Some 110 members, family, and friends made their way out to the beautiful Jade Asian Restaurant in Flushing, Queens—home of New York City’s largest Chinese population—for the Friday evening banquet. Bidding began immediately on the more than 50 packages. Who wouldn’t want a week in a home on Martha’s Vineyard? An introductory knitting lesson? An electric coffee grinder (with freshly roasted beans)? A collection of fine cheese? Beautiful artwork? There was an incredible selection of auction packages to tempt guests to bid.
By the time the first dim sum appetizers were served, everyone was already calling the evening a success. And that was before the entertainment began. Several members, most of whom were professional performers, filled the stage with song, dance, and beautiful music. There was a Taoist Tai Chi™ demonstration, of course, and a testimonial by a member who described her moving experience at a recent Health Recovery Week in Orangeville. Those who didn’t win their auction items could still buy a chance to win a handful of raffle prizes, including the grand prize of dinner for two at the James Beard Foundation. Branch president (and yin yang cookie maker) Mitchell Davis announced the merger of the upcoming New York and New Jersey branches to the guests. To see photos and read more click
Saturday, Darcy Carter of the Midwest Branch, a member of the Northeast Regional Management and Instruction Committees, led a great intensive. The 43 members who attended came from as far away as Copenhagen and Manitoba, and a little closer to home, Ithaca, New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Queens. The intensive culminated with a productive group goal-setting exercise to envision where the new, larger, tri-state branch (NY, NJ, CT), would like to be in five years.
All in all it was a record-setting fundraising weekend for the branch. In addition to the $5,200 in banquet ticket sales, the NYC branch raised $3,835 from the silent auction and $790 from the raffle. Continuing instructor Greg Coleman presented the branch with a red envelope the contained $200 raised from donations by Connecticut members who couldn’t make the trip down for the banquet. The intensive receipts totaled $2,135, bringing the grand total for the weekend to $12,160.