HCS celebrates honorees Council Member Chaim Deutsch and Kenneth Wong at its 22nd gala
February 12, 2019
At HCS’ 22nd annual Lunar New Year gala this year, two distinguished honorees, New York City’s Council Member Chaim Deutsch and Mr. Kenneth Wong, Past Commander of the American Legion Chinese Memorial Kimlau Post 1291 were honored for their dedication to making a difference in the community. Both honorees exemplify patriotism and devotion to service.
The gala was held at Jing Fong Banquet Restaurant to a packed room of over 500 guests on a snowy afternoon. The atmosphere was filled with Lunar New Year festivities as lion dancers went table to table to usher in the “Year of the Pig”. HCS music choir opened the show with the National Anthem followed by a joyful Lunar New Year song. Guest were treated to a ten course Chinese banquet as they watched the many performances including cultural dance, tai chi, music and so much more.
Council Member Deutsch was the recipient of HCS’ Public Service award. He spoke about the importance of acknowledging bias where it exists, especially in the case of the Seaport Buffet hammer attack which happened in his district. He said “We will not tolerate here in NYC or anywhere else such acts of hate, acts of bias and such acts of bigotry. People tend to think the Asian Americans community do not all speak English as a first language that they can take advantage of them. Not on my watch and not on the watch of my colleagues in government. No one in NYC will ever be disenfranchise from city services from city resources or having a voice in government. My parents are immigrants. We all came here to America for a better life. I am honor to stand up today and provide many crucial services to HCS and working with so many leaders who are here today who look after our senior population.”
Mr. Kenneth Wong, the past Commander of the American Legion Post 1291 was the recipient of HCS’ Community Service award. He spoke about the importance of supporting veterans and his role as Commander of the post to help veterans through PTSD. “I joined the American Legion in 2004, that was almost 7 years after I retired from the Navy. I spent 25 years in the Navy. Soon I learned that a member of our American Legion needed help. Many of our veterans suffered from PTSD and it was only said during the Gulf War but our Vietnam Viet also suffered such issue and were shell shocked and were not treated. Many became homeless. Through the Veteran Administrations, as I got back to the post, it took an opportunity to help. With my help, we managed to help these vets one by one.”
Many elected officials and their representative were in attendance from the Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams to Brooklyn DA's office, Brooklyn District Leader of the 47th district Nancy Tong, City Council Member Chaim Deutsch, City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, City Council Member representatives from Margaret Chin’s office, Justin Brannan’s office, Mark Treyger’s office, Kalman Yeger's office, State Senate representatives from Gournardes’s office and Assembly Member representatives from Assemblyman Abbate and Colton’s office.