President’s Day Weekend 2012 was a time for celebrating more than our country’s history as the Tri-State Branch (representing New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut) held its fifth annual Chinese New Year’s Fundraising Weekend & Banquet. The Year of the Dragon festivities began on Saturday, February 18, with a day-long intensive led by Northeast Regional Instruction Committee and Northeast Regional Management Committee member Carol Anne Gallagher. The celebration carried on the following day at an elaborate Chinese banquet, held at the James Beard Foundation. A robust silent auction occupied the reception hour with more than 50 enticing packages ranging from a clever cheese board shaped like a giant mouse trap, to beautiful artwork by branch members, to a week in a home in Umbria, Italy. An elaborate banquet prepared by volunteers was served to more than 80 guests. The menu included dumplings, spring rolls, scallion pancakes, and other familiar treats, as well as traditional Sichuanese and Hunanese specialties. Afterwards, members of the branch performed music and readings, as guests enjoyed orang sections, almond cookies, and yin-yang cookies. Click for details of the menu and the auction. Other fundraising related to the event included a very successful raffle of dinner for two at the Beard Foundation and a Red Envelope campaign, which allowed members who were unable to attend the events to contribute by donating money.
The entire weekend brought out many members to volunteer in innumerable ways, including donating auction items, shopping, cooking, setting up, inviting VIPs, coordinating the intensive, arranging for billeting, creating artwork, selling raffle tickets, shaping dumplings, rolling pancakes, organizing and displaying auction items, registering guests, reconciling payments, carting people and stuff around, and otherwise helping to make the event a success. All in all we raised more than $11,000 to help the Society achieve its aims and objectives.
A wonderful collection of photos was taken be our two “official” volunteer photographers, John Chee, who took shots from the perspective of a guest, and Seth Wolfson, who took shots from the perspective of a kitchen volunteer. These links take you to photo collections on snapfish, where you can view and/or order all images, in addition to those included in the slideshow below.