BY Gerrye Wong   September 4, 2023


When we all heard of the devastation and fires that hit Maui in the Hawaiian Islands, we all felt so sorry for the inhabitants who many lost their lives, or their homes, or their complete possessions to the wildfires that ran through the town of Lahaina.  In our minds, we all wanted to help in some way, but movers and shakers Fiona Ma and Monique Zhang went one step further and within a 10 day timeframe, organized and presented a fundraiser for the Maui fire victims.


CAPTION:  Chairwoman Fiona Ma welcomes guest Kelly Matsuura, Rosemary Fong & Cara Miyasaki s to Resilience Runway Fashion Show  in San Francisco

RESILIENCE RUNWAY was the title of their fundraiser with the GOAL TO  RESTORE MAUI.    At the Fermentation Lab in San Francisco’s Japan town, they gathered over 100 supporters and friends to a night of splendor and fun.  Monique recruited fashion designer Marissa Tampoy to design and show her unique styles, many with sarong effects  laden with hand sewn ornaments, which she themed around their Hawaiian flavor theme of JUNGLE LOVE.  Fermentation Lab’s small intimate bar atmosphere was a perfect backdrop which the two chairmen had also decorated with archway greenery and a huge banner on the second floor landing saying RESTORE MAUI.


Caption:    Runway models show clothes by Marissa Tampoy at Resilience Runway fashion show benefit

Walking to the beat of performance artist and educator Bruce Mai Ghent of the Maikaze Taiko Team, the stately beautiful models gracefully showed off the uniquely designed clothes of Marissa Tampoya. This Charity Fashion Show was produced by Catwalk for Charitable Causes, a IRS 501 ©(3) non profit led by executive producer Monique Zhang, make-up hair director Ethel MH Reddy and Music Director Joshua Bernstein. Audience members felt honored to be there, not only enjoying the light appetizers and drink, but also helping a worthy cause.


Caption:  Posing in costumes of the Jungle Love theme.          Ms BeiBei added color and fun to the evening’s event with her own hand made dress made out of paper unpaid paper bills.

With such a short time frame of planning, Fashion designer Sue Xu Wang was unable to design a new collection, but she and Monique found perfect dresses to carry out their theme of Waves of Hawaii —- a white long dress with Asian theme neckline decorated with soft ocean waves of blue hues around the hemline. The beautiful ladies modeled the clothes with an orchid & greenery festooned halo on their heads  while waving arms much like a moving hula dance.


Caption:   Sue Wang and Monique presented models in dresses depicting waves of Maui.        Kelly Matsuura and Rosemary Fong bid to buy dresses with hand done calligraphy on back of dress  by Monique Zhang

Following their appearance, Chairman Fiona announced that Monique would demonstrate her calligraphy skills by hand painting the backs of each dress with a symbolic Chinese character.  Before her admiring audience, she produced a Chinese calligraphy character with her large brush in vivid red.    The crowning surprise for the audience was then her announcement that these personally hand designed dresses were for sale with all proceeds to go to the RESTORE MAUI fundraising. My guests Rosemary Fong and Kelly Matsuura were the first enthusiastic audience members to raise their hands bidding for the dresses.


Caption:  Monique Zhang is congratulated for her wonderful fashion presentation  as co chaired with California State Treasurer  Fiona Ma

For many of us in the audience, Fiona Ma and Monique Zhang showed us what any well-meaning thought can produce – just like they did with their Resilience Runway production fundraising goal to help re-building Maui together.  So for any and all of us with good causes and projects we’d like to go beyond the thinking stage and embark on, take this lesson from these two hard working ladies, and just do it.   Monique and her non profit Catwalk for Charitable Causes is offering their services to help you.  To inspire us, Fiona announced that their hastily put together event that night brought in over $10,000 from supporters, sponsors and attending patrons with proceeds going directly to Help Maui goals.      So everyone out there – we all have favorite causes we want to help – here’s one way you might be able to do it.  For info: Monique Zhang – moniquesense@gmail.com.



Congratulations to the Foon Hay Seniors Golf Club which recently hit the milestone of a 20th anniversary.  Reminiscing about how the club was started, Clarence Bakken still the acting webmaster, recalled, “Following a golf game in Ridgemark Golf Course with three friends, on the drive home I brought up the idea of starting a golf group for recently retired seniors able to play on weekdays. My golf mates, Harvey Tom, James Gate and Calvin Wong liked the idea, and when I asked what should we call the club Calvin volunteered FOON HAY because he said it meant “having a good time”.  Thus the wheels started moving.”  Another gathering of fellow golfers began the real organizing. Ernie Wong became President, Arthur Tom treasurer, Harvey Tom Tournament Chair, and Clarence Bakken as webmaster.


Caption:  Foon Hay original Founders pose at its 10th Anniversary in 2013. L to R: Clarence Bakken, Harvey Tom, James Gate, Wilson Fong, Ernie Wong, Calvin Wong

In July 2003, friends told other golfer friends, and at the first golf gathering at Los Lagos Golf Course, 48 players signed up and Foon Hay was born as a coed club for senior players. These golfing men were smart to include their wives and lady friends so as not to be golf widows, so to speak.  Joyce Wong designed a club logo and the club has held monthly tournaments for the last 20 years with a hiatus during pandemic times. Foon Hay annual dinners began in 2004, and the first elected president was Sylvia Eng with Foon Hay officially becoming an associate club of NCGA.  To handle the huge response of people becoming members and joining the tournaments, it took four tournament co-chairs to handle tournament planning and they were Wilson Fong, Paul Chair, Don Tang and Calvin Wong.


Caption:  Past Presidents Chuck Leong, Fran Gin, Chris Houlihan & Clarence Bakken     Two remaining  original founders celebrate club’s 20th anniversary – Clarence Bakken & Calvin Wong

The 20th Anniversary tournament sentimentally was held at the same Los Lagos Golf Course where its first tournament was played at  by the original 48 member players in 2003.

Foon Hay recently partnered with San Francisco Chinese Golf Club to be the hosts of a Federation of Chinese American Golf Clubs 2 day tournament at San Jose’s Coyote Creek Golf Course with almost 100 participants coming from all western states and Canada. At its high point, the club capped at 80 members with a waiting list of eager senior wanting to join in.  Today the club is still going strong, in spite of many of the original senior members now having to hang up their clubs for less strenuous hobbies.


Caption:   Long time Foon Hay Seniors Golf Club Members celebrate after a 2023 Los Lagos tournament.  Pictured Mike  & Chris Houlihan, Chuck & Deanna Leong, Calvin & Gerrye Wong, Clarence Bakken

The club meets monthly to play at different golf courses around the Greater Bay Area with its original 2003 goal of not going over 50 miles or $50 tee fees.  Times and fees have obviously changed and members may join as young as 50 years old.  Calvin and I are proud to be named the most-senior playing members of Foon Hay Golf Club as of today!  For more information on upcoming tournaments and membership:  go to www.Foonhay.org.



South Bay Chinese Club, with its home based in Fremont, recently held its annual potluck Barbecue get together at Carleton Center in Fremont, a organized by Aliene Yee and Cecilia Leon.  One of the first Chinese Clubs formed in the area, this South Bay Chinese Club started in 1965 in order to preserve the culture and customs of the Chinese heritage, to foster and encourage better understanding of civic responsibilities and the American way of life, and to promote the general welfare of the community.  In 1984 the club formed the South Bay Chinese Service Club, a California non-profit organization.   It provided state and federal tax-exempt status in pursuit of community service activities such as the Scholarship program.  People become duo-members of both organizations.

Caption:  South Bay Chinese Club members gather at its annual Barbeque lunch gathering.

Coming up for its members 80 years young and over, the club annually holds a celebration Elders Brunch for any of its members over 80 years old.  What a nice way to honor its many members who have probably supported the club since its early days.  Other organizations – take note of this nice annual reunion gesture. 2022-23 SBCC officers are President Clifton Der Bing, VP Joseph Fruen, Secretary Jeff Bowen, Treasurer Gordon Jang.  Other officers include Arlene Chang, Ben Chew, Cecilia Leon, Jane Lin, Anna Muh, Marvin Wong, Joe Woo and Aliene Yee. 


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