Letter to the Editor | Chinese-American Club Boosts Local Business

More than 120 community members participated in the club's bingo night last Saturday

The South Pas Chinese-American Club (SPCC) did something big to bolster city businesses decimated by the pandemic. 

Last Saturday, its “Free Bingo” event on Zoom resulted in more than 100 dinners being sold by local restaurants Mike & Anne’s and Aro Latin. Those signing up to play bingo were offered two menu choices from each eatery, and I can attest that my party’s selections were scrumptious. 

The entries were only $15 each, and SPCC paid the tax. Customers saved even more since no tip was required. Both popular restaurants were showcased by SPCC Board Member Peitty Chou through descriptions and music videos. For those purchasing a dinner, SPCC held a raffle for restaurant gift cards, which SPCC purchased. The establishments are located on Mission Street, one at Fairview and the other at Diamond. 

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Bingo game winners received SPCC-purchased gift cards and special items from two local unique gift shops: Adobe Design (1506 Mission St., west of Fair Oaks) and Retreat Lifestyle (950 Mission St., across from the Gold Line station). Board member Sulynn Chee described the shops and played music videos of the boutiques. 

More than 120 community members participated in the 12 games, which were called by SPHS Master Tiger Bingo caller James Jontz. Mayor Diana Mahmud, who commended SPCC for its efforts, joined the games along with her husband Dick Helgeson. Laurie Wheeler, Chamber of Commerce president, welcomed the participants and expressed appreciation to SPCC on behalf of the businesses. 

Others nonprofits have offered support to local restaurants. The Oneonta Club selects a restaurant for its monthly virtual meeting. A prix fixe menu is selected or a $25 credit is made available that evening. Club members buy about 30 meals from a restaurant each month. Last June, the Rotary Club and Foundation of South Pasadena conducted a GoFundMe campaign and raised $14,000 that was donated to 14 local eateries. 

What is also amazing about the SPCC event is that a small band of fearless women club officials mastered in 17 days the Zoom, video, music, publicity, ads, website, social media and other daunting technical challenges to bring this special event to the community simply to help South Pas businesses. 

“SPCC is happy to be able to do this for our community,” said President Yuki Cutcheon by email after the event, “and to help our small businesses and restaurants once again thrive!”

By Sally Kilby | Former Board Member and President, South Pasadena Chinese-American Club


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