About RECA
Youth Group
New Building Newsletter
Language School Recent Events
Program Activities
Upcoming Events
Nancy Wang

Acting Vice President:
Mary Lowe
707-528-8712 x132

Hsiu-Chuan Armstrong

Recording Secretary:
Ann Schleeter, 707-620-0061

Corresponding Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Photographer, Membership:
Judy Cheung, 707-528-0912

Mirin Lew, 707-545-6173

Social Director:
Mary Lowe,
707-528-8712 x132

Ways and Means:
David Chung, 707-340-6045

Building Committee:
Joe Wang

Youth Group:
Ruth & Bob Hickman

Cultural Dance Director:
Judy Elliott, 707-477-0329

Board Members:
Lorrie Abbott
Jean Gee
Azy Heydon
Mark Heydon

Past Presidents:
Hubert Tsang
Jan Lew
Elee Tsai


February 2017



By Nancy Wang

Greetings RECA members,

     The New Year has arrived and with it comes many changes. The year of the rooster should be filled with innovative, improvements and times to show off what we have to offer to our community.  This is a year when we can speak our minds and let our opinions be heard, but we must be careful to consider the feelings of others. This should be a very good year for RECA.
     This season is the season for RECA to shine in our community. All of the performers, especially the Adult Chorus, has been busy with programs throughout the community to help as many people as possible enjoy our Chinese New Year traditions. We have performed at many senior residential centers, schools and businesses. Our lions, dancers, small dragon, Adult Chorus and Tai Chi Club are all in high demand in January and February.
     Don't forget to come to our Traditional Chinese New Year Celebration at our Center from Noon to 2:00 at our Center on Saturday, February 4. This is a potluck lunch with everyone invited. We will have a traditional table with incense to burn, round foods to celebrate wholeness and completeness, with many yellow fruits, vegetables and baked items to celebrate wealth. Celebrate with old customs, experience a new set of traditions, or just enjoy being with friends who are looking forward to a new year.
     Everyone is welcome to come to our Annual Chinese New Year Celebration and Fundraiser at the Vets Memorial Building, 5:00-8:30, February 18.  To help out, please come to the center to load the trucks and cars at 1:00, or come to the Vets Building at 3:00 to turn a large, empty auditorium into a wonderfully exciting celebration venue.
     This new year also brings a major change in the format of our Newsletter. After many suggestions and a few years of discussion, the board has decided to go with a web newsletter only. Nearly everyone in the world has access to the web. This way, everyone will be able to see the photos in color. If you like a printed version, you may print one. We will stay with a newsletter design that will be suitable for printing on regular computer paper.
     Also, please note that our board meetings have changed from the 3rd to the last Wednesday of each month, unless otherwise noted.
     Thank you, everyone, for all that you do, have been doing, and will do throughout the new year. It takes everyone working together to make our community what we want it to be.


By Judy Hardin Cheung 

RECA Language Classes are going well. All of our classes have room for a few more students. If you, or someone you know, would like to attend our second semester, please come and join us. We will hold classes until May 20.  May 27 is a holiday. Our RECA language classes begin with a holiday (Labor Day) and end on a holiday (Memorial Day), and we have lots of fun and learning in between. Don's miss out.    
     Whatever your age or ability level, we have someplace for you.  Adults are now included with our intermediate group. If you are proficient with conversation and can read and write but want improvement, then adults can join the advanced class.
     All of our classes are currently working on projects for Chinese New Years Celebration.  Students are making posters for the walls, headgear for their performance, and decorations for the tables.  This year is the year of the Rooster.


by the Hickman Family

January's Youth Group meeting was informative and fun. There was an acupuncture demonstration by Mike Johnston and a calligraphy hands-on lesson by Nancy Wang.

The RECA Youth Group started the new year focusing on promoting health with the ancient Chinese medical art of acupuncture presented by RECA's Michael Johnston. He explained the interesting history and theory of acupuncture before offering to apply demonstrations. This was the highlight for many attendees who claimed it did not hurt. Dr. Johnston also combines herbal therapies if needed with his treatment. Many of his patients experience health benefits from his care when other methods have failed. Successes with acupuncture are incredible. Thank you, Dr. Johnson for sharing your expertise with us.
     We are especially proud of the way our Youth Group works so hard in the lion team and cultural dancing. Jacuzzi Winery required extensive lion activity and the dancers adapted to the make-shift stage well.  Jimena Artavia, our visitor from Costa Rica, helped as a lion tail at Santa Rosa City Hall and Jacuzzi Winery.  We are looking forward to another busy Chinese New Year season in a variety of settings.
     We continued our tradition of presenting the Chinese zodiac at our February meeting. 2017 marks the year of the Fire Rooster. Having five elements and 12 animals, the Fire Rooster only comes around every 60 years. Specifically, the Fire Rooster is trustworthy, time conscious and occupationally responsible. In China roosters symbolize punctuality, honesty, bravery, divine power, luck, ordinariness, and prosperity. At this meeting Nancy Wang demonstrated her skill in calligraphy and Chinese brush painting. She showed each teen how to write their name using Chinese characters and allowed time for practice. We really appreciate the support of the busiest person in RECA, Nancy Wang. Of course, we dined on spicy BBQ chicken from Red Bee in a symbolic nod to to our Fire Rooster. This was a wonderful way to start the Chinese New Year.
     Our regular meetings are at 6 p.m. on the first Friday of most months. For more information call Bob or Ruth Hickman at (707) 537-8820. Join us for Lion dance practice, dinner, a Chinese theme, and a great time with others grade 7 and above.


February 18: 5:00-9:00 Annual Chinese New Year Celebration and Fundraiser, Santa Rosa Vets Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Street, Santa Rosa. Everyone invited. Please buy tickets from your favorite board member, at Chinese Language Classes or Asia Mart in Santa Rosa

February 22: 7:00 Board meeting. All interested members are welcome. RECA Center.

March 29 : 7:00 Board meeting. All interested member are welcome. RECA Center

April 22: Quarryhill Botanical Gardens, Kenwood, CA, Earth Day Celebration 11:00-3:00, RECA performs.

April 26: 7:00 Board meeting. All interested member are welcome. RECA Center

There are many, many additional performances and presentations given by RECA during February and March.  Most are for private parties or businesses. Many are for senior homes and for schools.

Please check our website frequently or call Nancy at 707-576-0533
or Judy at 707-528-0912 for current information.

Please be sure to come to our Youth Group if you are in Jr. or Sr. high school.

Join our Chorus if you are an adult or older teen. We write lyrics in ping yin as well as Chinese so that everyone can read the words.  Our evenings start with a social time, then we enjoy singing songs from all time periods of China, different areas of China, and from around the world.

Regular Events

Youth Group: Each Friday, 6:00-8:30 pm at our Center. For details, call Ruth and Bob Hickman, 707-537-8820.

Adult Chorus: Each Tuesday, 7:00-9:00 pm at our Center. For details, call David Chung, 707-340-6045.

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

RECA Language School: Each Saturday morning, 9:00-11:30 at our Center. For details, call Judy Cheung, 707-528-0912.

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

If you are not receiving RECA email announcements and are a member of RECA, please send your name and email address to Mark Heydon at  reca@recacenter.org. He will add you to our email list. 

If you have photos or would like to write a story for our newsletter, please send your submissions to Judy Cheung at jhcheung@comcast.net. Please lable your email to "RECA NL" so Judy will be sure to copy it to the correct file for printing.



With something for everyone, our Traditional Chinese New Year Celebration at our RECA Center, was a grand success. Over 50 people came to celebrate the beginning of the lunar new year with family and friends.

Everyone who wanted to had a chance to light incense, say a prayer according to whatever religion they prefer, to welcome the new year. Pat goes first, then her granddaughter, Sophie.

Food, food, food, food, yes! This was an RECA potluck lunch with orange chicken, pot stickers, egg rolls along side the shrimp, whole duck, salads and fruit.

With flowers and candles in front, and the RECA lions and happy Buddha heads in the back, this was a uniquely RECA experience.

And then there was more food! Squash with apples and almonds, tea eggs, whole fish, vegetables with jellyfish, lots of wonderful things to eat.

Our main room with its long table was full of families, as were the classrooms. It was a little too soggy to eat outside, but the rain held off so we could have a great party.

While eating and while going back for seconds, people could meet new friends and chat with old acquaintances.

Outside, the men and boys celebrated with our basketball and hoop. Maybe we should have our own team.

How could a party be any better than to have a boat, a stick and a great big puddle? (She stayed clean all the time she played!)

JANUARY 29, 2017, 12:00-4:00 P.M.

From the initial greeting as guests arrived, RECA was a prime component of the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Chinese New Year Celebration. This was an elegant fundraiser for the benefit of the Wine Country Legacy Project which is help finance building a pavilion for the Penglai Sister City Committee and a monument to honor the Chinese workers who were instrumental in establishing the current Sonoma County wine industry. This is the kind of community involvement that excites the performers and leaders of RECA. RECA has been involved since the beginning of the Penglai Sister City Committee and was also involved in the beginning of the idea to pursue the possibility of a Chinese workers monument. RECA young ladies greeted the guests. The RECA Adult Chorus opened the afternoon with three songs, Happy New Year!, Jasmine Flower, and Ode to Joy. The dragon then lead everyone out of the Barrel Room into the patio where the Cultural Dancers performed and the Lions finished the show. Other performers were Morgan Harrington with Chinese Opera, Jim Shere with an historical talk, and an auction. Special guests included Mayor of Sonoma Rachel Hundley and His Excellency the Ambassador Luo Linquan from the People's Republic of China.

Jacuzzi Family Winery is on Arnold Drive a few miles beyond Glen Ellen.

RECA's Kiki Walker greets guests and Jacuzzi Family Winery owners Fred and Nancy Cline. Cathy Ringstad chats with a guest in the background.

His Excellency the Ambassador Luo Linquan and additional guests from the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China greet the audience.

RECA Adult Chorus opened the afternoon in the fragrant Barrel Room of Jacuzzi Winery while guests looked over the items for their auction to be held later.

Lions, Dragon, and Cultural Dancers were all grand hits at this lovely luncheon.

Sorry we did not have more photos. We were too busy performing. It was a wonderful afternoon!

Thank you, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards for this exciting opportunity.


Each year, RECA takes part in the ever increasing community celebration of the Lunar New Year. San Francisco's New Year's Parade is ranked among the top three of the world. RECA has been described as of the best Chinese New Year Celebrations north of San Francisco. Being inside the Vets Memorial Building, we can not have the entire county join us, so we have many public and private performances and presentations throughout January and February. In recent years, we have been so popular that we extend into March and even have to turn down some opportunities.

This is the time to shine for our Adult Chorus, the Adult Cultural Dancers, Teen Cultural Dancers, Intermediate Cultural Dancers, Lions, Dragons, and Tai Chi. Also, Nancy and Judy go to many schools to perform and to give presentations about Chinese New Year and Chinese culture. This year, Judy is having health issues, so Cathy Ringstad and Ellen Hickman are assisting Nancy, and doing an excellent job.

Thank you everyone who assists with our performances and presentations. Without all of the performers and support personnel, we could not represent Chinese culture with our community or share the joy of our intercultural lifestyle.

Ellen Hickman shows off an RECA lion at Cesar Chavez Language Academy in her debut as an official RECA cultural presenter in an elementary school.

The Hickman family has become indispensable to RECA. Not only are they the core of the RECA Youth Group, they are our major lion performers, especially during school hours. Ellen and Joseph are home schooled, so their schedule is a little more flexible than other teens. Thanks!!

For the past few years, Santa Rosa French American Charter School has been one of our major lion performances for our Chinese New Year Community Program. This year, we added a cultural program after the lion dance in their outdoor amphitheater.

As usual, each performance, Nancy tells the audience about RECA and Chinese New Year. This annual event for Santa Rosa French American Charter School is arranged by RECA member Cindy Avenall whose daughter attends this school.


Senior living centers are some of our biggest customers during Chinese New Year Performances. We have given various performances--some small, some large--to various senior living facilities. We will be giving more during the February.

The RECA Adult Chorus was the featured performing group for Silver Creek Senior Living in Santa Rosa.

All of the current dance numbers of the RECA Adult Cultural Dancers, part of the Adult Chorus, were featured.

Brookdale Senior Living in Windsor has become a performance tradition for RECA's New Year season.
Photos by Judy Cheung, Lorrie Abbott, Liu Hai

Sr. and Jr. lions perform. Elly, on gong, made her debut community performance.

Lions take a bow: Ellen, Sophie, James and Nicky.

Nicky and Kiki gave a martial arts demonstration. We are very proud of our ability to show off our many generations of performers.

RECA Adult Chorus was very popular with this audience. Thank you to Brookdale Senior Living in Windsor for inviting us.

David Chung's Tai Chi demonstrations are always very popular. Some of the audience enjoys following along with their arms.

The Xin Jiang dance, as usual, was lively, vigorus and energetic.


Each year, the mayor presents RECA with a proclamation for our Chinese New Years's souvenir program. This is presented at a city council meeting. RECA gives their thank you with a short lion performance, complete with lucky candy. As one city council member said this year, "This is my favorite proclamation presentation of the year." This year, Nancy Wang was not in town to accept the proclamation, so it was received by Ruth Hickman.

A special thanks to the Hickman's teen guest from Costa Rica.

She was visiting the Hickmans and came with them to see what we do. We were short one lion dancer due to illness, so she stepped in and became a lion's tail.

Welcome to RECA!! and Thank you!!!

A few days later she performed as a lion's tail at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards.


Joe and Nancy Wang, with all the grandkids, sat for a New Year's photo. Clayton's little sister will join us sometime in April.


This performance by Nicky Ringstad and Miles Johnston, their first as the only lion for an RECA performance. The audience very much liked the lion dance and the RECA Adult Chorus and Dancers at Brush Creek Senior Living.


St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare

(Annadel Medical Group)

Long Family Foundation

River Rock Casino, Lagunitas Brewing Company,

JJ Custom Wines, Domaine St. George Winery,

G&G Supermarket, Clover Stornetta, Asia Mart,

Mike & Sandy Sullivan, Alan & Suning Morris,

Dave & Ann Schleeter, Annie Wang, Liu Hai


True to RECA's practice of enjoying intercultural programs and presentations, RECA stepped up in grand fashion to become the primary group of entertainers for the opening and for the awards ceremony of United Poets Laureate Internationa's 24th World Congress of Poets. RECA's Judy Cheung is secretary of UPLI and was president of the 24th WCP. Our youth presented the program for the opener, after Judy showed off with a lion drum solo. The Adult Chorus with dancers performed for our dress-up awards banquet on the last day of meetings. After each performance, RECA went to nearby Mary's Pizza for dinner.

Judy started the Congress off with a bang--a lion drum solo.

Our Intermediate Cultural Dancers performed exquisitely.

When the performance was over, everyone went to Mary's Pizza for dinner.

Thank you RECA for giving such excellent performances. Also performing at the opening and awards ceremonies was Natica and Richard Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company. On Tuesday evening, we had a Cambodian troupe and a Philippine troupe.

No Congress in the world has started with a lion dance. It must have worked. We had no evil spirits all week!

Our Teen Cultural Dancers leapt into everyone's hearts.

RECA Adult Chorus and Dancers performed the night of the WCP Awards Banquet. Unfortunately, since dinner that night was $70 per person, we could not offer for them to join us, but it was discussed. They, also, got to go to Mary's for Pizza.



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.


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

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.

If you want to get a print copy of the newsletter, please download the PDF Newsletter.

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



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