OCAW Dancercise – East Meets West
This enjoyable event is held on the third Sunday afternoon of every month, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific time.
It is led by our multi-talented member Yufan Lu, a dancer, Chinese literature intellectual, and Chinese calligrapher. She has curated a selection of Zumba, Chinese, modern, and/or Bollywood dance in each one-hour session. A great cardio workout for everyone!
Yufan is a believer and practitioner in enriching ourselves, living life to the fullest. Now it’s time to find some time and something good for ourselves. Dance and exercise can relieve stress, and thus OCAW Dancercise was created. We will explore different dancing styles such as Zumba, Latin, Indian, Chinese, Classical, or Modern dance! Our motto for this activity is sunshine, smile, perspire, de-stress, and be ourselves.
OCAW-SVC hosted a summer hike event at Parker Ranch Trail and Nob Hill Loop on Saturday morning, June 26, 2021. The hike was 2 hours (4 miles long) with great views of Cupertino and Saratoga.
After hiking, the members gathered for an outdoor lunch in Annie Hu’s beautiful backyard.
Annual Officers Installation and Youth Achievement Award Ceremony
Remembering the Flying Tigers Lecture
The Saratoga Historical Foundation and Silicon Valley Chapter co-sponsored this event via Zoom on Monday, August 23, 2021 at 7 p.m. Annette Stransky, the President of the Saratoga Historical Foundation, was the MC. A maximum of 100 guests participated. Some could not join in when Zoom capacity reached 100.
The lecture was given by Ray Cosyn who is the Saratoga Historical Foundation Historian. According to Ray, “What most Americans know about the Flying Tigers is what the movie starring John Wayne said on the subject. But there is so much more to the story. The Chinese American community knows the Flying Tigers as a continuing effort by the American Air Corps in China that lasted throughout World War II. The heroic adventures of the American Expeditionary Force (Flying Tigers) and the 7th Air Force kept the Japanese on the run. The Air Corps flew the Hump to resupply China, and Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo, which ended in China, had a major effect on Japanese home island defense.”
Ray talked about the Marco Polo Bridge incident, the importance of the Burma Road, the missions of Claire Lee Chennault before the war, and the establishment of the First American Volunteer Group (AVG), nicknamed “the Flying Tigers.” Ray discussed the planes, personnel, battles of the Flying Tigers, the difficulty of flying through the Hump, and the Doolittle Raid in detail.
The lecture was recorded and can be viewed on the Saratoga Historical Foundation’s YouTube channel.
Zumba Fitness Socials
Our chapter has been having Zumba Fitness socials on Zoom on the third Sunday of every month, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., led by member Yufan Lu. Sunday, April 18, and Sunday, May 16, 2021 were the dates of our most recent events.
A handful of members have been joining in. Yufan chooses, compiles, and teaches each song and dance based on members’ ages and experience. She has included Indian, Latin, and Chinese folk songs and dance steps to add variety and fun.
National River Cleanup
This year’s National River Cleanup was held on every Saturday in May. Due to the pandemic, each group selected its own date and route, and arranged picking up tools ahead of time.
On Saturday, May 22, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. until noon, the Silicon Valley Chapter held its cleanup. Our former president Alice Chiou helped to pick up tools the day before and brought them to the site we chose, which was Calabazas Creek in Cupertino, CA. When we learned that the entrance of the creek was locked, we decided to go to Memorial Park in Cupertino instead.
Fifteen members and friends participated. Everyone was happy to see each other after over a year having to shelter in place. It was like a social outing while serving the community.
Alzheimer’s Education and Support
The OCAW Silicon Valley Chapter is actively involved in Alzheimer’s education and support, led by Ai-chu Wang and Carol Yuan. This pervasive disease affects millions of Americans.
Annual Chinese Alzheimer’s Forums
The Chapter co-sponsors the annual Chinese Alzheimer’s Forum, held in Santa Clara, CA. It is hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada, and SVC members assist at the forums. The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.
These events aim to educate concerned community members, healthcare professionals, and families affected by Alzheimer’s. Experts present the latest information on the disease and related dementia, updates on research, techniques for managing Alzheimer’s, community resources to support patients and their families, etc.
SVC members volunteer as ‘ambassadors’ at the forum. Among their duties are setting up the venue, checking in registrants, helping with seating, collecting questionnaires, and handing microphones to attendees in the Q&A session.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 annual forums prudently went virtual as webinars. Attendance at the in-person forums had been impressive at 400-500 participants, but the virtual presentation has allowed involvement from all over the United States and the world. The 2021 webinar garnered over a thousand participants.
The OCAW New Orleans Chapter and OCAW Maryland Chapter joined SVC in co-sponsoring the 2021 forum.
OCAW believes it is important to bring awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease to the Chinese community.
Alzheimer’s Association Workshops and Webinars
In addition to co-sponsoring and assisting with the annual Chinese forums, the Silicon Valley Chapter also hosts Alzheimer’s awareness workshops. The topic of one such workshop was “10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.”
The Longest Day Dance for Life
The Alzheimer’s Association has created “The Longest Day” fundraising event. In 2018, to support this, Ai-chu Wang led a team which hosted a dance assembly with other dance organizations to raise funds and
awareness. Co-sponsored by SVC, this event featured international folk dance, line dancing, and Zumba, and it raised more than $15,000.
Ai-chu has continued to organize “The Longest Day” fundraising.
With the advent of COVID-19, however, the normally large in-person gatherings have given way to smaller groups, and in 2020 SVC’s team created a walk centered around Saratoga, CA.
Walk fundraisers: These walks are supported by SVC fundraisers in addition to donations. One recent creative activity was a Succulent Arrangements DIY. Activities included planting succulents in containers/pots and also topping pumpkins with succulents.
Walks to End Alzheimer’s
SVC participates in annual Walks to End Alzheimer’s. These events are aimed at promoting awareness of the disease and raising funds. Coordinated by Carol Yuan, SVC members, family members, and friends have participated enthusiastically with many other walkers. In doing so, they have raised thousands of dollars for a good cause.
Participants have enjoyed interesting walks through downtown San Jose.
SVC Alzheimer's Support
Ni chi fan ma?
Did you eat yet?
OCAW Silicon Valley members participate in a program to cook dinners for some community residents. JW House is located on the campus of Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center in Santa Clara, CA. JW House welcomes families and individuals from area hospitals into their family for rest and self-care during the day or overnight while their loved one is in the hospital. Its mission is to keep families together during a medical crisis by offering a welcoming home close to the hospital and providing a caring and compassionate environment.
“Dinner is Served” is a program where the JW House community provides home-cooked meals to their guests. All meals are provided by community volunteer groups, families, and generous restaurants. These nutritious meals provide not only sustenance, but also a sense of community support.
SVC members are pleased to plan and cook meals and serve their community in this manner. They also visit with the residents and provide welcome company, and are happy that they can offer some comfort to people who are going through difficult times. Many guests have commented that it is nice to sit down to a home-cooked meal after a hard day caring for their loved one.
The OCAW Silicon Valley Chapter participates in the annual National River Cleanup days. Chapter members and friends gather to work at a particular selected site. Tools and materials are provided and can be picked up ahead of time.
It is an enjoyable time, working in a convivial group, and in the end, accomplishing a lot to make our environment a cleaner, healthier, and safer place.