Boston Globe: When the T came for help, the helper helped itself, too

By Jill Terreri Ramos GLOBE CORRESPONDENT  APRIL 06, 2018.

The MBTA used Asian-Americans who can speak an Asian language, such as Shirley Yao, to help customers navigate through the T's closure of the Wollaston station on the Red Line.

When the MBTA was preparing to close its Wollaston Station for 20 months of repairs, officials knew that some T riders in the heavily Asian-American neighborhood in Quincy would need help figuring out how the closure would affect their commute.

The T and state Department of Transportation officials turned to Quincy Asian Resources Inc., a social service organization that has deep connections in Quincy’s Asian-American community, to quickly find 20 bilingual customer service agents who could speak Cantonese, Mandarin, or Vietnamese to help riders locate shuttle buses to the nearest operating T station.

SAMPAN: JOSLIN DIABETES CENTER LAUNCHES ASIAN OUTREACH IN QUINCY

By Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美

Joslin Diabetes Center kicked off the Screen at 23 program for Asian American diabetes awareness April 3 at the South Shore YMCA.

State Rep. Tackey Chan said, “Standards used today to diagnose diabetes do not reflect our population. It’s important to get help before it’s too late.”

Screen at 23 raises awareness about Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ (AAPI) increased risk of diabetes and prediabetes at lower body mass index (BMI) levels. The Massachusetts Statehouse passed a resolution on Jan. 22, urging the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and health providers to screen Asian Americans for diabetes at a BMI of 23, which is a lower screening BMI than for Caucasian Americans.

“Diabetes is when the sugar in your blood is too high,” said Dr. George King, Joslin’s chief scientific officer. “It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and the leading cause of heart disease. For Asian Americans, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.”

Dr. King added no other ethnic group developed diabetes at low body weights like the Asian American community. He joked, “This is terrible, as Asians have the best food.”

One out of two Asian Americans have diabetes mellitus or have prediabetes, said Karen Lau, Joslin dietitian.

JP Fuji owner and restaurateur Jimmy Liang said, “We’re small business owners and don’t make a whole lot of money, but we try to give back to the community.” JP Fuji donated food for the meeting and gives more than $80,000 a year to charity.

The South Shore YMCA’s patrons are 25 to 28 percent Asian, said Paul Gorman, South Shore YMCA president and CEO. With 120,000 square feet, the spacious facility welcomes many Asians, who often come as entire families to work out. It has an existing diabetes prevention program and will implement Screen at 23 for AAPI members, giving culturally specific diet advice and tips.

The Screen at 23 campaign is coordinated by the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians, Joslin Diabetes Center, and members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Diabetes Coalition.

 Screen at 23 kicked off in Quincy April 3 at the South Shore YMCA. (From left) JP Fuji owner Jimmy Liang, Joslin Diabetes Center chief scientific officer Dr. George King, South Shore YMCA president and CEO Paul Gorman, Rep. Tackey Chan, QARI president and CEO Philip Chong, Joslin Diabetes Center’s Dr. Greeshma Shetty. (Image courtesy of Ling-Mei Wong.)

Screen at 23 kicked off in Quincy April 3 at the South Shore YMCA. (From left) JP Fuji owner Jimmy Liang, Joslin Diabetes Center chief scientific officer Dr. George King, South Shore YMCA president and CEO Paul Gorman, Rep. Tackey Chan, QARI president and CEO Philip Chong, Joslin Diabetes Center’s Dr. Greeshma Shetty. (Image courtesy of Ling-Mei Wong.)

Honoring John "Jack" Lydon, Tim Wismar, and the South Shore YMCA

The 11th Annual QARI Community Banquet will be on Friday, May 11th at 6:30 pm at the Quincy China Pearl Restaurant. Join us for “Investing In Our Community”- an evening to celebrate collaboration and community spirit. This is an opportunity for area leaders, partners and stakeholders from Quincy, the South Shore, and Greater Boston to engage and promote synergy within the Asian community.

We will be honoring John "Jack" Lydon, Tim Wismar, and the South Shore YMCA for their invaluable contribution and investment in the Asian community.

honorees.png

Patriot Ledger: QARI plans annual community banquet

By Sean Philip Cotter 

QUINCY — Tickets are available for Quincy Asian Resources’ annual community banquet, which chief executive officer Philip Chong believes holds a not-so-secret weapon to helping bring people of all backgrounds together.

“The best thing to break those barriers is food,” the head of the organization commonly known as QARI said with a chuckle. “Who doesn’t like Chinese food?”

The 11th annual banquet will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11, at the China Pearl restaurant at 237 Quincy Ave.

The theme is “Investing In Our Community,” Chong said. Any members of the public or organizations and businesses in the area are invited to attend at a cost of $110 a person.

The organization will give out several awards, including ones to Jack Lydon and Tim Wisnar. Though neither man is Asian himself, both have spent significant time and energy helping new immigrants and working with Quincy’s large Asian-American community, Chong said.

“We wanted to recognize the efforts and the time they invested in the community,” he said.

Quincy Asian Resources also will honor the South Shore YMCA and award scholarships to some local students. Chong said he expects 700 people to attend the event.

Anyone looking for more information about the banquet can email events@quincyasianresources.org or call 857-719-3595.

Patriot Ledger: QARI looks to badminton, ping pong to build community

By Sean Philip Cotter 
The Patriot Ledger

QUINCY — Kids standing three a side flailed away at the shuttlecock, knocking it back and forth a few times over the badminton net ion one portion of the South Shore YMCA’s gym.

Around the corner, two adults who clearly were skilled badminton players were going at it on a larger, regulation-size court, sometimes smashing the shuttlecock to drive the other player back and then trying to lightly drop in a lob when their foe was off balance.

After more and more people continued to turn up for the Sunday night badminton and table tennis club put on by the South Shore YMCA and Quincy Asian Resources, the Y will begin to offer it as as package in their spring sports session.

Philip Chong, the chief executive officer of Quincy Asian Resources, said his organization, which is commonly known as QARI, teamed up with the Y because to bring some sports particularly popular in Asian countries to the area.

“As an Asian, we grew up with that,” Chong said.

Chong, who simled and describes himself as a “pretty good” badminton player, said sports are a great way to bring people together.

“It’s a great community-builder,” he said.

Chong remembers saving up money as a kid in Hong Kong for a nice new badminton racquet. He said he had the racquet for the following three decades — until it broke the first Sunday night at the Y a few weeks ago.

“There’s some irony,” he said.

The YMCA closes every Sunday at 6 p.m., but the staff has been keeping the gym open for another three hours each of the past several weeks for the badminton and ping pong club, for which people have been able to come in and play for free.

It started out as about 30 people coming each Sunday, and that number has doubled in the six-week run, said Erik Abboud, the organization’s associate executive director.

“We realized there was a need to do more,” he said.

On Sunday, the gym The league has people In a fourth area, players filled a half-dozen ping pong tables, bouncing the little white balls back and forth.

So it’s going to be some hybrid of a club and a league, where people who sign up can just come play for fun and learn the games, while more advanced players can play each other more competitively.

This past Sunday, the gym had been cordoned off into a few different areas for people of different skill levels.

“I come every week,” said Amy Zdanowicz, an adult who was playing with some of the kids.

She said she is loving learning the game, and it’s great exercise.

The club is taking a few weeks off an then becoming part of the YMCA’s Spring session offerings with an eight-week program beginning April 22. Registration opens Monday for YMCA members and Thursday for everyone else at ssymca.org or 617-479-8500. Members can join for free; it’s $70 for non-members.

Join us for QARI's 2018 Annual Community Banquet

Join us for “Investing In Our Community” - an evening to celebrate collaboration and community spirit. This is an opportunity for area leaders, partners and stakeholders from Quincy, the South Shore, and Greater Boston to engage and promote synergy within the Asian community.

QARI's mission is to foster and improve the social, cultural, economic and civic lives of Asian Americans and their families to benefit Quincy and it's neighboring communities. 

Honoring
Visionary Award, John Lydon
Community Partner Award, South Shore YMCA
Founders' Award, Tim Wismar

 

Quincy rings in Year of the Dog

Sampan logo.jpg
sampan pic1.jpg
sampan pic2.jpg
sampan pic3.jpg

By Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美 

Quincy rang in the Year of the Dog with its 30th Annual Lunar New Year Festival on Feb. 11 at North Quincy High School, attracting hundreds of attendees.

Quincy Mayor Tom Koch said in a prepared statement, “From the performances to the food, arts and crafts and activities for all ages, the Lunar New Year Festival is a wonderful symbol of Quincy’s great diversity.”

The event featured live kung fu demonstrations, dance performances and food. Vendors sold Lunar New Year supplies of red envelopes to hold “lucky money” gifts and plants to make homes festive. A karaoke contest quickly filled up, with singers performing hits in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and more. Author Grace Lin read with children, who joined her to put on a dramatic performance. A dog mascot and the God of Fortune made the rounds, swarmed by attendees keen for selfies. Food and drinks from local businesses provided sustenance to attendees.

Event organizer Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. (QARI) CEO Philip Chong said he was proud of Quincy’s diversity, with Asians representing more than 27 percent of the city’s population. He also appreciated more than 400 youth from QARI’s Youth ServiceCorps, who volunteered time to organize the festival.

“We are Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and more, with distinctive cultural traditions. The Lunar New Year Festival provides a haven for which we can come together to celebrate, share and honor these traditions,” Chong said in a prepared statement.

Elected officials at the event included Mayor Koch, Massachusetts Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Trade Nam Pham, state Rep. Tackey Chan, Quincy City Councilor Brad Croall and Quincy City Councilor Nina Liang.