Monday, December 10, 2012

Good times never seemed so good

Thank you for being part of the CASL-AB Winter Benefit! The event was truly a success because of all of you! We had 100+ attendees and raised over $4000! Your contributions and tremendous support will provide direct funding for a variety of CASL and CASL-AB programs.

Blokes & Birds provided an amazing venue for our event and was very generous in donating a portion of the food and drinks!  We are grateful to Kenny Ng and hope to have more partnership events with his restaurants in the future - Blokes & Birds in Wrigleyville and Sakura in Chinatown.

Ernie Wong, Chair of CASL's Governing Board (left), was our special guest and opened the evening with our very own Jing Cheng, AB Chair (center right). We appreciate him spending the entire evening mingling with our attendees and entertaining us with his name game dollar bill bets!

While the crowd was enjoying the warmth of good company, things were really heating up with some of the more popular silent auction items - Gibsons Steak House, Urban Oasis, Sullivan's Steak House and Chicago Neighborhoods Taste Fest - and many people walked away with incredible deals!



A special thank you to CASL staff, Pingjing Zou (left), Stacey Oquendo (center), and Joyce Richter (right), who helped us with check-in and money management all evening, allowing the Executive members to mix and mingle.

Also a special shout out to our community counterparts, members from Ascene, TAP-Chicago, Project: VISIONKACS YLB, and NAAAP-Chicago. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the fun with us!  




Saved the BIGGEST thanks for last! Thank you to AB Fundraising Co-chairs Karen Ng (left) and James Liu for putting together such an awesome event! 

Recognizing our MVV (most valuable volunteer), Cathy Tang, for having attended the most CASL-AB events! Your big heart won you a surPRIZE!

And of course, our evening ended with tried and true karaoke. Membership co-chairs Gabriel Wong and Ron Chan with owner of Tamarind, Paul Ko (left), and Kenny Ng (right), performed a pretty fantastic rendition of "Sweet Caroline".

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Event: Annual Winter Benefit & Silent Auction

EDIT: $20 presale extended through Wednesday, November 21
Our Winter Benefit & Silent Auction is 2 weeks away, and we're already at 70% capacity! By popular demand, we are extending our $20 presale price 3 more days. Buy yours now!

Thanks to the generosity of Blokes & Birds, attendees receive TWO free drinks, in addition to delicious appetizers like bacon mac n' cheese and Wagyu beef sliders (see below)! 

Don't miss out on this worthwhile event and the chance to bid on over 40 auction items! Get some holiday shopping done while enjoying good food, good drinks, and good company for a good cause. Items include:
  • rare C-3PO collectible, box and back of head autographed by George Lucas
  • $250 gift card to Gibson's Steakhouse
  • 2 Chicago Bulls tickets valued at $400
  • $100 gift card to Urban Oasis
  • and many more!

Come join CASL-AB for a fun night filled with food, drinks and a silent auction at the posh lower-level lounge of Blokes & Birds. 100% of proceeds benefit our community service programs!

Date: Friday, Nov 30th, 2012
Time: 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Location: Blokes & Birds, 3343 N Clark Street, Chicago
Attire: Dressy Casual
Tickets: $20 through Nov 21, 2012, $30 after, and include 2 drink and heavy hors d'oeuvres

Limited capacity - get your tickets today!

About the venue:
Blokes & Birds is a chic public house in Lakeview featuring gastropub fare, a unique beer list and great craft cocktails. The contemporary, lustrous decor along with the delicious British comfort food and handcrafted spirits make Blokes & Birds a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
 Follow on Twitter: @BlokesBirds

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Tonight was a wonderful reminder of CASL's humble beginnings and exponential growth due to the compassion and hard work of volunteers and staff. Twelve of us from the Associate Board attended CASL's Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, along with many others who help with client service programs and behind-the-scenes work.

Bernie Wong, President of CASL, and Esther Wong, Executive Director, both spoke of the important role that volunteers play at CASL; without these dedicated volunteers, the operation of many programs simply would not be possible. To learn more about opportunities to give back, click on the SERVICES tab on CASL's homepage.

  CASL-AB with CASL development staff and CASL president and co-founder, Bernie

The evening of food and fun concluded with this year's volunteer awards.  Our very own Jing Cheng and Johnny Mui were both recipients, among others. They were acknowledged for their leadership work as Associate Board Co-Chairs, and Jing was also praised for her involvement with the Cup of Tea program. CASL-AB was mentioned numerous times for being service-minded and organized, focused and invigorated. We're so honored and proud to be a part of such an incredible organization!

A special shout out to KC, Cathy, and John who attended the dinner - thanks for being such awesome AB volunteers! :)

 Jing accepting a recognition award from Bernie
Membership co-chairs Gabe and Ron accepting a recognition award on behalf of Johnny
 A lovely performance of the handkerchief dance by CASL's youth dance troupe

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Event: University of Chicago Campus Tour

Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.

Join us on our 2012 College Campus Tour as we bring high school students from the Chinatown and Bridgeport communities to visit the University of Chicago! Most of these students are first generation Asian-American citizens, and many are the first in their families to have an opportunity to attain a college education. Volunteers will be paired up with students as we attend a campus tour, admissions info session, cafeteria luncheon, and end-of-day Q&A session joined by current students of the university. This is a unique high-impact opportunity to spend the day as a mentor to motivated youths that may not know many role models who are college graduates.

Saturday, November 10th, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Meet at CASL: 2141 S. Tan Court, Chicago, IL 60616

Free, RSVP required. Please email to register (see TRANSPORTATION).
Volunteers will need to cover own lunch expense at the university cafeteria.
Event limited to 15 volunteers on a first come first serve basis.

Car-pooling will be arranged from CASL to the university. Please help us when registering by indicating if you can drive other volunteers, or if you need to carpool.

Henry So 607.279.9528 |
Stephanie Chan 847.373.3449 |

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Past Soiree, Future Benefit

It's hard to beat being in the company of amazing people while enjoying delicious food and drinks - oh wait, unless one gets to do all of the above FOR A GREAT CAUSE! A group of us did just that last Saturday at Project: VISION's 5th Annual Fall Soiree, where proceeds from ticket sales and silent auction items will fund after school programs for Bridgeport youth.

Some of our execs with friends from the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and TAP-Chicago

 Co-Prosperity Sphere was an absolutely stunning venue!
Their mission and growth are truly inspirational, but they always need more volunteers! Click here to see how you can help.
Food generously donated by South Loop pan-Asian restaurant Tamarind
 Some incredible silent auction items from Akira (that I won yay!)

Missed out on this charity event? Mark your calendars for CASL-AB's Winter Benefit on Friday, November 30th, from 7-10pm at Lakeview's swanky new gastropub Blokes & Birds! Follow CASL_AB on Twitter to stay updated.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

1210 and counting

Despite being one of the fastest growing minority groups in the United States, Asians have one of the lowest voter participation rates. CASL-AB set out this past Saturday to help change this with our second Voter Registration Drive. We registered 12 voters in both the Chinatown and Bridgeport neighborhoods and, with the 20 from our inaugural drive, helped the CBCAC surpass their goal of 1200!

Cathy, who single-handedly registered 4 voters during September's drive, led the recent event. Her thoughts:
Being able to see old friends and a few new faces on such a cold day was great.  Approaching strangers in Chinatown / Bridgeport was definitely not the easiest thing, however being able to get outside of our comfort zones and register more voters made the entire experience extra rewarding.  It was wonderful to see everyone working together to further strengthen the community.

 Orientation in the CASL board room
 Quick photo in the stairwell on our way out of the CASL headquarters
 Connecting with Atarah, the co-founder of the Chinese Language and Culture Association (CLCA) at Chicago State University and a Chinatown tour guide
 Kat and Katie, students at the University of Chicago and long-time volunteers of CASL's Cup of Tea program, stopped by to register also! Thanks ladies!
 LOVED their enthusiasm and energy! Definitely looking forward to working with them both on future CASL-AB events :)
Happy with our numbers, especially Ed Chen (center), president of TACL TAP-Chicago, who registered 3 in Bridgeport!

Thank you to all our volunteers! And don't forget to vote; election date is Tuesday, Nov 6 :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Rock Bottom Brewery Happy Hour

CASL-AB hosted our October Happy Hour at Rock Bottom Brewery last night and had a fantastic turnout despite the inclement weather. The delicious appetizers, craft beers, and live music set the tone for a fun night of mingling. Thank you all for your support! High fives to KC Lau and Tom Li for being the "stand out" patrons of the evening! :)

Ron Chan, Membership Co-Chair, is blown away by the interest and growth in CASL-AB: 
"It was great to see all our support at the Rock Bottom Happy Hour. The CASL Associate Board social events are a great way for members to come out, meet up with old friends and get to know new ones. We all share a common interest in trying to serve the community, and it was great to share ideas and thoughts about how we can improve on our efforts."

If you missed the HH, don't wait for November! Come hang out with CASL-AB at our second Voter Registration Drive tomorrow from 12-3 at the CASL headquarters. The CBCAC, CASL staff, and CASL-AB have registered a total of 1022 voters as of Oct 2. Let's help the CBCAC reach their goal of 1200! Click here for more details.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our vote, our voice

Fall Community Service kicked off last Saturday with a voter registration drive through the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC). Fifteen of us met at the CASL headquarters for an orientation led by Theresa and Xiao Xiao of CBCAC, followed by 2 hours registering a total of 20 individuals all around Chinatown. Shout out to Cathy Tang, who registered 4 people on her own!

Henry, the event organizer, reflects:  
Approaching strangers on the street and engaging their interest was something completely outside of my comfort zone but was a great learning experience. I learned a lot from the orientation itself as well about the importance of voting and registering to vote, especially for the Asian community in Chicago. I think even volunteers who didn't manage to register anybody had lots to gain from the experience.

 The shirt says it all.

 Packed room for an incredibly motivational orientation

 You know you're in Chinatown when.. start posing with peace signs haha

Who says bright green t-shirts can't look this good?

Super pumped and ready to register voters in this gorgeous weather!

Interested in being a part of this campaign to get Chinatown and Bridgeport voices heard? Join us for our next round of voter registrations on Saturday, Oct. 6! Stay tuned for more info :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bull & Bear Happy Hour

What better way to ease post Labor Day weekend blues than with a CASL-AB happy hour? On Thursday, Sept. 6, thirty of us met up at Bull & Bear, an upscale sports bar located in the heart of River North. Always fun to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and plan for future social events - props to Lei for the ski trip suggestion! 
Our Social Chair, Lian (left), with our wonderful waitress and a new member, Lei (right)

Taken some time before we overflowed into the next booth and back bar area
From left: Ryan, Shenny, Gabriel (Membership Co-Chair), John, Cathy, Kathleen, Ingrid
Members of TAP-Chicago and Ascene Chicago coming out to support us :) Love these bold patterns!
So nice meeting our newest Community Service committee member, Ingrid (right), and her roommate Kathleen!
James (center), Fundraising Chair and longtime volunteer of CASL's Cup of Tea program, mingling with Paul, Chloe, and Ingrid
Hanging out with the bubbly Shenny (right) of AACN and TAP-Chicago!
Can't resist the delicious smell of sliders
From left: Henry (Community Service Co-Chair), Chloe (committee member), Ron (Membership Co-Chair)
John, a volunteer attorney at CASL's pro-bono legal clinic, and Cathy, a volunteer for CASL's Family Learning and Resource Center (FALREC)