Redwood Empire Chinese Association December, 2018

PO Box 7854 Santa Rosa, CA 95407


Nancy Wang


Vice President

Ways and Means:

David Chung, 707-340-6045


Hsiu-Chuan Armstrong

Recording Secretary:

Cathy Ringstad, 707-523-2379

Corresponding Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Photographer, Membership:

Judy Cheung, 707-528-0912


Mirin Lew, 707-545-6173

Social Director:

Mary Lowe,

707-528-8712 x132

Building Committee:

Joe Wang, 707-576-0533

Youth Group:

Ruth & Bob Hickman


Cultural Dance Director:

Judy Elliott, 707-477-0329

Sunshine & Mah Jong Chair

Lorrie Abbott


Board Members:

Jean Gee

Azy Heydon

Mark Heydon

Past Presidents:

Hubert Tsang

Jan Lew

Elee Tsai

Message from President Nancy Wang

Greetings RECA members,

Merry Christmas everybody, and a Happy New Year to all. Our autumn was filled with the new language school year and the Autumn Moon Festival and participation in the city wide Santa Rosa Sesquicentennial Celebration where over 2000 people watched us perform the finale to their afternoon-long cultural program. They purposefully saved the best for last!

Our Annual Chinese New Year Celebration and Fundraiser is fast approaching. Our planning committee has started working on the details. Every year we fill the Vets Memorial Building with over 600 people Our food is catered from San Francisco. Our entertainment features our own amazing talent. If you would like to be part of the planning for this grand event, please join us the 3rd Wednesday of each month. We enjoy new ideas and new hands for helping. Last year, some of our chorus members asked why we didn't put a big screen and a slide show or video on stage. The reason was we do not have the equipment. We learned the Vets Building has the projector, but their screen was too small, so the chorus members made a huge screen. They installed it with the help of the Vet's Building staff, and we had one of the best improvements in years. We plan to use it again this year. Maybe you have the next good improvement for us. Using all of our ideas together, we can give an amazing presentation.

Our RECA Language School has gotten off to a shaky start this year. Each class has a good number of students, but there is still room in each class if more want to join us. The shakiness comes from our need for consistent teachers and substitutes. Our long-time beginners class teacher, Cathy Ringstad, is off indefinitely on family care leave. Her oldest son is extremely ill and needs her full time care. She was replaced temporarily by Liu Xia. She did a good job under difficult circumstances until she had to go back to work. Coco has now taken her place and promises to be an excellent addition to our staff. SuNin Qin, our advanced teacher, went on vacation for a while. Liu Xia and our long-time sub, Nancy Loui, took over. One Saturday neither could attend, so I, Nancy, taught the class. We need more substitute teachers. If anyone is interested, please let me know. We would like you to visit and participate for a few sessions before being called on to take over the classes. Teaching is not easy. However, if you know what to expect, it can be very enjoyable and fulfilling.

Thank you to everyone for all of your help with all of our activities and events. Without all of you, we can not put on the presentations of Chinese culture that make Sonoma County one of the best places to live, and one of the most accepting of diversity in the country.


January 16: Chinese New Year Planning committee 6:00-7:00. Please come. Dinner served.

RECA Board meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m., at our Center. All interested members invited.

February 20: Chinese New Year Planning committee 6:00-7:00. Please come. Dinner served.

RECA Board meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m., at our Center. All interested members invited

February 23: Chinese New Year Celebration and Fundraiser. Everyone welcome. Buy tickets

from board members. We sell out each year before we open.

March 20: RECA Board meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m., at our Center. All interested members invited.

April 17: RECA Board meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m., at our Center. All interested members invited.



RECA Language School has gotten off to a shaky start this year. Our enrollment is about the same as usual. We have good sized classes, but there is room for additional students in each class. January brings a new semester, so we hope some of you can join us in January.

Our shaky status comes from the need for additional teaching staff. Our beginning teacher, Cathy Qing Ringstad, must stay home with her eldest son who is in extremely fragile health. Her substitute was Liu Xia. However, Liu Xia had to go back to work at her regular job. Coco Kang Bao Jun has taken over the beginning class and is doing very well.

SuNing Qin has been our advanced teacher. She went on vacation, but now must do other things, so will not be with us for our second semester. Liu Xia had that class for a few weeks while Su Ning was on vacation. Nancy Loui substituted for a while. One day, Nancy Wang had to sub. Jenny Liaohui Fu will be taking over this class beginning in January.


We are hoping to have more stable teaching staff during the coming semester, but we need more substitute teachers for when our teachers can not be present.

Thank you to Chuan Xiao (Carrie) Johnston in our intermediate class. She has been our stable force throughout the entire semester, helping whenever and where ever needed, even joining the advanced class with her class once when there was no sub.

Also, thank you to Nicky Ringstad who has been setting up and taking down our play yard equipment each week. This has been a great help to us.

We apologize for not having our little lion practice after class. Our high hopes for regular practice with all interested school kids, and others if they wanted to join, fell through with the difficulties of not having stable staff each week.

We hope to start lion practice again after language classes. We also have Lion practice for the first half hour of RECA YG. We use our old lions for practice, and perform in the community with our new lions to put on really great shows throughout Sonoma County.

RECA YG Continued

18% of the population. Since Buddhism started in northern India we looked at some Indian Buddhist art, such as an

Ashoka Pillar, the Great Stupa, and a red sandstone sculpture of Buddha and Attendants. Kevin, a member of our youth group gave a detailed review of the life of Siddhartha Gautama. Then we saw the Seated Buddha at the Yungang Grottoes, Detong, China and the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. The historical Buddha’s mother dreamed of a white elephant before giving birth. In honor of this story, and the holiday season, we had a white elephant gift exchange game. So much fun!

Our Lion Team has been getting better and better. We performed at Village Elementary School for their Multicultural night. We always love interacting with the young children in this audience. They rewarded us with the loudest laughs and squeals ever. At the Santa Rosa Village Mobile Home Park we performed for seniors who were all dressed up in Halloween costumes. At the Christmas Potluck, our younger Lion performed and others helped with the raffle.

Each meeting ends with playing games and having fun together. Judy Cheung, (L back) leads lion practice from 6:00 to 6:30 for the beginning of each meeting.

We are accepting more members for our lion team and for our youth group. Please come to the RECA center on the first Friday of each month at 6 pm.

Call Bob or Ruth Hickman

at (707) 537-8820,

or email

for more information.


By Ruth and Bob Hickman

Our First Friday Youth Group meetings were awesome. In October we reviewed Chinese music starting with a historical perspective. Probably the oldest written score anywhere in the world that is still played today, ”Solitary Orchid” in English, is from China. Then we listened to samples of multiple traditional Chinese instruments. Interestingly, hip hop started in America, but when it traveled to China, hip hop changed into something truly Chinese. We ended by discussing the role of music in our lives. Afterwards we had young engineers earthquake test various structures.

Chinese anthropology was our topic for November. From a biological perspective, we learned about Peking Man, who was similar to Java Man but more advanced. The Zhuang culture was our example for the cultural aspect of anthropology. The Zhuang are the largest ethnic group in China at 18 million. We then reviewed Chinese linguistics, starting from oracle bones. Our last subject was the Terracotta Army as an example of Chinese archeology. It was strange to see how these figures were originally painted. There are many Chinese intellectual giants in the field of anthropology. One of them is Yan Yunxiang, who is teaching in the UCLA Department of Anthropology with a focus on ordinary Chinese in his academic work. During our meeting, we made marbled paper, as a visual expression of the beauty that comes from different colors swirled together. With all the new things we learned, it was appropriate to end the evening playing Who Knew.

Hands on construction of towers, then the fun part of knocking them down by various techniques. Which structure is the most stable? Why? What does it take to knock it down?

Our last meeting was on “Understanding Buddhism through Art.” Buddhism is China’s oldest formal religion and China is the country with the most Buddhist at 244 million, which is about 18% of the population. Since Buddhism started in northern India we looked at some Indian Buddhist art, such as an Our last meeting was on “Understanding Buddhism through Art.” Buddhism is China’s oldest formal religion and China is the country with the most Buddhist at 244 million, which is about


Our discussion sessions are always interesting and informative. Some of the teens grew up in China and tell first hand experiences. Our discussions are lead by YG leader Ruth Hickman, Joseph's Mom. Mile's little brother Charlie, (yellow shirt) comes for lion practice, but holds his own in the discussions with teens.

For our White Elephant Christmas meeting, we exchanged white elephant gifts. Chloe enjoys her gift.

At the RECA Christmas Party on December 1, 2018, the Youth Group was instrumental in setting up and taking down. In between, not only did they enjoy themselves, but also participated in everything from serving food at the buffet to displaying raffle prizes. Here, Joseph models a woman's garden hat raffle prize with much charm and good humor.

Call Bob or Ruth Hickman at (707) 537-8820, or email for the latest news and how to join our fun and games. See you on January 4, our next meeting.


Upcoming Events

Youth Group: First Friday of each month, 5:00-8:00 at our Center. Call Ruth and Bob Hickman, 707-537-8820.

Adult Chorus: Each Wednesday, 7:00-9:00 RECA Center. Call David Chung, 707-340-6045.

Tai Chi: Each Saturday morning, 8:30-10:00, Snoopy's Ice Arena. Call David Chung, 707-340-6045.

Dance Rehearsals: Usually on Sunday afternoons. For information and auditions, call Judy Elliott, 707-477-0329.

Mah Jong: Rohnert Park Senior Center, 6800 Hunter Dr. Rohnert Park, Call Lorrie Abbott, 707-795-3457, for meeting times and more information. (Suspended for the summer due to Lorrie having back surgery. Please call for autumn


Sept. 8: First day of language classes each Saturday of the school year, 9:00-11:30 a.m. Ask about lion dance practice.

Sept. 8: Santa Rosa Sesquicentennial celebration Old Courthouse Square, Downtown Santa Rosa, 3:-10:00 p.m. RECA Booth 3:00-8:00. RECA performance 7:30-8:00.

Sept. 15: Dancing Poetry Festival, Palace of the Legion of Honor art museum, 100 34th St. San Francisco, RECA Young Dancers will perform their Fan Dance to a poem by Ellen Hickman.

Sept. 22: RECA's Annual Moon Festival Potluck Dinner, 5:00-8:00, RECA Center.

Check your email for more events as they occur. New opportunities are always presenting themselves to RECA members.

If you are not receiving RECA email announcements and Newsletters and you are a member of RECA, please send your name and email address to Mark Heydon at He will add your name to our email list. Also, if you have a friend who is a member but is not receiving RECA email, please let Mark know.

If you have photos or would like to write a story for our newsletter, please send your submissions to Judy Cheung at by mid January, April, July or October Please label your email "RECA NL" so Judy will be sure to copy it to the correct file for printing.



September 22, 2018, about 100 people joined together at RECA to enjoy an evening of eating potluck on the lawn, then watching RECA entertainment as the sun sank below the horizon. There is something magical about this time when day gently and beautifully fades into night as we enjoy family and friends.

Food and friendship are the main features of this evening. It's not often when a pre-teen finds the main course table more interesting than the desserts. By the end of the evening everyone, including Kevin in the blue shirt, had multiple servings from both tables.

Malaya is thrilled with her choice of food which is served to her.

Malaya's grandma, Sharon, helps in the serving line.

Ann Schleeter helps her nephew at the dessert table.

Wine for adults was available and monitored.


5th Autumn Moon Festival continues

We had our choice to eat inside or outside.

Eating outside as the shadows grew longer was almost magical. There was a general feeling of quiet joy and tranquility despite having about 100 people at our event.

Families enjoyed a fun evening outside.

The Lin children brought their grandma as well as their parents.

During dinner, lions and drums were available for exploration by future performers. Amy tried her hand at the drum when she thought no one was looking. Amy is 3 years old. She was the youngest person to recite a poem at the Multi-Cultural Poetry Reading in August. However, she only recited while she was playing, not when it was her turn in front of the group.

As the sun set, everyone helped clean up the food, put the tables back into the storage sheds and put the chairs in the back patio area which had magically become an outdoor theater. With everyone helping, this took about 15 minutes. Thank you to everyone for all your wonderful assistance!


Our entertainment began with our littlest dragon, with legs consisting with our younger members, about 8 to 12 years old.

Our RECA Adult Chorus sang various beautiful numbers. They are accompanied on the piano by 13 year old Leong.

Two lions performed to thrill the audience.

Adult Cultural Dancers "Qi Pau Ladies" did a fan dance.

There were also solos and duets of cultural dancers.

David Chung's Tai Chi Club performed for us.

Justin Eggert's Wu Acadamy performed Martial Arts.

Helping board members with the raffle, language school student Malaya can call out numbers in English, Chinese and Spanish.



You may have a business card size paid advertisement for 4 issues of RECA Newsletter. Send $50 and your copy ready ad to RECA, PO box 7854, Santa Rosa, CA 95407.


St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare

(Annadel Medical Group)

River Rock Casino

Lagunitas Brewing Company

JJ Custom Wines

Domaine St. George Winery

Clover Stornetta, Asia Mart

Mike & Sandy Sullivan

Alan & Suning Morris

Dave & Ann Schleeter

Annie Wang


For all of 2018 Santa Rosa celebrated its sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of receiving its charter to be an official city in the state of California. The culminating celebration was more than an year in planning, with Nancy Wang and Judy Cheung going to meetings with the Sesquicentennial Planning Committee in the City Hall Chambers. Both the RECA 2018 Chinese New Year Celebration and the 2018 Multi-Cultural Poetry Reading and Potluck were official Sesquicentennial events which were advertised by the City of Santa Rosa.

Held in the Santa Rosa Plaza, our booth had lots of action, including Snoopy who later, costume and all, became a lion dancer, performing as the tail of the red lion at the booth.

Inside our booth Nancy, Cathy and many others during the afternoon and evening wrote calligraphy personal names for people for a free souvenir.

RECA was the grand finale of the program which lasted all afternoon and well into the evening. Our big, golden dragon led the RECA performance with a spectacular procession through the Plaza to the stage. He was too big to perform on stage, so the coils and showing off was done at eye level with the crowd of over 2,000 people.

RECA Adult Cultural Dancers received much applause.

Justin Eggert's Wu Academy gave martial arts performance. Malaya is an RECA lion drummer and martial artist 8

Lions got lazy and went to sleep on stage. Finally, they woke up and frolicked around to the delight of the audience as the show concluded.


Membership dues are $20 per person (adult) or $30 per couple for January to December each year.

Or $100 for an individual life membership for 55 years and older.

Please make your check payable to Redwood Empire Chinese Association and send it with this form to:

Redwood Empire Chinese Association, P.O. Box 7854, Santa Rosa, CA 95407.

Name ____________________________________________ Occupation __________________________________

Spouse's Name ____________________________________ Occupation __________________________________

Email: ____________________________________________

Address ____________________________________________________________ Zip: _______________________

Best Telephone _______________________________________ Alternate phone: ­­­­­­­­­­_____________________________

Children's Names and Ages ________________________________________________________________________

____I agree to photo clearance. Many official and unofficial photos are taken during RECA activities. I agree that photos of me and my family, while participating in RECA activities and events, may be taken, used, published and displayed. ___I do not agree.

(JHC 5-16)

Please forgive the lateness of this RECA Newsletter. Holiday festivities and adventures got in the way.

Coming in February, please look for the photo report of our fabulous Christmas Party held December 1 at the Vets Memorial Building in Santa Rosa.

Also coming in February will be an update on the Annual Chinese New Year Celebration and Fundraiser on February 23, 2019, at the Vets Memorial Building from 5:00 to 9:00. Put this on your calendars now so you will not miss it.

Teach them young! When children feel part of a group, know they are valued, have successful experiences and can choose to be part of a positive event, they will grow to pass the feeling of true pride, self-esteem and success on to others. This is one of the many goals of RECA.