ASIAC to ring in Chinese New Year with fundraising banquet

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Staff, clients and supporters of AIDS Services in Asian Communities will gather later this month to usher in the Chinese New Year in style.

ASIAC will host its second annual Lunar New Year Banquet from 6-10 p.m. Jan. 24 at Wokano Restaurant, 1100 Washington Ave.

The event is meant to garner funds for the HIV/AIDS service organization, as well as raise awareness about the group’s programs.

ASIAC operates several outreach programs for the local Asian and Pacific-Islander communities, such as Project ASSIST, which provides HIV/AIDS education for at-risk populations and care to those struggling with the illness, and the Gay Asian Community Health Empowerment Project, which brings attention to the health and educational needs of the community.

Appropriately, attendees will be celebrating the Year of the Ox, an animal that traditionally signifies the prosperity and success that is gained through hard work and determination.

Ronald Sy, ASIAC executive director, said the organization, like many others struggling in the current recession, needs the assistance of the local community for it to continue to thrive.

“This event will really help support all of our programs that target Asiatic communities,” Sy said. “Like every organization right now, we’re facing funding cuts and shrinking government funding, so it’s important for us to involve the rest of our community in our mission in the fight against HIV.”

The night will feature a raffle and a silent auction with a variety of items donated by local businesses, which Sy said “have been very supportive of the organization and the event.”

Sy said the organization is still in the process of collecting silent-auction articles and is also finalizing entertainment plans.

As the highlight of the evening, attendees will be treated to a 10-course Asian dinner, which will feature a dim sum platter; salt-baked shrimp and squid; sautéed scallops, chicken and roasted pork; twin lobster in ginger and scallion; and Peking duck.

Sy said that last year’s banquet drew about 220 people who together donated more than $12,000, and he’s anticipating that this year’s event will garner up to $20,000 for the organization, surpassing last year’s inaugural success.

Ticket prices begin at $50 and range up to $1,000 packages. All sponsorship opportunities — which vary from $100-$1,000 — will secure a mention in the evening’s program book for the sponsor, as well as other benefits.

For more information on the event, visit www.asiac.org

Jen Colletta can be reached at [email protected].