The 57th Annual Easter Pancake Breakfast

By Richard Fong

This is our 57th Annual Wa Sung Easter Pancake Breakfast. It was held inside the Lincoln Recreation Center Gymnasium on 10th and Harrison Street in Oakland, CA.

Due to rain forecasts and for stage safety, we made an early decision to have the event inside. Our Wa Sung members and volunteers began to transform the gym at 6:00 am on Easter Sunday. The Wa Sung Community Service Club and the many volunteers put on the spectacular annual pancake and sausage event. A lot of work was done prior to the event. Months earlier, the committee chairs: Clayton Yukumoto, Alex Lock, John Lew, Doreen Lew, Jeff Quon, Cindy Quon, Cyndee Lim, Audrey Hui, Karen Dea, Judy Ma, Derek Lang, Adrienne Fong, Richard Fong and many members started planning, getting permits, reserving the park, printing flyers, looking for food donors and sponsors, sending out letters, ordering tickets, and putting together the entertainment schedule. We now have lots of members who are able to chair this event in the future.

About two weeks before the event, Norman Cheng, Roland Hui, Jeff Quon, Cindy Quon, Mike Wong, Mel Everton, John Lew, Alex Lock, Peter Chu, Karen Dea, and Rich Fong cleaned and prepared the grills for Easter morning. Thanks guys and gals! Those are just a few of the members and volunteers who participated and put smiles on other people’s faces. Over a hundred youth and adult volunteers from Asian Youth Services Committee, Asian Americans for Community Outreach, Castro Valley Interact Club, UC Berkeley Pre-Pharmacy Informational, Learning and Leadership Society (PILLS), and children of our members came to do community service and enjoyed working the event.

Sponsors and donations came from PDQ Printing, Pacific Rim Produce, Yin’s McDonald’s, Kaffe Magnum Opus, Englander Restaurant & Pub, and Digsby Donuts of San Ramon. Then it’s all of the volunteers, young and not so young, at 6:00 a.m. who ensure the stoves are lit and ready to cook and the chairs, tables, and stage are ready for our 8:30 a.m. serving.

The recreation center was transformed from basketball courts into a pancake dining hall, complete with a stage for performers and tables for our community organizations. Jeff Stevens provided the sound equipment. Thanks to Judy Ma, Clayton Yukumoto, and Derek Lang for organizing the volunteers, and Wayne Fong and Nora Yee for being our MC’s. Thanks to the jook crew, Adrienne Fong, Cheryl Yukumoto, and crew. Thanks also to Karen Dea for our wonderful signs, kitchen crew, and Young Fong and his pancake-mixing crew. Thanks to Mike Wong, his pancake grilling crew, Loretta Siu, and her crew for taking care of the oranges, orange juice, and condiments. Thanks to Audrey Huie, the ticket tracking crew, Helena Mew and her crew of ticket collectors, Howard Lee and the trash crew, Gilbert Gin, and OCCOPS. A Big Thank You to All of the Volunteers!!

This year, the community and Wa Sung gives a big thank you to: The Oakland Fire Department Station 1 and their hook and ladder vehicle, Oakland Police Department, Asian Health Services, Asian Mental Services, American Liver Society and their testing van, American Red Cross Puppeteers and the open demonstrations of first aid, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Oakland Chinatown Citizens on Patrol dressed in uniform, and Asian Youth Services Committee giving out eggs and candy to the children. Great job AYSC! Thank you to chairpersons Vania Lei and Daniel Chu.

Our event started with an early 7:30 a.m. church service provided by Pastor Emily Lin at the Chinese Community United Methodist Church. Then Arnold Mew, our 2013 President, gave his address. The ticket collection began, and the community came. The pancakes and sausages were plated for our guests. Red Cross Puppeteers, Heiwa Taiko Drummers, Ballet Et Cetera, and U.S. Shaolin Kung Fu provided the entertainment. Thank you performers; you were fantastic! Your volunteering and performances were spectacular and much appreciated by all of the community! Year after year, they came and put great big smiles on the faces of our community attendees. The pancakes and sausage were great! Even Mayor Jean Quan came to address the crowd and sample the Wa Sung Pancakes. Look for photos of the Mayor demonstrating her skills on the Taiko drums. The photos of our Easter Pancake event tell a thousand words!

There are many more key volunteers to be recognized and thanked; you can read about them in our 2013 Directory. Over 200 of them are on the member’s page. Roland Hui, Doreen Lew, and Arnold Mew, the co-chairs for this year’s directory, are to be congratulated for putting together another fantastic directory!

Lastly, there is an ingredient that deserves much appreciation! That is you, the “COMMUNITY”. Thank you for your support and for participating in our event that has covered 57 years. We are humbled by your never-ending patronage. On behalf of all of the Wa Sung Community Service Club, we, “Thank You”! See you next Easter!