Redwood Empire Chinese Association
November, 2019
PO Box 7854 Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Message from President Nancy Wang
Nancy Wang
Greetings RECA members,
Summer has passed, fall is nearly over. Our winter schedule is filling rapidly for
community performances for Christmas and New Years. Plans for our Annual Christmas
Vice President
Ways and Means
Party and the Annual Chinese New Year Celebration are both coming along nicely. We
Tai Chi, Adult Chorus:
hope to see you all at these two events.
David Chung, 707-340-6045
We are sad to say that, after over 30 years, we had to close our RECA Language Classes
due to lack of enrollment. Only a few students paid for tuition, plus we lost a teacher. We
were going to refer our students to the Rohnert Park, church-based Mandarin classes, but
Hsiu-Chuan Armstrong
they also did not have enough enrollment and cancelled before we did. So far this year, we
Corresponding Secretary:
have only one Young Cultural Dancer. Our older youth dancers went off to colleges or
Cathy Ringstad, 707-523-2379
moved away. Our younger replacements did not have rides or the ability to commit to the
rehearsal schedule as required. Also, we no longer offer the Mah Jong Club. There were
Recording Secretary,
logistical problems with our facilities in Rohnert Park, so that group is not meeting
Newsletter Editor,
currently. With all these losses, we have space for new groups, new people and new ideas to
come in and create new programming in these, or other, areas of interest to our varied
Judy Cheung, 707-528-0912
RECA community.
I am happy to say that our Tai Chi and Adult Chorus with the Adult Cultural Dancers are
Mirin Lew, 707-545-6173
all doing well. Please join these groups if you are interested in cultural activities, social
enjoyment and, if you like, community performances. For information, please contact David
Social Director:
Chung, 707-340-6045 in English or Mandarin.
Mary Lowe,
707-528-8712 x132
This is a time for change. Our Newsletter was a printed publication sent through the
postal mail. Now, we are totally online, so we have been considering changing the format.
Building Committee:
We are in the final stages of a proposal to make our email newsletter more user friendly and
Joe Wang, 707-576-0533
timely. If final approval is given this quarter, our next newsletter will have a different look.
Youth Group:
It will have the same pertinent news for our membership. It will be distributed in the same
Jong & Lorraine Mira
manner on our website with notifications of new material by email.
Along the theme of change, we are always looking for new people to join our board and
Sunshine Chair:
planning committees. Elections will be held late next year. We need new blood and new
Lorrie Abbott
ideas. Judy Cheung and I are both getting older, and, although we both want to remain very
closely involved with everything for RECA, we would also very much like to share the
responsibilities with younger people so that when we can not continue, others are already
Mark Heydon
involved enough for us to do less with the least amount of transitional trauma for RECA.
RECA offers a lot to the community. We don't want it to stop, or even slow down. Please
step forward and help run our organization. Thank you to everyone.
Board Members:
Jean Gee
UPCOMING MEETINGS All Interested members invited
Azy Heydon
November 20: RECAChinese New Year Planning Committee, 6:00 at our Center. Dinner served.
Ruth & Bob Hickman
November 20: RECA Board meeting, 7:00-9:00, at our Center
Judy Elliott
December 7: RECA Christmas Party 6:00-8:00 p.m., Santa Rosa Vets Building
December 18: RECAChinese New Year Planning Committee, 6:00 at our Center. Dinner served.
Past Presidents:
December 18: RECA Board meeting, 7:00-9:00, at our Center
Hubert Tsang
Jan Lew
January 15: RECAChinese New Year Planning Committee, 6:00 at our Center. Dinner served.
Elee Tsai
January 15: RECA Board meeting, 7:00-9:00, at our Center
February 1: Chinese New Year Celebration 5:00-9:00, Santa Rosa Vets Bld.
1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Bring everyone in the family, kids to grandparents.
About 30 years ago, a few families who came to California
Our new Youth Group Leaders, Lorraine and Jong
from China wanted a place to meet and teach their children
Mira, are doing an excellent job! In addition to monthly
Chinese and something about Chinese Culture, so they started
meetings, they have started weekly Lion Dance Practice
RECA and our RECA Language School. One of those families
on Sundays and have already escorted the YG's first field
was the Wang Family, Nancy, Joe, Angie, Jean and Kevin.
trip. They went to San Francisco and had a grand time!
The Liang Family with Luke, May and Sofia were also among
What happens at the meetings now? 6:00-6:30 is still
the first. Nearly 25 years later, Kevin and Sofia got married
lion dance practice. Then there is a light meal. In
and now have Clayton and Teagan to carry on the tradition,
August, a YG vote strongly showed Chinese food as the
even though they live in San Francisco. Later, the Dang
preferred choice. After eating, we have a meeting on a
Family, then the Sullivans joined. A few years ago, Ben Dang
topic of interest. Boring? Only if you think comparing
married Sydney Sullivan.
Philippine, Chinese and European vampires is boring!
We do not know why last year our school enrollment
This was only a small part of our November meeting a
dropped and we did not have enough tuition to pay our
few days after Halloween. The topic was Asian
teachers, so we took our shortage out of the general funds.
Mythology. After the discussion topic. we have a time for
This year, when our cut-off time for pre-enrollment came, we
fun and games.
had only a few paid students. We also had about a half dozen
At the November 10th lion dance practice, Loraine
promises, but even with them, it would not have been enough
and Jong announced that during the summer, the 3 YG
to pay for supplies, and certainly not to pay for our teachers.
members who have attended the most RECA events--YG
We were going to recommend our students consider joining
meetings, practices, performances, events, special
the classes at the Rohnert Park Chinese Christian Church.
activities, etc.-- (in addition to their own kids, Ellie and
Unfortunately, a few days before our deadline, they called us
James) will get to go on a special field trip to Great
asking if their students could join us. They did not have
America with everything--transportation, rides, food,
enough enrollment to have classes. We added our numbers,
etc., included. All the kids thought this was a great idea!
and they still did not equal enough for either of us to have
My guess is our attendance for everything will increase
classes. Then, we lost a teacher who got another job.
dramatically. It already has. Our November meeting
This spring, we will consider re-evaluating and ask who is
boasted 12 YG members plus leaders, parents, and
interested in Children's Chinese Culture Camp. Unfortunately,
our enrollment for this year's camp was so low, we had to take
We want to give a special thank you to Chloe
funds out of our general funds again to pay our teachers. We
Howard. She is a continuing YG member who is now in
will have to have at least 14 paid children by the end of June
college. She is young enough to be one of the kids and
to have camp with two teachers for the language lessons. By
old enough to be one of the responsible adults. Chloe is
that time, we might have other things planned. We will have
now teaching lion dance and helping out in everything
to wait and see.
that the YG does. Thank you, Chloe,!
Times change, so RECA is changing also. It is sad, but
If you are in junior or senior high school, please join
maybe the time for our language classes is past. For now, we
us on the 1st Friday of each month at our RECA Center.
hold hope that the future will see us start up again.
We begin at 6:00 and are done by 8:30.
On their field trip,
the YG visited a
battleship docked
in San Francisco.
They also saw
various sights, ate
lunch in Japan-
town and
generally had a
wonderful day!
The last intermediate class of 2019 holds up their Mother's Day gifts
and greetings. In RECA School, we learned Mandarin, Chinese
culture, inter-personal and intercultural interactions and many more
fun things.
Photos by Jong Mira
RECA Field Trip to San Francisco
Commander Kevin
at the helm of the battleship
Commander Chloe
Commander Nicky
with faithful crew Ellie and James
will save the day
Yay! Yay! RECA!!
YG at the Palace of the Legion of Honor Art Museum. 2019 was the first in many years that RECA youth did not perform
here in September for the Annual Dancing Poetry Festival. Maybe next year.
We stopped for a photo op at the
We posed again for a photo op at the
famous Painted Stairs, one entrance to
famous pagoda in Japantown.
We ate lunch in Japan Town.
Lincoln Park.
Upcoming Events
Youth Group: First Friday of each
month, 6:00-8:30 at our Center.
Call Loraine and Jong Mira
Adult Chorus: Each Tuesday, 7:00-9:00
RECA Center. Call David Chung,
Tai Chi: Various times and locations.
Call David Chung, 707-340-6045.
Lion Dance Practice: each Sunday,
11:00-12:30. Please call Loraine and
Jong Mira to RSVP and for more info,
Board meeting: each 3rd Wed. 7-9 pm,
RECA Center
Chinese New Year Planning: each 3rd
Wed. 6-7 pm, RECA Center, dinner
December 7: Christmas Party.
January 11: RECA performs at Santa
Rosa Central Library, 2-3.
January 18: RECA performs at Rohnert
Park Library 2-3.
February 1, 2020: Annual Chinese New
Year Celebration and Fundraiser, Santa
Rosa Vets Memorial Building, 1351
Maple Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95404,
5:00-9:00. Everyone invited. Tickets
available from board members and
from Asia Mart, 2481 Guerneville Rd.,
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
February 8: RECA performs at River
Rock Casino
RECA also has many non-public
performances scheduled for senior
homes and schools Dec. through Feb.
Please check the website and your email
for on-going updates about the many
RECA opportunities that arise. Many
events are offered at short notice.
Be sure you don't miss out on any of our
fun social and cultural events.
Check your email for more events as they occur. New opportunities are always presenting themselves to RECA.
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 an article for our newsletter, please send your submissions to Judy Cheung
at or Mark Heydon at Please label your email "RECA NL" so it can be
properly processed for our website.
Marsha and Jack Dupre
on the Great Wall of China
We’re traveling while we're able to still walk and
think. We're in Shanghai for Jack's IEC
(International Electro-Technical Commission) mtgs.,
so, enjoying all there. Would you believe that our
Daphne Lee and Nancy Wang had lunch in Hawaii
excellent Tour Guide for Viking is named Angie
Wang?!!!!! Not Nancy and Joe’s Angie Wang
Greetings From Hawaii
though :-) Here’s our travel group at The Great Wall.
How often have we enjoyed the piano in the living room of
(Marsha is front row, 2nd from right with Jack above
our Center? Shortly after we moved to our current location,
this piano was donated to RECA by life member, Daphne Lee,
who, at that time, was moving to Hawaii. Although far away in
miles, we still benefit from her kindness, generosity and
St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare
friendship. We all thank you, Daphne Lee, especially the Adult
(Annadel Medical Group)
Chorus who uses it every week, and the children who can show
River Rock Casino
off their talents during free times.
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
Photo-collage assembled by Nancy Wang. The Wang family
frequently visits Hawaii where they often mix RECA business
with pleasure on their trip. This time, they visited a life
member. Sometimes they visit a friend on Kauai who donates a
You may have a business card size paid advertisement for
magnificent floral arrangement to our New Year Silent Auction.
4 issues of RECA Newsletter. Send $50 and your copy
ready ad to RECA, PO box 7854, Santa Rosa, CA 95407.
In the RECA spirit, they always enjoy fun, friends and food.
Thank you, Nancy and Joe, for all you do, both here and while
you are traveling.
Although fall is usually not very busy, RECA has been active with events, and fun things to do relating to
Chinese and Asian culture. Now, our active season is beginning. We hope all of you will be joining for our
upcoming events which are listed on our calendar on page 4, and on our email info connection tree for the
opportunities which come up during the quarter. We hope to see you at least at our Christmas Party and our
Annual Chinese New Year Celebration and Fund Raiser.
Photos by Jong Mira, Nancy Wang, Judy Cheung
The audience frequently wants to be part of the dragon
dance. Santa Rosa City Council member and previous
Passing the torch! Our long-time emperor, Joe Wang
mayor, Ernesto Olivares steps in to relieve Nancy
has stepped out of his royal robes. High school
Wang with our dragon that paraded through the
student Manuel Garcia has now been crowned as our
new emperor. Since he might not be able to attend all
performances requesting an emperor, if you are
interested in this role, and large enough to fit the
robes, please let us know. The biggest part of the job
is to smile while pompously struting around and pose
for photos. Surrounding Manuel and Joe are some of
our Adult Chorus's beautiful QiPau Ladies.
Faline Howard came from her new home in Half
Moon Bay to perform for us her magnificent ribbon
dance. She is our last remaining Young Cultural
Our youth are usually head-over-heels enthusiastic for
RECA performance opportunities. Thanks to Justin
Eggert's Wu Academy Martial Arts Studio, we have
many youth, including many RECA kids, to wow the
audiences with their spectacular feats.
Our Adult Cultural Dancers gave 2 beautiful numbers.
August 17, 2019, RECA Center
For the past 19 years, RECA has presented the Multicultural Poetry Reading and Potluck Lunch in co-sponsorship with Poets of the Vineyard and Artists Embassy
International. This event is led by Judy Cheung who belongs to all three groups. David Chung has attended nearly every event. Over the years, we have heard and
discussed poetry in over 20 languages. Many of our attending guests are active poets with international publications and awards. English is our universal language for
Photos by David Chung and Judy Cheung
RECA teens Chloe Howard and Ellen Hickman performed
a lion dance for us. RECA teen Kevin and his mom, Sofia,
played cymbals, Judy played drums. Judy is also sec. of
RECA, pres. of Poets of the Vineyard, VP of Artists
Embassy International and Exec. VP of United Poets
As usual with an RECA event, we had a sumptuous potluck
Laureate International with the title of International Poet,
to begin our afternoon. Natica Angilly, president of Artists
Laureate Woman of Letters.
Embassy International selects her food as members of
Alameda Island Poets and Friends of Angar Mora chat in
the background.
RECA's David Chung reads Chinese as AEI's Lee Salomon
reads English in the Pick-a-Partner Read-Around.
Participants choose a poem in 2 languages and a partner to
read the other language. Many classical, historical and
David Chung led us all in a set of Tai Chi which is often
modern Chinese poems are presented and discussed.
described as poetry with motion.
Ellen Hickman read in Italian. Her mom, Ruth, read in
English. Kevin read a contemporary poem in Chinese by
Richard and Natica Angilly, both poets with international
Clara Su from San Francisco. Alex Benedict (L) read the
credits, read. Reflecting on the poem and in the mirror is
poem in English. David Chung listens intently.
Ellen Hickman.
August 24, 2019, China Camp State Park, Marin County, CA
Every performance offers new experiences, especially
The actual performance was on the old loading dock where
China Camp, a state park to maintain the history of the
shrimp were brought in from drying trays, which covered
Chinese shrimp industry in San Francisco Bay which, until
the hillsides, to be loaded onto boats for export. For our
the 1930's provided most of the dried shrimp in the world,
performance, we had "dragon legs" from an 8-year-old
including China which was a very big market for them.
from Japan who was visiting his grandparents, Lisa and Jim
During rehearsal, we used the beach. Judy Cheung was the
Gardner, to teens and adults of RECA. Even some of the
temporary ball holder. We recruited a boy and his father to
Adult Chorus members did double-duty and were dragon
fill in for legs until others got there. We don't know who
legs. Needless to say, our dragon is always a very popular
was more thrilled to participate--the son or the father.
act for this cultural/historical event.
Our Adult Cultural Dancers were, as always, a monumental
success. Their Tibetan Dance, with flowing over-long
sleeves were beautiful in the gentle breeze and sunshine.
The Grace Kwan, a Chinese junk built in China Camp and
The dancers were all magnificent.
docked in San Francisco, offered a first-hand historical
encounter to our children and adults.
Everything we do as RECA during public performances
creates a little difference in the world. This young man and
his mother will probably remember meeting and touching
the dragon for many years. Seeing our dancers,
Performances are frequently also a family time. Here,
experiencing our dragons and lions, meeting our
RECA teen Ben and his mom, Lili, enjoy the afternoon on
performers, even if it is a simple smile in passing, all helps
the beach with good food and the fun of being part of a big,
the general public feel we are part of their community. It
popular, public event. Our lunches were provided by the
also helps us to know that yes, we are a positive part of
Friends of China Camp.
society and we have much to offer.
September 14, 2019, RECA Center, 5:00 to Moonrise
Our Youth Group came early to be sure all was set up.
Thank you, Youth Group,! And thank you Nicky for
We began our event with a potluck meal. "You mean I get
always being here. Thank you to Assistant Youth Group
all this and that too? Where can I put it all?"
Leader, Ricky, not shown, who offers rides to get kids to
RECA events and home again. And, of course, thank you
to Jong and Lorraine Mira for being our Youth Group
This year we also had fresh ma bo tofu cooked outside
Steve Lee. No, Kevin did not have an accident. He is using
someone else's crutches for fun while she sat, enjoying her
meal with friends. We always like to share at RECA.
Our kitchen crew, Kevin Lau and his wife, worked very
hard behind the scenes to be sure our food was freshly and
properly served.
About 150 people enjoyed eating outside as the sun went
down. Despite the number of people, it was not crowded,
and was pleasantly mellow with many new and old friends
to meet, chat with and enjoy.
A family time, Justin and son, Aden, enjoy the evening.
Moon Festival continued
Ruth Hickman offered our first entertainment with a
Chinese moon story read from a picture book for our
Our featured guests were the Indigenous Oaxacan Dancers.
youngest members.
RECA members Frances and her mom, Irma Garcia, are
part of this new dance troupe. Oaxaca is a state in Mexico.
We don't usually think about it, but many Chinese people
live in Mexico.
David Chen sang Chinese songs with his guitar.
David Chung led us in audience-participation TaiChi.
Wu Academy gave us their usual thrilling performance.
Our Adult Cultural Dancers' Tibetan Dance was beautiful.
We finished with an after-dark, exuberant Zumba session led by ------------------. What Fun!!!
From toddlers in arms to grandparents, everyone enjoyed our grand finale.
Santa Rosa Trailer Park for Seniors
Our RECA Adult Chorus frequently performs at senior centers and senior homes. Here, they gave an excellent
performance for seniors at the Santa Rosa Trailer Park in Santa Rosa. David Chen also sang solo songs with his guitar.
The Adult Cultural Dancers also did their Tibetan Sleeve Dance. Our lions performed, and our pre-teen martial
artist/drummer, Malaya, gave a martial arts demonstration. The seniors loved us!
Ektimo Winery Outing
Photos by Nancy Wang and Judy Cheung
A small group of Chorus members asked Nancy where they could go to see some sights. Nancy and Judy led them to
Ektimo Winery, owned by the Xia family, including April who showed us around. They have donated wine to our
Chinese New Year since their beginning. After wine tasting, we were invited to pick pears. We had to be careful of
Alpha, the suspiciously protective alpha male of the barnyard. This outing was a great adventure. We advise you to visit
Ektimo, but not everyone gets to pick pears.
Village School MultiCultural Night
Photos by Ricky Holgain
Village School invited our young performers for their MultiCultural Night. Our lions danced, then we thrilled the
audience with Wu Academy's martial arts exhibition.
Vitality Bowls Pre-Grand Opening
Last Newsletter, we invited everyone to come to Natalie Sullivan's grand opening of her new Vitality Bowls across from
the Junior College on Mendocino Ave., near Justin's Wu Academy. The pre-grand opening event was a grand success.
Santa Rosa mayor Tom Schwedhelm (R) and John Sawyer (L), past mayor and current city council member both showed
up and took a photo op with Nancy Wang and Natalie Sullivan. The place was packed on their first day of serving the
public, including many RECA members. Everyone commented on the excellent, healthy food. Good luck with your
business venture, Natalie. Please visit Natalie and enjoy the excellent cuisine of her new business.
FANHS with JACL Women's "HERstory to Healing" discussion for a scholarship benefit, October 26, 2019
The Filipino-American National Historical Society of Sonoma County joined with the Japanese American Citizens
League at the Enmanji Temple's social hall in Sebastopol to put on a fundraiser for the Filipino scholarship fund.
It was the first day of the Kinkade Fire and many people were in the process of evacuating, including Nancy and Joe.
Representing RECA were Nancy and Joe Wang, Judy Cheung, Mary Lowe, Elee Tsai and Laurie Fong.
Women of color were asked to speak about their lives and the lives of their forbearers in Sonoma County. They mostly
talked about their mothers. Nancy talked about Song Wong Boudreau, an early RECA member who was a restaurant
owner and community activist in the strongly anti-Chinese days of Santa Rosa. Nancy also told about the many
community involvement activities of RECA from the Kao Case in 1997, when police arrested a drunk man in his
driveway and shot him dead in front of his family; to our efforts to help individuals who need assistance in schools,
businesses, courts, etc., with cultural and linguistic assistance. The result of protests over the Kao case resulted in Nancy
giving a series of sensitivity training classes to the police and other local agencies. Recently, Nancy and Judy visited El
Molino High to assist a very lonely immigrant girl with how to fit in with new friends in school.