Silicon Valley Chapter

Link to local site:   

Check local site for upcoming events.

Annual Member Social

(from Anne Hu, Immediate Past President)
The OCAW Silicon Valley Chapter hosted its annual Member Social on Sunday, February 12, 2023 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Community Room of the Saratoga Library. This was the first in-person event held at the library after the pandemic. Nearly 40 people attended this event, coordinated by Ai-Chu Wang, former SVC President. Anne Hu, a longtime member and Immediate Past President, gave two presentations: “My Quest for Tea Searching” and “Becoming an Expat in Mexico.” There was quite a lot of interest in tea drinking and traveling to Mexico! 
Anne started drinking tea when she was in kindergarten, influenced by her grandparents. She discussed the 6 different types of tea from China and the Taiwan region; their characteristics; the best way to brew a cup of tea based on how the water temperature correlates to the tea type; and how to store the teas. Toward the end, Anne also demonstrated cold brew tea using loose tea leaves. The benefits of cold brew tea is that no caffeine nor tannins are released in that temperature. You have a few days to enjoy the tea stored in a refrigerator, after you filter out the loose leaves. It’s also a healthy summer beverage without the sugar.

The event was very successful, and it was good to see everyone face to face instead of at a meeting via Zoom. We are ready to put the pandemic behind us and look forward to many more festivities in the coming months!

Holiday Cooking Demonstration

The Silicon Valley Chapter hosted a holiday cooking demonstration entitled “Holiday Entertaining Made Easy,” and it was presented by Wendy Chang, former President. It was held on Sunday, November 13, 2022, at 2 p.m. PST. It was broadcast via Zoom, and all were invited to join in.
OCAW-SVC calls Wendy the ‘Rachel Ray of Asia.’  She demonstrated how to prepare easy-made holiday dishes. She showed how to put together a charcuterie/cheese board, and made delicious salads and canapes.
There were about 25 participants via Zoom, and about 35 members requested the video recording of the event. Cathy Roberts, OCAW National Vice President for Membership and Virginia Chapter Treasurer, also attended the event. SVC members were so pleased to meet her via Zoom.

We have a recording of the event.  Please join our chapter to attend more events like this.

Crime Prevention and Home Safety Event

(from Cynthia Chang, Public Relationship)
The OCAW Silicon Valley Chapter hosted a very successful Safety talk event on Sunday, December 11, 2022 at 2 p.m. PST, via Zoom. We collaborated with the Parent-Teacher-Student-Organization of Saratoga High School which invited its membership to join the talk. There were 45 people in attendance.
Our speaker was Deputy Sheriff Marie Molnar of the Santa Clara County Office of the Sheriff, School Resource Officer, City of Saratoga. She spoke about the following topics:
Fraud and Crime Prevention
What is fraud?
Fraud involves deception or misrepresentation to cheat a person out of money or property.  Common scams and how to protect yourself
Don’t trust emails from people or organizations you don’t know.
Never reply to emails or messages asking for personal information.
Never click on unfamiliar links in emails or text messages.
Don’t fall for pressure tactics.

Cynthia Chang Honored
Former OCAW-SVC President Cynthia Chang was honored by the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District at a reception honoring outgoing Board of Trustee members. She was
recognized as Woman of the Year for the California Assembly’s 24th District in March 2010 for her decades of service to the community.

2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s

(from Carol Yuan, former President)
This was the 8th year that the OCAW Silicon Valley Chapter participated in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraiser. The event was organized by the Alzheimer’s Association and took place on Saturday, October 15, 2022.
Our team’s name is “OCAW-SVC Friends and Families.” We have eight registered team members and over a dozen donors this year. As a team, we’ve raised $1,950 so far. Fundraising is continuing until the end of the year. We welcome any donations to support the fight to end this disease. Our team link is:
This year’s walk started at Excite Ballpark in San Jose, then walked across the street to History Park and the Japanese Friendship Garden. Among the eight members and friends who walked this year, six joined the walk for the first time. Everyone was impressed by the energy and positive vibe from all of the volunteers and the thousands of participants.

Our President Jen Tsao and her husband Alex Tsao made a beautiful OCAW team sign for us this year. After grasping an initial understanding of this disease, and its impact and costs to our community, I started to volunteer and formed a team to Walk to End Alzheimer’s eight years ago. I do not have a personal connection to this disease but hope to help raise awareness about it in our community.
There were volunteers, groups, and individuals performing along the walk route to cheer walkers. Our President Jen Tsao and member Lisa Tsai and their Choral Cosmo were out there cheering for everyone, too.

Officers’ Retreat

(from Jen Tsao)
The OCAW Silicon Valley Chapter held an officers’ retreat in the afternoon of Sunday, October 2, 2022. We gathered in the backyard of former President Carol Yuan.
Besides sharing OCAW-SVC’s status and discussing future plans, we enjoyed colorful nail polish, a garden tour from our host, a variety of snacks and drinks, and the most important of all, friendship.

Webinar: A forgotten history of Chinese Americans working in the U.S. Salmon Canning Industry

(from Jen Tsao)
On Sunday, August 28, 2022, a webinar regarding the work of Chinese Americans in the U.S. salmon canning industry was presented by Jim and Philip Chiao. The webinar was given in Mandarin, and there were up to 39 participants on Zoom.
From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, thousands of Chinese laborers sailed from San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland to Alaska in barques every year to work in the salmon canning factories. Canned salmon was one of the most important products in the American Northwest and Alaska from the late 19th century until before World War II. The salmon canning industry is also one of the few West Coast industries in which the early Chinese played a key role over the years. In the early 1970s, twin brothers Jim and Philip Chiao spent a few summers at a cannery in Alaska during college. Now, Jim is a retired engineer and Philip is a retired architect. Jim and Philip have spent time studying the history of Chinese and Chinese Americans in this industry since their retirements. In this informative webinar, Jim and Philip shared their personal experiences while doing their summer jobs in Alaska, and they talked about the birth of the salmon canning industry, the life of canning factories, and the rise and disappearance of Chinese workers.

The following is the YouTube link for the webinar:

Annual Event in a Park and New President Transition

New President Jen Tsao & Cynthia Chang

(from Anne Hu, outgoing President)
On July 24, 2022, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, OCAW-SVC held an outdoor event in a park for officers and members. Due to the pandemic, we decided to have our annual Officer Installation, Youth Achievement Award Presentation, and member social in an outdoor setting at the Edith Morley Park in Campbell, CA.
Unfortunately, outgoing President Anne Hu had contracted COVID, so she was not able to attend the transition to the next President Jen Tsao, a longtime member of OCAW-SVC. Jen received her President’s seal from SVC board member and former President Cynthia Chang. Jen has already mapped out events for the entire year, and her vision in expanding our membership and recruiting. The new slate of officers is enthusiastic under Jen’s leadership!

2022 Youth Achievement Award & Scholarship

The recipient of the chapter’s 2022 Youth Achievement Award and scholarship is A. Yeh. She graduated from Saratoga High School this summer and will be double majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and Film and Media at Yale University in the fall.  Excellent not only in academic performance, but versatile and talented in many different ways, such as teaching a weekly poetry workshop at the Santa Clara Juvenile Hall. She also worked as a freelance journalist and served as the president of LEO District 4-C6 (a youth community service organization).  After the scholarship award presentation, it was members social time. Former President Sophia Yang prepared refreshments and snacks for everyone, and bingo games followed. We enjoyed a nice outdoor event!

OCAW Dancercise – East Meets West

This enjoyable event is held on the first Sunday afternoon of every month, from 3 p.m. to 4 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. It is good for all levels (high impact or low impact), and provides a great cardio workout.  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.

Please visit SVC’s local website for details.

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.”

SVC Alzheimer's Support

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.