Virginia Chapter

Chinese New Year Potluck Lunch

(from Barbara York)
The OCAW Virginia Chapter Chinese New Year Potluck Lunch was a great success. It was held on Sunday, February 18, 2024, in Amy Lee’s condo’s penthouse party room in Alexandria, VA. Between chapter members and their guests, there were 21 total attendees.
The food of course was FABULOUS and included: a huge charcuterie platter; Donna’s homemade char siu; Christina’s most delicious meatballs on cabbage; Frank’s very healthy snow pea shoots and sauteed Gailan; Florence’s amazing sliced beef shank as well as a pickled cabbage salad; Amy’s worthy-of-being-on-a-magazine-cover nut-crusted baked salmon; Jane’s melt-in-your-mouth red cooked pork belly with steamed lotus buns; Cathy’s delicious sticky rice studded with sausage, mushrooms, and other yummy bits; Alice’s hugely popular, every-bit-eaten 10-vegetable medley with vermicelli noodles; Maria’s can’t-believe-you-made-it 8-treasure stuffed duck; Barbara’s vegetarian chow mein; Pu-Chin’s famous Apple Cobbler; and Noreen’s Mochi Balls. Assorted chocolates and cookies also showed up.

Chinese New Year Celebration

(from Cathy Roberts, National Vice President for Membership and OCAW-VA Treasurer) Lunar New Year is the most important and celebrated holiday of the Chinese traditional calendar. Every year the Hai Hua Community Center hosts a celebration at the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia. This year the event was held on the weekend of February 17-18.
The two-day celebration included many activities: arts and crafts; musical instrument performances; Lion, Dragon, and other cultural dance performances; and martial arts presentations. The famous lion dances and dragon dances are believed to ward off evil spirits by the accompanying loud drumbeats and cymbals, along with the aggressive dancing of the lion or dragon. Arts and crafts activities included Chinese knotting, paper cutting, lantern making, origami, Chinese calligraphy, and face painting. Multiple Asian cultures were represented, including China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
This year, on Sunday the 18th, Camilla Ng, former OCAW-MD President, performed a graceful Chinese dance.

She performed a traditional Water Sleeves dance to the music “Spring Blossoms on Moonlit Night.” This piece of music is based on a poem by Tang dynasty poet Zhang Ruo Xu (660-720). The dancer’s costume has long sleeves. Long sleeves dance first appeared during the Zhou Dynasty period (1046 to 256 BCE). However, it was during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644 CE) that long-sleeve garments came to symbolize water and became known as water sleeves.  Christina Chang, OCAW-VA member and former National President, also participated as a member of a group in a Chinese dance.
Cathy Roberts herself participated in the event by writing attendees’ names in Chinese characters on bookmarks. All enjoyed the festive occasion.

Field trip to see MGM National Harbor’s Chinese New Year Decorations

(from Amy Lee)
One of the most outstanding sights in our area is the Chinese New Year decorations in the Conservatory of MGM Grand at Washington National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, just south of Washington, D.C. This year the display featured a 70-foot jade water dragon and a bamboo forest, among other sights.

On Monday, February 26, 2024, Amy Lee, Alice and Norman Way, and Christina and Steve Chang had the pleasure of feasting their eyes on the ginormous dragon, lantern, money tree, bamboo forest, and other gold-colored dragons.

After snapping pictures, we had a nice lunch in the food court. The occasion surely was a delightful Chinese New Year highlight for us.

Field trip to see 350 orchids Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

(from Barbara York)
On Saturday, March 2, 2024, Amy Lee and Cathy and Dick Roberts met to see this magnificent display after Amy kindly brought it to everyone’s attention.
It received rave reviews, and the artist whose work was mingled with the flowers was from Taiwan.

“Anyang: China’s Ancient City of Kings” ExhibitionTour

(from Cathy Roberts) On Monday, March 18, 2024, Virginia and Maryland Chapter members and friends joined together to visit the Sackler Gallery of Art (part of the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art in downtown Washington, D.C.) to see the first major exhibition in the United States dedicated to Anyang, the capital of China’s Shang Dynasty (ca. 1250 BCE–ca. 1050 BCE). We were fortunate to have a very knowledgeable subject matter expert of the Smithsonian, docent Ru Fan, who guided us on this special tour. Ru is a former OCAW Maryland Chapter President. The event was initiated by former OCAW Maryland Chapter President Camilla Ng, also a docent, and arrangements were coordinated by Barbara York, OCAW Virginia Chapter President. The Exhibition features over two hundred remarkable artifacts. We started by viewing a 3D picture of an Oracle Bone, then Ru Fan guided us through each collection – jade ornaments, ceremonial weapons, ritual bronze vessels, bells, and chariot fittings – and explained to us in-depth history and other details. The exhibition includes a series of digital visual presentations, developed in partnership with the award-winning production studio UNIT9. Viewing these videos allows visitors to dive deeper into the life of the city.

2024 Kick-Off Lunch

Lunch at Chef Yan. On Monday, January 15, thirteen members and several husbands enjoyed a wonderful meal of the house specialties, including soup dumplings, steamed fish, Sichuan dry pot, Lions Head meatballs, and some beautiful vegetarian dishes. Chef Yan is the newly renovated China Star. The chef worked at the Mama Chang restaurant before branching out on his own.

Donations to help Tragedy in U.S. Maui

(from Barbara York, President, and Cathy Roberts, Treasurer)
As a result of the wildfires that devastated parts of Maui, Hawaii, in August 2023, OCAW members have risen to the challenge and have raised funds for the island’s rebuilding efforts.
Cathy Roberts, National Vice President for Programs and Virginia Chapter Treasurer, hosted a fundraising tea at her lovely home in Oakton, VA, on Saturday, September 9, 2023. It was very successful, and Cathy announced that it raised $2,150 for the Maui Strong Fund coordinated by the Hawaii Community Foundation.
Cathy sent the contributions to the OCAW Hawaii Chapter to forward to the relief fund, and OCAW Hawaii.
Chapter President Edwina Lee thanked chapter members for their kindness and support.
Barbara wishes to thank those who contributed
so generously to the fund, and to give special thanks to Cathy whose focus and faith in the project were instrumental in raising the donations.

International Women’s Day Lunch Celebrating with OCAW Leaders.

(from Maria Yang, Acting President)
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and it is celebrated every year on March 8. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.
On March 7, 2023, 21 members and spouses of the Virginia Chapter came together to have a Dim Sum lunch at Vinh Kee Chinese Seafood Restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia, to celebrate and witness our accomplishments in the family and in the community.
Some members brought small memorable items to share their inspiration and achievements in life during the lunch.

The following are some of  OCAW-VA members’ achievements and contributions to the community and country.
Chi-Hua Yang, former Virginia Chapter President
Dr. Chi-Hua Yang presented two lifetime achievement awards, representing accomplishments from her more than 30 years in research and development in semiconductor industries. The first one was received on August 26, 1995, for her role as part of the international Triad team, which was composed of engineers and scientists from three companies: IBM (U.S.), Toshiba (Japan), and Siemens (Germany). The Triad team’s research and development program created the first successful 256Mb DRAMs, which was a technology breakthrough. Chi-Hua’s technical contribution and teamwork were recognized. The collaboration among many scientists from different technical backgrounds, countries, and cultures were crucial for the success of this accomplishment.
In addition, Chi-Hua has extensive experience in a wide variety of technical work to make advanced electronics devices. While at BAE Systems, she received an award for her dedication and hard work supporting “Enhanced Ultraviolet Sensor Electron Bombarded Readout Integrated Circuit (EUV EBROIC)” on December 19, 2012. She has been working as a technology pioneer in areas such as the U.S. Deep Space Program, Satellite Program, Defense Weapons Systems, and infrared night vision scopes.
She feels that it is important that she, as an Asian woman, has been able to contribute in this highly technological and scientific field.

Christina Chang has been the OCAW National President for over 12 years. After a long career working for the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, she retired in 2017. Her hard work, dedication, and contributions to the country were recognized in four letters from Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama.

Alice Yee Way worked for over three decades for the Department of Defense, during which time she received many outstanding achievement awards. She was grateful for their recognition and acknowledgment of her professional responsibilities.
However, reflecting on her lifelong achievements, she would consider that her most significant and certainly her most satisfying achievements would be raising three great children. When they were young, she instilled virtues in them such as loving, caring, fairness, and compassion to others. They are now on their own and continue to demonstrate these traits. Alice sincerely believes that she has accomplished a major life goal in seeing that all her children have become the best individuals they can be. Her best “awards” for this accomplishment are the acknowledgments from people stating “you raised great children.”

Barbara Yorke retired at the end of 2017 after 36 years with NCTA – The Internet and Television Association. NCTA represents the spectrum of the broadband and cable industry from service providers like Comcast and Cox, through television programmers like HBO, Discovery, CNN, and Disney. As Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs, Barbara’s primary responsibility was the production and management of NCTA’s annual convention which was the largest in the cable television industry. Through her career at NCTA, she also managed the executive conferences and seminars and the NCTA Board Meetings.
In the late 1990s, she also served as Executive Director of the National Academy for Cable Programming which produced the CableACE Awards prior to cable programming being allowed to compete in the Emmy Awards. For her work, she was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame which includes men and women whose names are legendary in the world of cable television and programming.

Amy Lee was honored to receive, on behalf of all the other dedicated volunteers, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s Community Service Award to Chinatown Service Center Volunteers for teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) and citizen preparation. This program was directed by Walter Woo and his wife, Shirley.
The ESL Award Ceremony was held on May 30, 2014, at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. Afterward, Amy continued her volunteering up until the onset of the pandemic, so was happy to serve the community for nearly 20 years.
It was a most enriching experience for the volunteers and the countless number of students over the decades.

Memoir Writing Presentation

(Veronica Li, former Acting President)

These writing experiences have taught me the necessary ingredients for cooking up a good memoir. The first one is the theme. In a memoir, the theme is the aspect of your life that you want to focus on. In Journey
Across the Four Seas, the theme is my mother’s search for a home, and in Viking Voyager, the theme is Sverrir’s Viking career. You can think of your life as a pie, and a memoir is a slice of that pie. If you want to write about your whole life, then your project is called an autobiography. It’s like a scrapbook in which important pieces of a life are pasted.
Regardless of which category you take on, you should try to make the story as absorbing as a novel. In a novel, we read about a character struggling with a problem, eventually finding revelation and resolution. Descriptions of vivid scenes transport the reader to the character’s world and the reader experiences what he experiences. For a memoir to be captivating, it needs all these elements of a novel. The only difference is that the characters in a memoir are real, and so are the happenings.

“The Essential Elements of Memoir Writing”:

The Orange Ribbon

Used to raise awareness for racial tolerance.

The orange ribbon in our Solidarity Against AAPI Hate logo is used to raise awareness for racial tolerance. The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Australia’s Harmony Day also use the ribbon for racial harmony. Maryland and Virginia Chapter members Camilla Ng and Veronica Li attended the National Day of Solidarity Against AAPI Hate rally held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Monday, May 31,. 2021. Hundreds of people voiced against the widespread hate crimes against Asian Americans, and made demands for justice and inclusion. This was one of 20 such rallies across the country on Memorial Day. This movement is supported by about 50 diverse advocacy and community groups, including the Chinese American Heritage Foundation, Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates), Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), 1882 Foundation, APIAVote, Council of Korean Americans, Arab American Institute, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and NAACP.

Jason Fong, Evelyn Moy, Lee Wong, Jennings Wong (holding flag), Alex Chan, Amy Lee and Alfred Lam (sang the National Anthem)
Speaker Christina Wong Poy, delivering a speech on behalf of Maryland First Lady, Yumi Hogan
Speaker Lee Wong, an elected official of West Chester, Ohio, and an Army veteran.

Yellow Whistle

Yellow whistles with wrist bands were given out at the rally. Sponsored by The Yellow WhistleTM, the “Yellow Whistle is a symbol of self-protection and solidarity in the fight against historical discrimination and anti-Asian violence. It is a simple gadget with a universal purpose – to signal alarm and call for help for all Americans. We shall not remain silent, because we belong.” To obtain your Yellow Whistle, go to the THE YELLOW WHISTLE website. The rally was closed with a powerful soulful protest song, No More by KHA, a Vietnamese-American pop soul singer and songwriter, born and raised in the DC area. The lyrics of this beautiful song capture the history of the contributions of Asian Americans and their struggle against discrimination and injustice. It may become the national anthem for the Asian Americans. Ctrl-Click on the link below for this song. NO MORE – Original by KHA – Bing video All in all, it was a colorful, entertaining, and inspiring rally. The message was loud and clear: We belong and we will be silent no more. About Solidarity Against AAPI Hate (SAAH) SAAH is the brainchild of the Chinese American Heritage Foundation, created in direct response to the Atlanta shootings and the rise of anti-Asian violence brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its goal is to amplify the AAPI voice, educate, inspire action, and affect change. Ctrl-Click on the link below for more information. Take Action – National Day of Solidarity Against Hate ( (Photos taken by Camilla Ng) (Editor’s Note: It is Camilla’s personal hope that more Asian Americans will come out to support our communities under attack.)

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