July 11 declared ‘Ray Chinn Day’

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Don Gregory, Ray Chinn, Art Siegal, and Bob Countryman at a 2008 U-District Rotary event honoring Chinn, Siegal, and Countryman.

The City of Seattle declared July 11 “Raymond G. Chinn Day,” in memory of Ray Chinn, the man who helped preserve the International District and who passed away July 22, 2012 at the age of 87. July 11 would have been his 88th birthday.

Chinn’s family came to the United States in the late 1800s in pursuit of more opportunity.

In 1945, at the age of 19, Chinn became the first Asian-American member of the University District Rotary Club. He served as its president for two years from 1966 to 1967.

In 1994, Chinn helped found the Chinatown–International District Business Improvement Area, which today provides many services to the neighborhood and plans three annual festivals in the neighborhood.

Chinn was also an early supporter of Storefronts Seattle, which was founded in 2010 and fills unused retail space in the International District and Pioneer Square with art projects and trial businesses to create a more welcoming neighborhood.

“Ray Chinn’s life was exemplified by his generosity, goodwill to others, and the Rotary Club motto of ‘Service Above Self,’” said the city in a proclamation signed by Mayor Mike McGinn. (end)

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