empire Garden; and Daniel and Christina Wong, parents of Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong.

This post is also available in: Chinese

About Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美

Editor of the Sampan, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England 舢舨報紙總編輯。舢舨是全紐英倫唯一的中英雙語雙週報。
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed