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CHINESE CULTURAL CENTRE

As part of this year's 20th anniversary celebration, the Association has pledged $5000 to contribute to the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto's building fund. The Centre had its groundbreaking ceremony November 18, 1996, in Scarborough.

The Cultural Centre aims to create a forum for Toronto's 350,000 Chinese, where no such facility currently exists. The physical space will have meeting rooms, an art gallery, a library and resource centre, with future plans for a theatre. However, the Cultural Centre plans on being more than a building. It will be the bridge on which new Chinese Canadians and Canadians of other cultures can meet in an exchange of understanding.

HURRICANE GILBERT

Eight years ago Hurricane Gilbert unleashed its force on Jamaica - the last time the island felt hurricane devastation was 37 years prior. The news to Jamaicans living abroad was one of horror at the destruction that their homeland was experiencing. When the initial shock was over, members of the CCA collected their wits and got to work.

Then president, Mary Lai, called a meeting of committee members and started the ball rolling with a $1,000 donation from the Association. Action on the part of members snowballed and the CCA made the decision to collect food, clothing, building material and funds to aid in the rebuilding efforts of the island. By the following weekend, a shipment was arranged through the Jamaica Self Help Group for Father HoLung's distribution.

Help came from everyone in the Association in many forms – storage; collections by individuals at schools, workplaces and the community at large; fundraising through events and the sale of items.

The T-shirts that were sold said: "Gilbert. No Problem – Together We Can Rebuild"; this statement certainly reflects the spirit of the CCA.

CHERRY BLOSSOM BALL

The first meeting to brain storm for ideas to raise funds for the "charity arm" of the CCA was held May 1989, during Dr. John Chin's term of office. It was a small committee that met initially, comprising Horace Assing, Elaine Carter, Helen Chin, John Chin, Sonia Chin and Mary Lai.

At that meeting, a decision was made to plan an event that could raise a significant amount of money for a Chinese Nursing Home that was then in its embryonic stage. This was the beginning of the Cherry Blossom Ball. With an enlarged committee, months of planning and preparation, the event took place  May 5, 1990 at the Toronto Hilton International Hotel.

Three hundred members and friends filled the cherry blossom decorated ballroom. The evening's program began with a champagne reception followed by dinner, dancing and a live auction. Metro Toronto Councilor Jack Layton was the auctioneer. Also present were Metro Toronto Chairman Alan Tonks, Dr. Joseph Wong, Chairman of the Chinese Community Nursing Home for Greater Toronto.

In between dancing to The Generations, guests silently placed their bids on over 60 auction items, generously donated by members and friends of the Association. The live auction was well supported and added to the evening's festivities.

The event was a resounding success because of the tireless efforts of the committee, which was co-chaired by Mary Lai and Sonia Chin. A raffle for an all inclusive week's vacation at Sandals, Ocho Rios, Jamaica was also held to boost the fund. The draw took place at the annual picnic in July 1990 at the Markham Fairgrounds.

Contributions were also received from many of our seniors, who felt the need to support this worthy cause. Mrs. Jenny Ho Fung organized the collection from more than 60 individuals, who were all gratefully acknowledged.

After all the hard work, we were proud to hand over a cheque in the amount of $42,000 to the Chinese Community Nursing Home for Greater Toronto.

On October 30, 1994, the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, under which the nursing home operates a 90-bed facility, had its official opening at 2311 McNicoll Avenue, Scarborough. The Association was invited to this auspicious ceremony and felt very proud of its contribution through the Cherry Blossom Ball.

CALYPSO GALA

Following in the footsteps of the Cherry Blossom Ball, the committee decided to raise fund for the new Mon Sheong Nursing Home in Toronto. With cutbacks in hospital beds, the need for a nursing home appropriate to the care of Chinese-Canadians became more urgent. Funds were desperately needed for the expansion of the 65-bed facility to the urgently required 105-bed Mon Sheong complex.

On May 2, 1992, at the Eaton Marriot Hotel, steelband music greeted more than 300 guests to the Calypso Gala for the Rum Punch Reception. The ballroom was colourfully decorated with posters of the islands and balloons in keeping with the Caribbean theme.

Dr. John Chin, President, welcomed everyone and expressed his thanks to the committee who planned the event, and all those who supported it. In response, Dr. Fai Liu, President of Mon Sheong Foundation thanked the Association.

After dinner, guests were entertained by Caribbean folk dancers and a limbo dancer, who were well received. A silent auction of 45 items was well supported and Erin Davis and The thanks to the committee who planned the event, and all those who supported it. In response, Dr. Fai Liu, President of Mon Sheong Foundation thanked the Association.

After dinner, guests were entertained by Caribbean folk dancers and a limbo dancer, who were well received. A silent auction of 45 items was well supported and Erin Davis and The Generations supplied the music for dancing.

It was an enjoyable and successful event, from which the Association was able to contribute $20,000 to the new Mon Sheong Nursing Home.


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