The best of Chinatown comes to Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall Oct. 30-31 for the eighth annual Splendor of China Cultural Festival and Tradeshow. From cooking demonstrations to live music, acrobatics and colorful dance to high-pole lion dancers and doggie costume contests, there is sure to be something for everyone of every age to explore. Visit splendorofchina.com or call 533-3181 for tickets and information.
But it’s not just a day of fun and excitement.
The event serves as a fundraiser for the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, an organization dedicated to promoting business and economic development and encouraging civic responsibility among its many members.
One volunteer with CCCH since 1992 is Dennis Hwang. A native New Yorker, Hwang joined the chamber shortly after moving to the Islands to learn more about Chinese culture and to be more involved with his community. Over the years he has dedicated thousands of hours serving in many positions, including chairman, executive officer and president.
In addition to being adviser for this year’s festival, Hwang is working with the chamber’s Chinatown Community Development Center and its Center for Foreign Relations. As part of his duties, he will lead a group of 21 earthquake scientists and engineers on a trip to China later this month, where they will conduct two days of meetings with ministries and institutions as well as visit sites where more than 60,000 people lost their lives in the devastating earthquake that rocked the country in 2008.
“We hope to advance earthquake science and hazard planning so that damage from future events is reduced in China, the U.S. and elsewhere,” says Hwang, who works on environmental, coastal zone management and land-use issues at the law office of O’Connor Playdon & Guben. He also is a faculty member with the UH Sea Grant College Program and has helped launch several business programs with CCCH.
“The CCCH is active in our community on many different levels - from promoting and sharing our Chinese culture to helping Chinatown merchants to sharing our resources and expertise oversees in China,” says Hwang, whose wife Rena also volunteers. “There are so many areas in the community that need help, and the government cannot do it all. Wherever I see an opportunity where I can use my resources and skills, I am more than happy to assist.”
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