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April 1, 2009 > Casino for a cause

Casino for a cause

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Courtesy of Tim Tran

Time is ticking away and only a few tickets are left, so don't take a gamble on missing one of the area's biggest fundraisers, this year featuring casino games and a celebrity poker match.

"A Night in Two Cities: Hong Kong - Macau, Where Fortunes Are Made" is this year's Citizens for a Better Community Spring Celebration Fundraiser. The theme recognizes the 10th anniversary of China regaining sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macau.

"Both cities are known for their night life," said event co-chair David Sheen. Called the "Monte Carlo of the Orient," Macau is known for its casinos and "Hong Kong is famous for its entertainment, so we thought it was a good way for everyone to have fun."

CBC is a service organization promoting the well-being of Chinese Americans. Its mission is to get people of Chinese descent actively involved in the community.

"We welcome people of non-Chinese descent also, but we do hope to share our heritage with them," Sheen said. "We have non-Chinese supporters from all over the city."

This year's event will feature a "Texas Hold'em" celebrity match similar to the popular show "World Poker Tournament."

"We have gift certificates from Apple and airfares to Asia for winners," said Sheen. The winner of the match will receive a $1,500 donation to a favorite charity. "There will be 11 gambling casino tables and celebrities have been invited who will play Texas Hold'em dressed up as different characters, it will be a lot of fun," Tran said. Celebrities are City of Campbell Vice Mayor Evan Low, Fremont Planning Commissioner Lisa Quan, Dutra Enterprises President Dominic Dutra, and Fremont Planning Commissioner David Bonaccorsi.

An assortment of gourmet food includes a spectrum of delights: pan fried shrimp and chives dumpling, grilled steak with cremini mushroom sauce, medallions of braised tofu, shitake mushroom with choy-sum ...and, for the sweet tooth, green tea cheesecake.

"The participation has been good - around 300-400 people attend every year. People get involved for a great cause," said Tim Tran, co-chair and vice president.

CBC is honoring Gerry Low-Sabado as the Citizen of the Year. She has been working to bring about awareness of the Chinese villages which once existed in Pacific Grove and on the Monterey Peninsula. In 2008, she organized the "Chinese Cultural and Heritage Event" at the Golden State Theatre in Monterey.

Dr. Herbert Chiu has been named Volunteer of the Year. He was one of CBC's charter members, serving as its founding President in 1992 and again in 1999. The Fremont/Union City dentist is the Health Committee Chair of CBC. He was production/stage manager of three Tsai Chin U.S.A. Charity Concert Tours, raising over $1 million to benefit organizations such as Chinese Cancer Memorial Foundation, Stanford Asian Liver Center, American Cancer Society, Harold Cancer Foundation, Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care, and Asian American Donor Program. Chiu is also a drummer with IDEA Band, which will perform in the show.

Tri-City nonprofit organizations benefiting from the fundraiser are: Asian American Donor Program, Feed the Homeless, Fremont Education Foundation, Abode Services (formerly, Tri-City Homeless Coalition), Fremont Symphony Orchestra, CBC Youth Internship Program, Ohlone College Foundation. Friends of Children with Special Needs, Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation, Olive Festival, Academy of Chinese Performing Arts, Chinese Language Schools, Fremont's 50th Anniversary Celebration, "Stop Pediatric AIDS Now," and CBC Youth Leadership Program.

Dress code is black tie or dress suit for men and long dress or Cheong Sam for women.

For event and ticket information contact Kathy Jang at or (510) 790-0740 or visit

17th Annual Spring Celebration
Saturday, April 4
Casino games and registration: 5:30 p.m.
Dinner, program, entertainment: 6:30 p.m.
Fremont Marriott
46100 Landing Parkway, Fremont
(510) 790-0740

$88 per person

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