SYRIAN NEWCOMERS FOCUS OF CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR FUNDRAISER
Kitchener (February 2, 2016) – Every year, the Chinese community comes together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Sunday marked the start of the community celebration, kicking off the year of the Monkey. In the auditorium of the Stanley Park Community Centre, the Central Ontario Chinese Cultural Centre (COCCC) played host to performers and cultural demonstrations, all free to the public. The event has been hosted locally for over 30 years, and in the past has served as a kick-off to a gala dinner to raise funds for the work of the COCCC. This year, they took a unique approach.
Frances Tse, Treasurer of the COCCC stepped forward early on in the festivities to make a special announcement: the event will mark the beginning of a fundraising campaign for the COCCC in support of Syrian Newcomers. She recalled her own past experiences of when she immigrated to Waterloo Region from Hong Kong, and reminded attendees about the values that brought the COCCC into existence over three decades ago – increasing a sense of belonging for the Chinese community.
“This is an opportunity for us to give back to the community in a bigger way,” shares Tse. “Over 1000 Syrian Newcomers will need resources and support over the coming months and years. Many of us are immigrants ourselves. We understand what challenges they are facing. We can and should do something to help.”
The campaign will run until February 22nd, two weeks after the start of the official Chinese Lunar New Year on February 8th. All donations collected by the COCCC during the campaign will be directed to The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (The KWCF), who is hosting the Immigration Partnership Fund for Syrian Newcomers on behalf of the Immigration Partnership.
The Immigration Partnership has been taking a strategic approach to supporting Syrian newcomers to Waterloo Region. The KWCF is just one of the partners. “The KWCF is honoured to be asked to help facilitate this work on behalf of the Immigration Partnership,” shares Rosemary Smith, CEO of The KWCF. “They are truly doing great work on behalf of this community that has inspired groups like the COCCC to think beyond themselves, come together and support our community’s newest members.”
Campaign donations will be eligible for the matching program announced by The KWCF late last year. The Foundation, with the support of their Fundholders and donors, has stepped up with approximately $400,000 to match donations from the community.
The Central Ontario Chinese Cultural Centre is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1973. COCCC is a chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) and works to promote the Chinese culture, to promote goodwill and mutual understanding among different cultures and to provide culture-related programs and services that meet the needs of the community.
The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation improves the quality of life in Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding area, now and for generations to come, by building community endowment, addressing needs through grant making, and providing leadership on key community issues.
The Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership is a community-wide collaboration of community agencies, business and municipal partners working together to facilitate the successful setting, working and belonging of immigrants and refugees in Waterloo Region. It was created on the conviction that successful settlement and integration is a mutually beneficial process that involves both immigrants and the broader community engaging in a process of mutual learning and inter-relatedness.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
For the Central Ontario Chinese Cultural Centre
Phone: (519) 498-8828
For The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation
Director, Executive Services
The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation
Phone: (519) 725-1806 ext. 205
Cell: (519) 807-4260
For the Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership
Director, Corporate Communications
Region of Waterloo
Phone: (519) 575-4408