Reception video captured 12 years of history
Staying Alive: From 2002 to 2014, ASIA, The Journal
Rock Around the Clock:
All That Jazz: Heralding achievement of our Honorees
I'll be watching you: That is the message our
Moment in Time: This was our honorees’
God Bless America: Love for our country is demonstrated
Many times we want to appreciate the people we honor and love but we delay doing so because we think they will be with us forever. Such a person was Dennis Avery. As Stephen Hawking said - Dennis knew the true meaning of the universe. I would like to add that he also knew the secret - that if you have one life, you live the life of unconditional love by being the powerful steppingstone for our young, having great friends, surrounding yourself with family and being happy. That is the secret of the universe as Dennis Avery lived it.
Experience the Tenth Annual Asian Heritage Awards
As a time capsule honoring the past, celebrating the present and looking toward the future, the Tenth Annual Asian Heritage Awards rolled into San Diego with a bang capped by an explosion of emotion The day was Sept. 14, 2013, when history was made at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina For the first time at any event, Asian or otherwise, all of the region’s congressional representatives honored all 13 honorees with commendations and the Asian Heritage Awards with meritorious praise for being the focal point of Southern California’s Asian and Pacific Islander community.
As testament to the staying power of the Awards and its creators, Rosalynn Carmen and Len Novarro, the evening’s program began in the reception area with a video depicting the founding of their publication ASIA in 2002 while it marched through 12 years of history covering the cultural achievements of every Asian ethnicity in Southern California. The Awards were launched through the publication in 2004 and taken over by the Asian Heritage Society, also founded by Carmen and Novarro, three years later.
As the doors to the Marina ballroom opened, close to some 500 guests heard the Bee Gees “Staying Alive” as the backdrop to a video compilation of the publication ASIA’s front pages,
where the API community has been coming together ever since for opportunities, culture, coherence, family and future.
“From all the front pages portrayed on this video, you can see how we focused on the positive and beauty that lies beneath a community that had not been focused on by mainstream media,” said Carmen. “Right after 9-11, we felt that America needed something to hold itself together to get through that moment. That is why we started the newspaper ASIA, the Journal of Culture & Commerce. It was the worst of times, and it was the best of times, but for us it was the time that we got to meet such great people. And through our award-winning media venue we were able to create a momentum of energy in the community. That momentum is what gave us the impetus for the Asian Heritage Awards.”
A chronology of the awards was accompanied by “All That Jazz,” while the Police’s “I’ll Be Watching You” was the backdrop for another video showcasing the Society’s BOOSTEM program for middle school girls launched last year.
“With our ears on the ground, we felt a big change taking place globally and technologically,” Carmen said. “Competition is fierce because of outsourcing and our young people do not have the direction to cope for these changes and how to get ready for them. That is what BOOSTEM is all about.”
The pre-ceremony concluded with a dedication to the night’s 13 honorees along with Whitney Houston’s “Moment in Time” as backdrop and ended with the dictum “Carpe Diem,” to “Seize the Day.”
As this year’s Planning Committee took to the stage to welcome guests, “God Bless America” rolled up on screen with a distinctive Asian community touch. Peggy Joh of the Tzu Chi Foundation signed with her hands the emotional meaning of the bv3 words. After a brief introduction by founders Roz Carmen and Len Novarro, gala co-chairs Shu Chien and Lilly Cheng officially began the program that honored the following:
Tony Olaes for Entrepreneurship
AnhLan Nguyen for Science and Technology
Shashin Desai for Innovation
Chris Phan for Government
Dr. Will Tseng for Medicine
Marine Sgt. Sarah Hakala for Military Service
Dr. Loc Le for Public Health
The Council for Teaching Filipino Language and Culture for Education
Darnai Ngawjeenanand for Local Humanitarian
Frank Jao for Business Enterprise
The Lions Clubs of San Diego for Global Humanitarianism
UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla for Special Recognition
The late philanthropist Dennis Avery as Diversity Pioneer
Carmen and Novarro also bestowed special accolades on Channel 8 TV personality Marcella Lee and adviser Julia Cheng for supporting the Awards since its inception.
Emotion came like a roller coaster in waves throughout the night, beginning with the first video honoring Tony Olaes. Each video presentation, set to music, was created by Carmen. At the end of the evening, UCSD attendees and alumni stayed to join retired UCSD professor Bert Fung in celebrating his 94th birthday.
The night was topped by dance several times, most notably a ballet performed to Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude to a Theme by Paganini” by 11-year-old Cady Mariano, which honored Dennis Avery. Afterwards, his wife, Sally, accepted the award and a bouquet of roses from the 11-year-old
The theatrical presentation of the event was enhanced by dancers from the Thai temple in Escondido who coaxed guests to join them on the dance floor in the community dance “Rum Wong.” Chinese dancers from the Xingjian Dance Studio capped the night with an exciting rendition of a traditional Indian dance, in honor of Chancellor Khosla.
“This evening was a capsule commentary of what we have been doing for the last 12 to 13 years,” said Carmen. “Recognition from every one of the area’s congressional representatives was an achievement in itself. But to have that for all our honorees, as well – that will go down as a historic community first.”
“Best of all, everybody stayed until the end to enjoy the ballroom dancing that followed,” said Novarro, thanking this year’s planning committee, including chairman Julio deGuzman, Dr. Binh Tran, Gwen Coronado, De Le, Julia Cheng, Stephanie Chang, Dr. Estela Matriano, Carole Caparros, Montana Quebedeaux, Tri Nguyen and Sarina Dahlan-Dann.
Major sponsors included SDG&E, County of San Diego, Julia Cheng Wealth Management, Barona Resort and Casino, Phamatech, Asia Media America and the Avery-Tsui Foundation. Presenting the awards were
San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts, who opened the program; SDG&E’s Joanne Wang, Julia Cheng, Lucretria Halloway, County Supervisor Ron Roberts, Tom Aucoin of Phamatech, Dr. Robert Gish, Jesse Navarro representing District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Barona’s Dana Sass, the Thai Consul of Los Angeles, Dr. Shu Chien of UCSD, Sally Wong-Avery and Congressman Scott Peters.
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