Successful CFAA 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

On Aug 27, 2006, Chicago Fudan Alumni Association (CFAA) held a 10 Year Anniversary picnic at Deer Grove Park in Palatine, IL. Around 160 alumni, family members, guests and friends attended the gathering. Some alumni drove hours from Wisconsin and UIUC. People met old friends and made new friends. There were also volleyball, soccer, Frisbee, Hula Hoop, jump rope, kite and other games. The spirit was high and the atmosphere was warm. The event was well received by alumni and it also raised the profile of CFAA in Chicago Chinese Communities.

First let us thank Prof. Woo Pengyung for his continuous strong support. Prof. Woo gave his full support to the picnic team and we thank Prof. Woo for his devotion to CFAA.

Next our thanks go to a group of professional social event organizers. They are Chicago Chinese Computing Association Vice President Zhou Jiangang (Stanley), Association of Chinese Scientists and Engineers in USA (ACSE) Vice President Xu Xiangdong, Greater Chicago Chinese Tennis Association (GCCTA) cofounder Shi Yu (Sunny, currently in semi-final of GCCTA Championship), and ACSE Vice President Yu Zhiguang (George). Stanley and Xiangdong are both picnic experts. Stanley reserved the picnic site, put down road signs, put up the banner, decorated the tables, put food in everyoneís hand, and arranged prize drawing to excite attendees. Xiangdong is an expert on game and entertainment activities. Xiangdong set up volleyball net, brought other games and played Fudan Centennial Celebration DVD on laptop computer. Xiangdong also helped to distribute food. Sunny used his technical skills to automate the registration process. This enabled us to have an information driven process for the picnic. Food purchase and food distribution was all based on information gathered from registration. George has great presentation skills and is an expert working with professional organizations. George interacted well with other community leaders and his speech left a deep impression with the audience. Been there, done that, their expertise contributed significantly to the success of this event.

Our thanks also go to board members. Yuan Jian purchased drinks for the event. Yang Jie came early to work on registration. Liu Weizhong brought camera to take photos. I also asked Qi Xiaohe to come to help. The thinking goes like this: at least Xiaohe could help on name tags and other issues, also his wife Rhonda (she is not from Fudan) is very capable and warm hearted, maybe Rhonda could support Yuan Jian. Upon their arrival, Rhonda was immediately persuaded by Yuan Jian to work on payments and Rhonda performed brilliantly. Xiaohe, we donít want to owe you even more in our next picnic.

Other picnic team members played a pivotal role in the success of the event. Fudan High School alumnus Chen Yun surveyed the picnic site, attended discussion and gave suggestions. On the day of the event, Chen Yun didnít feel well in terms of health condition. However, she was cheered up by the huge crowd and worked hard on registration. Xu Bo bought pizza and worked diligently to distribute food to everyone.

Our volunteers for leading committee fully demonstrated their volunteer spirit in the picnic. Zhang Zhiyi (Jerry) and Chen Ye came early and worked together to carry 120 boxes of food, 120 cups of soup, 120 egg rolls, cakes and steam rice, napkins, chopsticks and spoons from Lao Sichuan Restaurant. After put food on the table, Jerry and Chen Ye worked nonstop to put food in peopleís hands. Xin Zhili kept a sharp eye and made sure that tables were cleaned. This is a great start and I am sure that leading committee members will contribute much more to CFAA in the future.

Bosses became workers. Venture Capitalist Huang Weiqing and Entrepreneur Li Xiaofang who owns chemistry business both in US and China, rolled up their sleeves, carried many boxes of food and distributed even more. UIC students came early to help carry huge quantity of bottle water. Many other alumni spontaneously lent a helping hand at the picnic site and contributed greatly to make the picnic a smooth and successful event.

I was invited to both Beida and Tsinghua picnic. I am proud to tell you that our picnic was similar in size to Beida and Tsinghua picnics. An important purpose of this picnic is to promote CFAA in Chicago Chinese Communities. Beida and Tsinghua Alumni Association leaders were amazed at the high registration rate of CFAA picnic. Over 90 percent of people who registered came to the picnic, and among people who came to the picnic, 80 percent of them had already registered. CFAA already has an admirable community spirit, let us keep it and make it even stronger.

In the following web page please find newspaper report about Fudan Aug 27 Picnic.

Wang Jian