Posted by Stacey Poole on Feb 03, 2022
President Mary Liu (Real Estate: Sales | JM Real Estate Group) kicked off the Zoom-only meeting at 12:15 PM, wishing everyone a 恭禧發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy in celebration of Chinese New Year. It’s the Year of the Tiger!
Visiting Rotarians and Special Guests
Today's visiting Rotarians were Ozan Yasavur, a Rotarian from Turkey who is planning to join our Club soon; Salvador Farfán, a Rotarian from Washington, DC; and Assistant Governor Liz Mark from the Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown. Cynthia Yee was President Mary's special guest.
Free COVID-19 Tests
President Mary announced that free COVID-19 tests were available at She recommended getting the tests and announced that she had recently contracted COVID.  
Today's audience celebrated our members who have a birthday in January 2022 and February 2022. The birthdays were celebrated with a rendition of Happy Birthday to You! Andrés Vera (Entertainment | Self-Employed) accompanied the vocals by playing the cello.
Harmony Ma, ALPS Program Manager, shared that an Action Leadership Program with Students (ALPS) Project will take place on February 25 and 26 in which high school freshmen ALPS students will be working with the Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown to support Asian American youth and their mental health.
The next Fund the Future Gala will be held on April 1, 2022 at the City Club of San Francisco. See here for registration.
Upcoming Events
Please check the Club Calendar for upcoming events and registration. Of note are the meeting of the Climate Action Team on February 8, the Super Bowl Sunday Pool, Social, and 50/50 Campaign Donor Appreciation on February 13, the Club Assembly on February 15, and the Catholic Charities service project on February 26.
Club Survey
Whether you are attending the Club Assembly on February 15 or not, please complete this survey to help our Club be even better and enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.
Service at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank
Dan Davies (Information Technology: Consulting | North American Lighting) reported on the service project at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank on January 29, 2022. See complete story here.
Grant Presentation
Luis Moran (Real Estate: Sales | Coldwell Banker) on behalf of the San Francisco Rotary Foundation awarded a grant to the Interact Clubs at George Washington High School, Lowell High School, and Saint Ignatius College Preparatory as well as to the Rotaract Clubs at the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University. The total amount awarded for all five schools was $6,507. Accepting the grant on behalf of the Interact Clubs was Lisa Christian (Development) and on behalf of the Rotaract Clubs was David Dye (Management Consulting | Retired). Lisa and David shared the work that these Interact Clubs and Rotaract Clubs have accomplished.
Chinese New Year Traditions
The theme for the day was Chinese New Year and how our membership celebrates this holiday. “Gung Hay Fat Choy” means "Wishing You Lots of Wealth." The Lunar Calendar is 354 days long, so the New Year does not always start on the same day. 1.5 billion people will take part in the 16-day celebration and festivities in hopes of putting the past behind and enjoying a fresh start. The calendar is based on a cycle of 12 Zodiac animals, this year being the Year of the Tiger—which stands for bravery, courage, and strength. (Source: Professor Eddy Keming Chen of the Chinese Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego)
Traditions include cleaning the home before the New Year in order to sweep away all the bad luck. On the New Year, you do not sweep, because you don’t want to sweep away your good luck and fortune. You also don’t bathe on the New Year—you don’t want to wash away your good luck and fortune. In a Chinese person’s home, you will see a lot of red and gold colors and flowers. Red symbolizes luck, joy, and happiness, and is also thought to ward off any evil spirits.
When visiting a Chinese person’s home during the New Year, always bring gifts—kumquats, tangerines and red envelope. It is not proper etiquette to come empty-handed.
Many of our Club members celebrate the Chinese New Year. President Mary’s family always held a Chinese New Year's Eve family dinner to celebrate the past year and welcome the New Year. On New Year’s Day, they only ate vegetarian meals as her mother was a practicing Buddhist. Red envelopes (lai see in Chinese) are given by elders to unmarried family members. Every child receives one from their parents. President Mary would also go to Portsmouth Square to celebrate with the community.
Dora Dye (Education: Elementary and Community College) spoke about her family's traditions. They displayed fruit: pomelo (symbolizes wealth), tangerines (symbolize luck), and lai see (symbolizes prosperity). The amount in the lai see is significant as some numbers are lucky and others are not.
Kevin Leong (Development | University of San Francisco) spoke about his family gatherings to celebrate the incoming New Year.  
Jianying ChenJames (Jianying) Chen (Healthcare: Acupuncture | American Institute of Zhizhen Therapy and New Qigong) would travel to his father’s extended family the first week and visit his father’s extended family on the second week. He eats wontons and tang yuan for good luck and happiness. Tang yuan are rice balls and enjoyed as the first meal of the New Year.
AG Liz Mark’s parents were non-traditional. She follows Buddhist traditions and celebrates by giving out red envelopes to unmarried family members and her children.
Jeff Yih’s (Student and Musican) family ate mooncakes at the family gathering.
Cynthia YeePresident Mary introduced Cynthia Yee as our special guest speaker. Cynthia is an active member in the Chinatown community and founder of Grant Avenue Follies. She was crowned Miss Chinatown in 1967. Cynthia’s mother founded the Temple on Powell Street, and Cynthia would visit the temple frequently.  
In preparation for the New Year, they would celebrate and thank their elders. They would visit their elders and bring favorite foods of their elders, including dim sim and fruit. They would also pick a lantern that contained blessings which they hoped would come true in the New Year. Finally, they would light incense. It’s also common to burn papers for their ancestors, which contain gold bars. The papers get burned on the 1st and 15th of each month (new moon and full moon), to share the gold with their ancestors. Cynthia announced that February 19th is the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco and encouraged everyone to attend. Firecrackers are set off to scare away evil spirits.
President Mary thanked Cynthia and announced that 100 children would be inoculated against polio in her name.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
Editor's Note: Thank you to Stacey Poole (Law: Family | Lerner Poole & Stewart, LLP) for serving as scribe and Christopher Wiseman (Event Planning | Glaucoma Research Foundation) for managing our meeting on Zoom.