AFI Year of the Rabbit Spring Festival Gala Review

Say goodbye to the old, and welcome the new. It’s time for the Spring Festival!

On January 28, the seventh day of the Lunar New Year, Alliance For Impact held a Spring Festival Gala at Hutaoli restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. There were many guests at the event site, and it was very lively.

Among the guests were the Chinese American Elite 100 and AFS founder Henry Tang, the family of former AFS chairman Rokova, Chairman of TCFA National Chinese Financial Association Zhao Wenzhe, former and current vice-principals of Huaxia Chinese School Headquarters and vice-principals of the Greater New York branch, several Asian officers of the NYPD, Wall Street veterans and investment experts, as well as CEOs of investment companies.

It is worth mentioning that the backbone and members of the CABWA American Chinese Women’s Chamber of Commerce were invited to participate in AFI activities for the first time, and were introduced with AFI volunteers, expressing their willingness to cooperate in the future. On the same day, the heads of the alumni associations of Fudan University, Tsinghua University, Wuhan University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Tianjin University, Nanjing University, Xiamen University and other schools in New York were invited to the party. University alliances have always been AFI’s workplace event partner. Also attending the gala were AFI’s long-term partners and the sponsors of this event, as well as AFI’s loyal members.

We were very touched that volunteers from Toronto, Washington, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Boston, and Connecticut took the initiative to come on stage and start immediately start with preparations.

This is the first large-scale gathering after the pandemic. Many volunteers did not know each other, but they cared about AFI’s public welfare. Throughout the gala, they got to know each other like old friends.

The Hutaoli restaurant was sure to decorate appropriately for the Chinese New Year. The scene was very lively. Hutaoli also saw the highest number of people since its opening.

After lunch, the activities officially started. Angelene Huang, the founder of AFI, delivered a welcome speech, including AFI’s community influence in the past year. She pointed out that the purpose of AFI is to publicize the contribution of Asian groups, mainly of Chinese origin, to the local society, enhance the influence of Asian groups on mainstream society, improve the overall status of Asian groups, and promote Chinese groups to keep warm and work together. Taking advantage of this Spring Festival lets the majority of Chinese and overseas Chinese celebrate traditional Chinese festivals to create strong community cultural atmosphere.

Subsequently, Henry Tang, founder of the Chinese American Elite 100 and the AFS Asian Financial Association, delivered an opening speech, calling on Chinese Americans in the United States to actively unite and keep warm, which encouraged many listeners.

AFI’s sponsors C-Star CEO Sherry, NUSUN Tower New York real estate developer director Vicki, American China Association President Lin Jianxin, IvyCompass CEO Sophia Shi, Ying Zhuo Law Firm lawyer Cao Ying, SeeVIPDoc co-founder Maggie respectively also gave a speech on behalf of the company, wishing compatriots a Happy New Year.

At 2:00PM, hosts Candice and Henry officially announced the start of the party. The gala performance officially kicked off in the jazz dance brought by the RnnL dance troupe. The dancers were outstanding, and their sassy dancing mesmerized the audience.

He Ning and Wang Mengchen from Tsinghua Shuimu Xiangsheng Club performed a traditional cross talk called “Business Theory”.

We then played a fun interactive game – the money grabbing game. Following Ms. Fang’s password of “one piece for women, fifty cents for men”, players huddled in a circle. The atmosphere was extremely lively and happy.

Next, the Li-Huayuan Dance Troupe presented the audience with a magnificent classical fan dance called “Slow Voice”.

After enjoying the dance, Bluestar and Sunflower duetted the Song “Years”. The two singers sang with intensity, which made us deeply immersed in the emotion of the song.

Afterwards, the performers of the Li-Huayuan Dance Troupe changed their appearances, wearing water sleeves and fluttering clothes. It seems to be a touch of green willow on the bank of the spring in the south of the Yangtze River, heralding the coming of spring.

After the dance, singers Cheng Shuang and Li Zelin dressed in Hanfu and brought the ancient opera song “Bohu Shuo” to everyone on stage. The singing voices of the two singers were soul-stirring and complemented each other, making the listeners feel as if they are under the eastern fence, picking chrysanthemums and basking in the leisurely and simple life of Nanshan.

The final performance was by Mingle Huang, who brought everyone a rap song called “Second Half of Nine Innings”, which brought the atmosphere of the audience to a climax.

We carefully prepared the lottery session, and we were very honored to have Vicki, Kiki, Sophia, Allison, Robbert, Jinxin, Cao Ying, Maggie and other esteemed guests drawing prizes for the lucky audience members.

During the party, AFI specially organized a charity auction. The objects in the auction are papyrus paintings, a kind of art that originated in ancient Egypt. They were all purchased by Angelene, the founder of AFI, in the local art workshop when she attended the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in Egypt. Thanks to the generosity of Kiki, Li Chang, Nick, Rudy, Julia, Sherry, Jaclyn, Mino, Jenny, Vicki, John, Helen and other guests, AFI will cherish your donation and continue to work hard to give back to the community!

The guests and hosts of the party had a good time. Due to the limited capacity of the venue, many AFI members were unable to participate in the party. We specially held a follow-up reception for everyone to chat and make friends. At 4:00PM, the guests arrived at the networking place one after another. 

We sincerely thank Menusifu for providing the venue for the reception free of charge and giving our community the opportunity to talk to each other in person. A total of more than 100 people attended, including many students from the AFI Elite Workplace Student Class who came from afar. The evening reception lasted until 8PM-9PM, and everyone bid farewell and returned home happily.

Video Producer: Frank Dong

And a very special THANK YOU to the sponsors of this event!