2015 UCI VNA Reunion Luncheon Recap

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dear anteaters,

here is a quick recap of our 2015 uci vna reunion luncheon.  there were about 105 attendees.  we started at about 12:30, doheny beach room uci student center, and ended at about 4:00pm.

chị thien huong and nguyet rom, our mcs emeritus, guided the entire program.  as with tradition, we opened the program with a solemn 2 minute tribute to our departed anteaters.  they are never forgotten.  in their memory, we will carry on our lifelong friendships with each other and the spirit of the reunion for as long as we can.  after the tribute, chị thiên hương’s classic 2010 video was presented, then lunch and the entertainment segment started.  the remaining formal program featured the 2015 video (which focused on life of the alumni after uci and the 2010 luncheon reunion), the alumni operated non-profit organizations that serve the local/international communities (huong viet boy & girl scout organization, project vietnam, social assistance program for vietnam, vietnamese american cancer foundation, vietnamese american non-governmental network), the current uci vsa.  you can learn more about these organizations by checking out their website links in the members’ personal homepage section.

the informal program featured nguyet rom’s alumni bingo game, group pix, more entertainment and alot of reminiscing/catching up with each other.  we tried to make the gathering more interactive by “pressuring” everyone into participating in game and group pix.  that was no easy task.  the alumni lost in bingo of the past to the current vsa so the ancient vsa members had to sing an angry happy birthday song to the anteater of the day hien-hoa nguyen with the 2014-15 vsa president anthony vu conducting the choir.  the group pix took 20′ of directing and redirecting people–outside then inside, standing then sitting then kneeling, at eye level then on the chair then on the table.  we were either having too good of a good time to care, or too polite to protest this new format, but everyone graciously played along.  as a result, we got some beautiful and happy group shots for posterity!  some people had to leave early so we missed them in the group pix.  what a bummer!

honorable mention–the entertainment team: anh thong & my khanh & diem khanh’s moonlight band, ly-an, doc ngo ba dinh, nguyet rom, chi ngoc-huong.  you have not lost your magic touch as you charged up the atmosphere to the point where people slowly cha cha to the front only to finish it with the twist at the end of the program.  that is what we called successfully engaging your audience!

so, a big thank you to those who attended the luncheon.  We had about 91 alumni (classes 1979-2001) & their very supportive guests and 15 vsa members.  half are the regulars faces with their customary graciousness; the other half are the new faces with eager enthusiasm.  some of you made extraordinary effort to be here and your presence is very much appreciated.  you came regardless rain or shine; and from the look of it, you had a fabulous time.  hope it was all worth it for you because the warm hug/firm handshake/broad smile fest made it all worth it for the organizers.  we missed some of you–especially those who paid but could not make it at the last minute.  some of you were also kind enough to inform us that you can’t make it but wish to send your best regards to all those who attend.  if there were to be another reunion, we surely hope to catch up with everyone.

another big thank you goes to the accidental organizers:  treasure(r) mai-dao ta,  love-your-planet-or-die food commander cathy lam, pr advocate tan le, decorators in crisis mode thuy-hien nguyen, anita pham and hoa nguyen, the adrenaline charged gig hopping moonlight band:  anh thong, my-khanh and diem khanh, last but not least the spontaneous dynamic duo mcs chi thien-huong and nguyet rom.  y’all know that without your involvement, there would be no reunion, right?

the last big thank you goes to the current uci vsa and its members c/o president diane huynh and secretary stephanie ngo.  you are a group of very charming and capable young people.  you were a little spooked out by us demanding & intense old timers, but faithfully worked with us, and marched your promising presence/future right along with our nostalgic past, without missing a beat of paying your respect to our culture, traditions and history.  you even managed to beat us at our own alumni rigged bingo game!  your generation will go far in your missions and goals in life.   we are proud of you, glad to be reconnected in some way, and hope to support you in some capacity in the future.

so that is all for now folks.  please check our website periodically for updates.  we welcome your sharing and/or comments.   it is our hope to include and involve anteaters of all class years as well as the friends who have adopted us and/or vice versa.   life is too short and unpredictable so let’s just cherish our friends and memories associated with uci while we still care and can.

the pix links from our kind photographers are posted below.  please share your pixes if you took some at the luncheon.  these pixes document our precious friendship, connection to uci and memory.  if you have pixes from your golden uci days and like to share them, you can send them our way and remember to document the years so we can archive them properly.

until then, good health and happy life to all!  zottingly yours, cn on behalf of the organizing team

pix links: 

by bao pham:     https://bphtgrphy.smugmug.com/Events/UCI-VSA-Alumni-Reunion/

by tan le:     https://goo.gl/photos/BHNVcVqxr3eLhVqYA

 

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