March 2, 2008 - Chinese New Year Festival

The year 2008 marks the 30th anniversary Stockton 's Chinese New Year Festival , hosted by the Chinese Cultural Society of Stockton (CCSS) at the Civic Memorial Auditorium. This event is highly anticipated in the community as it brings a Chinese cultural experience-art, crafts, instrumental music, dance, literature, food and more--to local residents without the need to travel out of the area or to exotic locales.  

Entertainment highlights for the festival on Sunday, March 2, celebrating the Year of the Rat 4076, includes the Yau Kung Moon lion dancers, who have won first place in the San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival ten years running as well as more than seven gold medals in international lion dance competition; Wei Ding-Young, a kung fu martial artist and Chinese national champion in the Wu Shu style; magician Jian-Dong Zhang, known for his Sichuan King of Masks routine, who will perform other Chinese sleight-of-hand tricks; and the Happy Chef, Keming Zhia, a well-known master juggler and prestidigitator. For the first time, the Festival will present songs from Peking Opera, with opera master Baoshan Wang and his daughter, Angela Wang. Cultural dances in the Chinese tradition from local and Bay area groups will also be performed.  

Teresa Chen, whose book of recipes to cook traditional soups has been accepted for publication, is the guest chef in the Food Court for the afternoon. She will exhibit and explain various ingredients for selected soups, some of which have specific health benefits as well as nourishment as a goal.   The always popular Ho Yeh Deli hosted by the Chinese Cultural Society serving varieties of dim sum (similar to tapas or canapés) will be open again for discerning patrons eager for familiar items as well as those wanting to trying new foods. Traditional foods and jai, a special vegetarian new year dish, will be offered in the Food Court .   Festival goers can browse and shop from among several vendors offering art goods and other cultural products, get their names written in Chinese calligraphy, order a signature stamp carved in the Chinese style, and enjoy any number of cultural experiences. Children will be able to engage in Chinese crafts. Patrons of the photography booth can get photos taken of themselves in traditional Chinese dress.  

The festival begins at 10:00 a.m. , opening with a lion dance performed by the Chinese Benevolent Association of Stockton lion dance troupe,and continues until 5:00 p.m. after the drawing for door prizes. Admission to the festival is a donation of $2.00 per person. Proceeds from the festival fund several scholarships for graduating high school seniors. For further information, call 209-478-8754.

2008 - Chinese New Year Banquet Photos

Photo Captions:

(1) Scholarship Committee: L to R:
Dr. Chen F. Liem, Miranda Wong, Lilian Gong, Dr. Janwyn Funamura
(chair), Loreen Huey

(2) Val Acoba, CCSS 2008 Citizen of the Year, receives a plaque from San Joaquin County Supervisors Victor Mow and Larry Ruhstaller.

(3) Standing: Lawson Wu, Grace Lam, Mandy Jin, Henry Wang, Matthew Ryan Lee Seated: Mandy Wong, Kayla Yunyee Chow, Yui Hing Tam, Lois Ann Hui

2008 - Women Rising Panel Discussion

They may call their ascent in local government circles accidental or serendipity, but it was mostly talent that got them to where they are today.

Rosa Lee, Katherine Meissner, and Christine Tien held the rapt attention of the audience at the WOMEN RISING panel discussion on Thursday, June 19. Their telling of their family background and work experience showed that, while being in the right place at the right time did play a part in their respective tracks to their current positions, their appointments were mostly tributes to their skills and abilities.

Rosa Lee, who as San Joaquin County 's Assistant County Administrator is the second-highest ranking executive in county government, began her career as a management technician. She was encouraged by various bosses to pursue a college degree. Working full-time while going to college, she eventually earned both a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Accounting and a Master's degree in Public Administration from CSU Stanislaus.

As the Stockton City Clerk, Katherine Meissner is part of the city's Executive Management Team. She not only keeps all official city records but also oversees the city's elections. She transferred from a position as a stenographer in the Community Development Department to the City Clerk's office and was appointed to the top position 10 years later. Following a pattern common to second-generation Chinese Americans, she also worked worked part-time in the family restaurant business for the first several years of her employment with the city. Katherine completed her college degree after her appointment and has since worked with San Joaquin Delta College to create an on-line educational program for city clerks.

Education was not a high priority for either woman in their birth families. Their pursuit of college degrees came well after high school graduation and required juggling of work and family commitments.

For Christine Tien, Stockton 's Deputy City Manager since 2001, higher education was a foregone conclusion as her father and older siblings all held multiple degrees. Thus, it was expected that she also would pursue a post-graduate degree. She did not disappoint; her educational vitae includes a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from UC Berkeley, a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a law degree from University of Arizona. All three degrees have been useful in her professional life. Also a member of the Stockton 's Executive Management Team, Christine will be tackling a new responsibility for the "greening" of the city.

Each is married with children and credit their spouses for backing their professional pursuits and aspirations with both moral support and household help.

Neither Tien nor Lee is ready to take the next step to City Manager or County Administrator , implying that both a "glass ceiling" and the demands of those positions require more commitment than they can give at this stage in their lives. Meissner, who once thought about becoming an attorney, might still consider law school and perhaps even a run for political office.

Whatever the future may hold for each, it was clear from the audience reaction and comments that the local Chinese community is proud of these three women and their achievements.


October 4, 2008 - Delta Dragons Bring Home GOLD


By: Stefanie Chu, Team Captain - We were up against 5 other tough teams- St. Mary’s, PG&E, Wells Fargo, Mills Peninsula, and OOCL. Each team’s times were all off by 2 to 3 seconds of each other, so we knew we were “facing the giants” in our division. At the starting line, we lined up in Lane #1. As we eagerly listened for the gun, I couldn’t help but feel like our team had “arrived”. That we had come very far in terms of practicing well, coming together like a family, getting to know our coaches better, and asking a wave of more questions on how to polish our techniques. To me, no matter what, I felt extraordinarily proud of the Delta Dragons. In my eyes, we already looked and felt like winners.

….And then, the gun went off! Though we had 5 other boats to the left of us, we immediately and completely built a wall around our boat and listened only to ourselves. We stayed in tune with the banging of the drum, stabbed the water with our paddles with the technique we were taught and hollered aloud to ripple the encouragement throughout the boat. There were shouts of “Together! Together! Come on! Do it! Keep it up!” We were neck-to-neck with the other 5 teams! Then mid-way to the finish line, it was as if a motor appeared under our boat and SURGED forward! The Delta Dragons became monsters with the yelling, hollering, and attitude of not giving up. We went from neck-to-neck to catapulting PAST our competition! As we got closer to the finish line, I could hear the announcer shouting “And here comes the Delta Dragons!!!” The crowd was going nuts! I could see all of this out of the corner of my eye. With all this excitement and still trying to paddle with all my might to the finish line, I seriously felt like I was going to need a paramedic! When we finally crossed, none of us dared to cheer. We wanted to see the final results before celebrating. Deep down, we all pretty much knew we won but didn’t want to jinx it. I think the Delta Dragons just all felt light-headed because of the power that was exerted in the last several seconds.

At the awards ceremony, we all sat together as a team and pretty much prayed for our name to be called as “1st place”. The announcer called for the “Novice Division B” (which we were in) and he called 3rd place and 2nd place….none of those were us. Finally he said “And 1st place winners are….the Delta Dragons from the Chinese Cultural Society of Stockton!!” We all leapt up in the air like crazy bullfrogs and ran up on stage!! We proudly draped the individual medals over us, raised our glass award of “1st Place Novice Division B”, and cheesed for the cameras snapping at us. At this point, we were REALLY light-headed and floating.

During my pep talk with the team, I cheered for them to “bring it home”. Well, not only did they REALLY “bring it home”, but they brought home gold medals, a 1st place award and bragging rights for a year! So my “sense” that I felt early on about this year’s Delta Dragons became a reality. This team really exuded a matchlessness and special drive for triumph and fun. As their team captain, I’m deeply rewarded to be a part of this exceptional team and what has been accomplished. Gold or no gold, I’d still be greatly pleased. But then again- having gold is very, very nice too.

For the 2008 San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival, the Delta Dragons made a statement on Oct. 4th. Not only were our bright orange T-shirts a loud clothing statement but it was a statement that has overjoyed the team and has made a place in Delta Dragons’ history. The team consisted of 22 paddlers (veterans and newcomers) joining from Stockton, San Francisco, and Sacramento. The vibe this year was very different, unique, and distinctive. Something was stirring in the team that was unspoken and unidentified; but as a team captain, I could sense it. Let me share with you from the beginning.

The attendance for this festival was the highest ever. Close to 110 teams competed, enlarging the Novice division from five categories to six this year. That means there were 30 Novice teams, the largest ever. We were expecting stormy weather and were advised to bring extra warm clothes. However, the clouds opened up and the beautiful blue shone on us the entire day. In addition, we got 2 tent spaces, making it extra roomy for 20 people! It was much better than the ONE tent space last year where we were cramped, miserable, AND rained on. The day was looking terrific so far!

We had 3 heats but the 1st and last one were the most important. In heat #1, we placed second. The winners were last year’s champions, but that’s pretty good- that we came in 2nd, next to some winning paddlers! In heat #2, we placed third. We trailed just 3 little seconds away from Team Panda Express. Our teams’ smiles started to droop….but just a tad. Before our last heat, I wanted to mentally “polish” up the Delta Dragons and really implement the saying “Give it all you got!” So during our warm-ups, everyone was pushing themselves through each exercise; our team chant was so loud this time- you could feel chills; and we marshaled together in 2 lines all the way to the dock- displaying organization and structure. As we waited for our team to be called to load the boat, I gave the paddlers some words of encouragement: “Don’t hold back! Give it all you got! Bring it home! Everything you trained and practiced for all boils down to this moment! And even if we don’t win, you get to take home this fun experience! Remember to give it your absolute everything…but don’t do it alone! Do not overdo it by yourself! We do it TOGETHER as a team!” After the nods of understanding, we gathered in for one final team cheer. I roared “WHO ARE WE?!!” And the team roared back “DELTA- DELTA-DRAGUNNNS!!”


2008 - CCSS Scholarship Recipients





Standing, l-r: Lawson Wu, Grace Lam, Mandy Jin, Henry Wang, Matthew Ryan Lee. Seated, l-r: Mandy Wong, Kayla Yunyee Chow, Yui Hing Tam, Lois Ann Hui .

Photo by Dr. Jack Funamura

Two CCSS scholarships and seven others administered by the organization were given out at the recent Spring Festival banquet. All the scholarships are for merit, based on the students' essays, grades, extracurricular activities and records of community service.

The recipients and their scholarships are: Mandy Vinyee Wong of Franklin High the daughter of Martin & Sophie Wong, the Mary and Jimmy Lam Scholarship; Lawson Wu of Tokay High, son of John & Jin Wu, the Christopher & Florence Poon Scholarship; Yui Hing Tam of Bear Creek High, daughter of Eric & Sherly Tam, a CCSS Scholarship; Lois Ann Hui, of Edison High, daughter of Jiang Ping Guan, a CCSS Scholarship; Grace Lam of Middle College High School, daughter of Ling Feng, the Dr. Henry & Sylvia Wong Scholarship; Mandy E. Jin of Middle College High School, daughter of Wand & Sandy Jin, the Wong Shee Huey Memorial Scholarship; Kayla Yunyee Chow of Stagg High School, daughter of Feng & Kwan Chow, a Dr. Mary Ni Wang Memorial Scholarship; Matthew Ryan Lee of Sierra High, son of Robert E. Lee & Bonnie J. Bennett, a Dr. Mary Ni Wang Memorial Scholarship; andHenry Wang, San Joaquin Delta College, son of Stan Wang, Ock Sam Huey Memorial Scholarship.

Congratulations to all the scholarship winners and best wishes for a successful college career. And thanks to the scholarship committee: Dr. Janwyn Funamura, chair, Lilian Gong, Loreen Huey, Dr. Chen F. Liem and Miranda Wong for studiously reviewing the essays, recommendations & transcripts and making difficult selections from an outstanding field of applicants..

For an application form, click on the Scholarship Application Link