Families arrived with little ones in tow on Sunday to enjoy the 30th annual Quincy August Moon Festival, an Asian cultural affair that began decades ago in a parking lot and grew into its newest location on Coddington Street.
QUINCY – Jax Walker was all smiles and full of energy as he bounded up to his mom, Maureen Walker, waving the rooster craft he had just made. The 4-year-old showed off his craft, made of single-serve creamer containers, feather and googly eyes, before racing off to another station, where he made replicas of traditional mooncakes out of play dough.
“Jax is having the best time,” his mom said. “He was just fascinated by the dragon dancers. They came out and really played on audience participation and got right up to his face. He got so excited.”
Mother and son were among the roughly 20,000 people who came to Coddington Street on Sunday afternoon to celebrate Quincy’s 30th annual August Moon Festival.
“I grew up here so I used to go to this when I was younger. I just can’t believe how much it’s grown,” Walker said. “It’s so great that he’s learning about other cultures and animals.”
Quincy Asian Resources has hosted the festival, previously held in North Quincy, for 16 years. Also referred to as the Mid-Autumn Festival, the event is celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese cultures every August.
“The city has been embracing all different cultures, and with the growing population of Asians they see it as a great way to bring people together – not just Asian people but people of all cultures,” said Quincy Asian Resources CEO Philip Chong.
Aaron Lin, who volunteered at the festival, said August is the biggest moon of the year. “In the Chinese culture, you see the moon and you have memories of your family.”
The festival filled Coddington Street with bounce houses, food tents, performances and children’s activities that focused on various aspects of Chinese culture. The tents offered calligraphy lessons, traditional Chinese painting, chopstick skills, crafting roosters to represent Chinese Zodiac and creating mooncakes, a food that symbolizes family unity.
“You put your wishes for your family into the August mooncake and when you eat it, it’s like your wishes are coming true,” Lin said.
Thousands of guests from across the South Shore mingled among the stands, stopped at the petting zoo and watched demonstrations on a stage in the Quincy High School courtyard.
Mickey Wong, of North Quincy, had her two children, Brandon, 10, and Summer, 7, participating in a taekwondo demonstration.
“We come every year and we’ve seen it in all locations but this one is good, it’s really big and the kids love the petting zoo,” she said. “It’s important to keep heritage alive and come to these things at least a few times a year.”
Mary Whitfill may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're proud to share some news about board chair Paul Shaw.
PAUL SHAW TO BE INDUCTED INTO USTA NEW ENGLAND HALL OF FAME
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) of New England has announced that former No. 1 ranked player Paul Shaw, of Norwell, MA, has been selected for induction into the Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
The ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 10 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.
“I feel deeply honored to be recognized and inducted by USTA New England,” Shaw said. “I am very grateful for a life time of friendships, team camaraderie, doubles partnerships and competitive spirit, promoted and embodied by the USTA.”
Shaw first picked up in tennis as an 11-year-old in Romania at a club frequented by tennis great Ilie Nastase. Because of his father’s job with the U.S. Department of State, Shaw’s childhood was spent throughout Europe, including high school in Geneva, Switzerland.
A recent spot in The Patriot Ledger introduces Philip Chong's background in business and vision for QARI.
New QARI CEO looks to expand reach
by Sean Philip Cotter
Philip Chong knew he’d signed up to lead an organization he could be proud of when he showed up to the Quincy Asian Resources banquet in May and found nearly 600 people there.
“It tells me we’re actually doing the services,” he said.
Chong became the organization known as QARI’s new chief executive officer on April 11.
One of the reasons the board chose Chong, according to the statement the members made announcing his hiring, was his strong business background. He has served as chief executive officer of Keswick Health, chief operating officer of Massachusetts Medical International Corporation and director of strategic initiatives at Simmons College, where he helped launch a the school’s online programs.
QARI's senior director of adult programs, Rob Sheppard, was recently profiled in The Boston Globe business section.
Five things you should know about Rob Sheppard
by Katheleen Conti
Demand for free courses in English as a second language continues to rise, as public funding for such programs steadily dwindles. Waiting lists for classes can be as long as two years for non-English speakers hoping for better jobs or who simply want to feel more confident performing day-to-day tasks. Rob Sheppard witnesses this struggle on a daily basis as the senior director for adult education programs at the nonprofit Quincy Asian Resources Inc. Out of frustration, Sheppard was inspired to create Ginseng, an online English school that will charge market-rate tuition to some students, using the money to subsidize class slots for those who can’t afford to pay. Sheppard recently spoke with the Globe about his new venture and why he is moving to Asia to make it happen.
1. Sheppard has worked in both for-profit and nonprofit English-language programs. He says they both fall short of meeting the overwhelming demand from low-income populations. For-profits can be expensive and tend to cater to highly educated international students trying to enroll in American graduate programs. Nonprofits have a logjam of applicants, most of whom are looking for jobs where they can speak English for the first time.
A recent article in the Sampan announces the hiring of QARI's new CEO, Philip Chong
Quincy nonprofit announces new CEO
Quincy Asian Resources Inc. (known as QARI) is pleased to announce its new Chief Executive Officer, Philip Chong.
This announcement comes following an extensive search by the board of directors, facilitated by ESC of New England, a leading nonprofit consulting firm familiar with QARI. Paul Shaw of QARI’s Board of Directors said, “After an exhaustive search, the board is very pleased that Mr. Chong will be leading QARI. His extensive background in business development, communications, and Asian healthcare will propel QARI into its next exciting chapter in serving Quincy and the South Shore community. The board voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Chong to the position.” Mr. Chong said, “With the strong support of the city, the board members, and QARI’s key stakeholders, I am excited to lead such a mission-driven organization that has been dedicated to serving the community for many years.”