The signature event of OCAW is the annual Mother’s Day celebration. This event was launched in 1995 when the annual Excellence 2000 Awards Program, which was initiated by OCAW, took on “a life of its own”. The OCAW Board of Directors realized that, like a good daughter, sometimes a program must leave the nest and spread its wings. This decision led to the idea that OCAW needs to replace the awards program by one that brings awareness and appreciation for the many roles Chinese mothers play at home, at work, and in the community.
Under the leadership of the then OCAW National President, Katherine Chang Dress, and Vice President, Christiana Chiang, the first Mother’s Day celebration was inaugurated in May 1995. To set the tone for this signature event, the program recognized all mothers present with Certificates of Appreciation. Because the role of Chinese motherhood is of primary importance in a Chinese household, and because the teachings of Confucius on filial piety is one of the cornerstone of the fabric of our society, the keynote addresses were delivered by a famous mother and daughter team. Anita Tung, the 75th generation of the direct descendents of Confucius, spoke about Chinese motherhood, and her daughter, Kaity Tung, an anchor woman in New York, spoke on behalf of all Chinese daughters in appreciation of a mother’s loving care, courage, guidance and sacrifices. OCAW also inaugurated the annual awards for leadership, and community service.
2002 – Mother’s Day Event at the National Zoo
Breaking from the normal tradition of a black-tie affair, OCAW chose to make its Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month observance and Annual OCAW Mother’s Day a family affair with families and children at the Washington National Zoo. Approximately 45 families from the Families with Children from China (FCC) and 30 families from the Chinese Community Church enjoyed the guided tours by the volunteers of the Friends of the National Zoo. OCAW members mingled with all the families on the reserved Zoo terrace overlooking the Panda exhibits. OCAW President Ruby G. Moy and FCC President Carol Colbeth reiterated their commitment to continuing the meaningful partnership between the two organizations.
2001 – Women of the Year Awards Dinner and Mother’s Day Salute
The event was held at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. in the Victorian chandeliered banquet hall. Many distinguished guests from the local area, and from the west coast attended the black-toe event. The executive producer and writer of NBC’s Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Rene Balcer and his wife Carolyn (both OCAW members) came from New York especially for the event. The Committee of 100 and Henry Tang were in attendance. Founding President Pauline Tsui gave the opening remarks. OCAW National President Jeanie Jew spoke after her.
OCAW became a part of the On Gold Mountain legend by honoring those individuals and institutions that have written a new chapter for the Chinese American. The honorees were: the Smithsonian Institution and the Autry Museum of Western Heritage where the exhibition of On Gold Mountain significantly opened the doors to other Americans who seek information about the Chinese from the early 1800’s to contemporary times; the National Archives and Records Administration whose rich details and records keep alive the past history of the earliest Chinese; Beulah Quo, a mother, an actress and community activist whose long time support for this exhibition helped to make it possible; Lisa See, author of On Gold Mountain, upon which the exhibition was based, received awards for their contributions to the community and for their personal achievements. Both Lisa See and Beulah Quo gave moving speeches. The Master of Ceremonies was Mil Arcega, co-anchor of Channel 4. Channel 9 and several reporters from local newspapers covered the banquet.
After the banquet, guests were invited to an exclusive night viewing of the Three Charters of Freedom in the Rotunda of the Archives. OCAW’s event was the last held in the prestigious National Archives before its extensive renovation.
2000 – OCAW in Singapore
It was OCAW’s first event on Embassy Row in which OCAW and her Excellency Ambassador Chan Heng Chee co-hosted the celebration.
OCAW 2000 celebrated this event with honorees that are within our own community of OCAW members and reflects the theme for this unique year, “OCAW 2000 – Women Helping Women in the New Millennium.” Through their generosity and continued support, OCAW benefits from their wisdom and their immeasurable contributions to their communities. Betty Tung, the First Lady of Hong Kong, is a businesswoman and patron-supporter of many charities; Nancy Chin-Lee is an accomplished artist and mother of five children who gives her creative and political energies to the benefit of the greater Washington, D.C. region; Faith Lee Breen, a professor of economics and now, through the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program, opens up educational and leadership opportunities to a new cadre of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Asian Pacific Americans to become leaders in the 21st century; Elizabeth Fong, is a long time advocate of quality and culturally sensitive service to the senior Chinese American community and a supporter of CAREN; and Pauline W. Tsui, the co-founder of OCAW, is the underpinnings of this organization and remains its guiding force. Her vision and tenacity makes OCAW the nation’s largest Asian Pacific American women’s group in the United States
1999 – 22nd Anniversary Awards Gala andMother’s Day Salute
OCAW honored people who made a difference in the life of one person or a group of people. Kultida Woods was OCAW’s 1999 Woman of the Year and International Mother of the Year. The Gala was also graced by the presence of her husband, Earl Woods, and their extraordinary son, Tiger Woods. It was a privilege to have the Woods family celebrate the occasion with us. The Leadership Awards went to Dinah Eng, a national columnist who shatters the glass ceiling and demonstrates her leadership through her award-winning writings and advocacy for programs that help to strengthen the Asian American journalists’ presence in the newsroom. Grace Lee, who continuously gave encouragement and support to young people to play a significant role in the world in which they live, received OCAW’s Community Service Award. The mistresses of ceremonies for the evening were Maureen Bunyan of WJLA-TV, Channel Seven, Shari Chen Macias of WRC-TV, and Karen Palting, senior producer at WNVC World View TV.
1998 – 21st Anniversary Awards Banquet and Mother’s Day Salute
The theme, Excellence, Leadership and Community Service – OCAW: Women Leading the Way to the 21st Century, best describes the role our organization plays in the lives of those less skilled as well as those professional women who are breaking the glass ceiling. Equally important is that OCAW salutes the women who care, nurture and love those most precious to them – their children. We recognize the significance of mothers in the family and celebrate their contributions. Recipients of awards are: Ambassador Chan Heng Chee of the Republic of Singapore was OCAW’s International Woman of the Year; Iris Chang, author of “The Rape of Nanking”, OCAW’s National Woman of the Year; Ruby Chow, first Chinese American woman elected county official, received Leadership Award; Minerva Eng, Vice President of OCAW, Community Service Award; and Central Virginia Public Broadcasting, Television Channels 53 WNVT and 56 WNVC, World View Television, Corporate Community Service Award.
1997 – OCAW’s 20th Anniversary National Conference and Gala Banquet and “Salute to Mothers”
The 3-day event began with a White House tour. The Conference was held at the Rayburn House Office Building. Speakers and workshops addressed the topics of Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship, Managing Career Success, Business and Government, Legal Rights of Women/Domestic Violence, and Women’s Health. The Gala Banquet was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. OCAW’s Pillar Awards went to Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch and Stuart Bloch, Esq., Leadership Awards, the Honorable Katherine Chang Dress and Dr. Yeni Wong; and Community Service Award, Dr. Jeffrey Fong. All OCAW Chapters were represented in this conference.
1996 – 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Banquet
The event was held at Hyatt Regency Hotel. This year’s Leadership Awards went to Jeanie Jew and Ruby Moy in recognition of their leadership and making a difference initiating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The Community Service Award went to Christiana Chiang in recognition of her outstanding devotion and service to the community. Senator Paul Simon and Mrs. Jeanne Simon were the recipients of OCAW Pillar Awards for their continuous strong support as pillars of OCAW’s mission and goals.