Awards and cake for an occasion

By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly

‘Tis the season to binge on poultry and decorate a tree. ‘Tis also the season to take time to thank those who have been influential and inspirational.Northwest Asian Weekly and the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation will be honoring top contributors to the Asian community on Dec. 5.

Publisher of NWAW and the Seattle Chinese Post Assunta Ng says events like this Top Contributors dinner are important because “these honorees have done a lot for our community, and this is our chance to thank them.”

One of the honorees is Faye Hong, known to many as a man who is never too humbled to sweep up the sidewalks of Chinatown with a broom. His commitment to keeping the community looking beautiful also brought the new Chinatown gate into town.

Gloria Ysmael-Adams is one of Seattle’s many unsung heroes. As an educator and former counselor, she is committed to helping youths. Known as “Glo” to those around her, Ysmael-Adams is also deeply dedicated to her family.

Hyeok Kim has the distinction of being the youngest honoree for these awards. Her age comes as a surprise to many because she has accomplished so much in her life. Kim is especially known for her optimism and can-do attitude and recently transitioned from the political arena to a career at Inter*Im, a nonprofit organization. Kim says she loves the change.

Aaliyah Gupta didn’t plan on a career committed to helping the female victims of domestic abuse, but once she started helping people and seeing what a difference she could make in others’ lives, she couldn’t stop. Even after her ‘retirement’ from Chaya, a nonprofit that serves South Asian women in times of crisis and need, Gupta still sits on Chaya’s board.

Individuals from the University of Washington, the UW Nikkei Alumni Association and Japanese American Community Organizations will be honored for their tireless efforts in helping 400-plus Japanese Americans whose educations were interrupted by World War II finally receive their well-deserved UW diplomas.

Made up of a group of some of the friendliest people around, the Asian Counseling & Referral Service is known for providing opportunities, hope and help to the community in 30 languages.

An institution that is wholly unique in America, the Wing Luke Asian Museum is the first and only museum designed to specifically represent the culture, history and art of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. The museum is named in honor of the late Seattle City Council member Wing Luke, who made history by becoming the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest.

The Top Contributor festivities will be held at Tea Palace Restaurant in Renton. Newly opened, Tea Palace is known as one of the largest Asian restaurants in the Northwest. It offers traditional Chinese and innovative Asian-inspired cuisine. Guests at NWAW’s Top Contributors dinner will be able to taste some of Tea Palace’s unique offerings.

As guests munch on Tea Palace’s food, they will also have the opportunity to bid on desserts in an energetic live auction that will benefit ACRS and The Wing Luke Asian Museum. In honor of this election year, there will be an Obama cake and a Gregoire cake up for grabs.

Hosting the dinner is a well-known face in the region. A lead anchor at Q13, Lara Yamada has delivered the news to Seattleites for the past two years. On Dec. 5, Yamada will emcee the events, introducing audience members to the honorees and sharing interesting tidbits about what these individuals have done for Seattle’s Asian community.

A graduate of the University of Oregon and a Hawaiian native, Yamada came to Seattle from Minneapolis, where she was an anchor and reporter. Yamada has won two SPJ awards. ♦

It’s not too late to register for the dinner or donate a dessert to a worthwhile cause. See page 8 for more details. Please bring cans of food if you come to the event.

Stacy Nguyen can be reached at

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