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May 27, 2011 > Dedicated to community

Dedicated to community

By Julie Grabowski
Photos By courtesy of Kevin Yee and John Dutra

It was a night of warriors, both in traditional garb and incognito, at Citizens for Better Community's (CBC) 19th Annual Spring Celebration held Saturday, April 23. The fundraising gala welcomed 250 guests to the Marriott Hotel in Fremont where they were treated to fine dining, exciting entertainment, and the opportunity to honor two outstanding women.

Founded in 1992, CBC is a nonprofit organization that creates and conducts various programs in the areas of education, health, civic participation, scholarship, internship, and youth leadership. According to President Tim Vi Tran, "We exist to initiate, sponsor and promote community events" while striving to be a "model of excellence in the community."

The Spring Celebration is an opportunity to gathers friends, supporters, donors, and sponsors who have helped throughout the year, as well as to recognize the Citizen and Volunteer of the Year. The evening also looks to the future, touching on what CBC is doing, and where they are headed.

In his president's message, Tran said, "At CBC, we've always believed that it is our social responsibility to ensure that our community is well taken care of. In light of the economic challenges, the single most important word to describe our organization is 'dedication.' This past year marked a crucial but important turning point for us as we continue to mature as a non-profit organization. CBC is constantly seeking new and innovative ways to find comprehensive solutions to our programs. Because of your generosity and donations, we are able to continue to fund our programs. It's always a challenge to seek new funding in this economic climate but we have prevailed once again."

The evening's proceeds will support a variety of community programs including Asian American Donor Program, Friends of Children with Special Needs, Feed the Homeless, Fremont Symphony Orchestra, Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program, Vision New America, and Tri-City Health Center.

He went on to say, "I once heard that there are three types of people in this world: Those who watch what happens, those who make things happen, and those who wondered what happened.

As I look across the room this evening, I see movers and shakers with great capacity to make things happen. As we move forward, I challenge each and every one of you to form creative ways so that people can use our services."

Two women who embody the heart and mission of CBC were honored for their contributions.

Irene Yung was recognized as 2010 Citizen of the Year, which is awarded for outstanding leadership in civic and community service. Introduced to CBC in 2000, Yung has a long history of volunteer work, from helping out at her children's school to involvement in meal plans for the homeless and the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program. Tran says, "She's dedicated, working very hard and diligently to make the program a success."

Volunteer of the Year honors outstanding volunteerism to CBC and the community. The 2010 recipient Michiko Yee has spent decades serving the community in numerous ways since she arrived in Fremont in 1964. From church activities, mission trips and school room mother duties to serving as a docent at the Patterson House and organizing teas for the Mission Peak Historic Foundation, Yee is a well-known face of service.

"She has been very influential in helping CBC grow as well," Tran says, stating that Yee was the one who introduced him to CBC. "She is always out there building support in the community," he says. "She just loves what she does."

The Spring Celebration also promotes Chinese culture; each year the event committee chooses a city or province in Asia or China on which to build their theme. This year's theme, "Foshan - Legend of the Warriors, Modern Day Warriors Unleashed," highlighted the city of Foshan, which is located in the Guangdong Province in southern China. Known as the center of martial arts, the evening's entertainment naturally followed suit.

Demonstrations by Omei Kung Fu Academy of Milpitas, Sun Kung Fu Academy of Fremont, U.S.A. Wu Chi Kung Fu Academy of Fremont, and Wong's Ji Do Kwan of Fremont provided a delightful martial arts extravaganza.

The event was made possible thanks to the dedicated efforts of Event Chair Richard Li, Event Coordinator Sharon Yap, and their team of committee members.

CBC is always looking for new members as well as donations and sponsorships to further their work, and encourages people to step forward. Tran says, "Growth is going to be what drives us to accomplish our mission."

To learn more about Citizens for Better Community visit or call (510) 790-0740.

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