Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recaps of 2013 College Campus Tour

CASL Associate Board's second annual University Campus Tour was a huge success!  A group of 14 students from the Chinatown area were paired with 14 volunteer mentors, led by organizers from the Associate Board and WIA Youth/CASL staff members Andrew and Ashley. The students are predominantly first generation Asian Americans and many are the first in their family to apply for college.

Students and volunteers attended a Northwestern University information session and guided campus tour in the morning. After lunch at Loyola University, a Loyola student volunteer led a tour of the Loyola. The event ended with a round table discussion amongst students and mentors.  

We are grateful for another strong volunteer participation in this event: each volunteer dedicated 8+ hours on a Saturday. Most importantly, as mentors they provided rich and diverse perspectives on their college experiences and professional careers.  Many volunteers and students expressed an interest in a follow-up event, such as an application review and ACT tutoring.

A special thank you goes to AB member Joe Jerr for helping organize the event and Loyola students Ben Beltran and Kevin Bautista for their campus tour.

Thank you again from CASL and the Associate Board - this event was made possible only with the contribution of all the volunteers!

Come celebrate the arrival of fall with the CASL Associate Board for a special menu at Three Aces, named one of the 38 best Chicago restaurants by Eater Chicago. We've reserved the private room and a delicious roast pig dinner. Join in on the feastand help us toast to the beginning of a new season.

Friday, Nov. 1 @ 7pm

Three Aces
1321 W. Taylor (between Throop & Ada) 

How to get there?
Take pink line : Polk or Blue line : Racine
Limited street parking available
Special Menu:
Whole Roast Pig and Seasonal Sides
Cost with gratuity (drinks not included):
$25 for CASL AB members
(please email KC Lau to obtain discount code)
$30 for non-members 
To register and purchase your tickets: 
Due to Three Aces pig roast reservation policies, please purchase your tickets no later than Friday, Oct. 25.
Limited seating, so sign-up now! 
Questions? Contact:
KC Lau at 312.315.7163 or kclau1977@gmail.com
Lian Cai at 708.466.0764 or liancai2007@gmail.com

With your help, we're making a difference!

A personal thank you from Yuling Wu at CASL for the wonderful school supplies donated at our Art Supply Drive at theWit. 

"The art supplies donated by you all have been well used in the past summer. The SAC children had a Fairy Tales Performance on 8/30/13.

The costumes, props, background setting were all created by using the art materials you all donated!
On behalf of the SAC children and staff, I thank you." - Yuling Wu, CASL School Age Center Coordinator


Thanks for your support at Bone Marrow Drive for Nina!

A bone marrow transplant can save the life of a cancer patient but Asian Americans are very underrepresented in the donor registry.  

Last Saturday, CASL staff, AB volunteers and SaveNina registered 22 new donors for the BeTheMatch registry!  

Thanks for your support.


Do You Want to Get More Involved? Help the Associate Board!

Do you want to be more connected with Chicago's Chinese American community?

Want to meet like-minded individuals and work together to create positive impact?

Interested in giving back to the community and want to find a worthwhile organization to support?

The Associate Board of CASL hosts monthly events that offer opportunities in networking and volunteering. We also have event committees that could use your help. Whether your interest is in networking, educating youths, helping new immigrants acclimate to the city, fundraising, marketing or event planning, we can find a spot for you to be involved. 

Please contact associateboard@caslservice.org.

A Cup of Tea for AB & Rock the ROOF

"Volunteering on Saturday mornings at CASL is the highlight of my week.  It was exciting to combine AB's service mission and COT students in this event."  ~Karen Ng, AB Co-Chair/COT Volunteer since June 2012

A big thank you to all the AB volunteers who attended the Cup of Tea event on August 17.  The special COT session provided students with much needed opportunity for listening and speaking English.  Volunteers received a brief training and conducted one-on-one lessons with students, focusing on conversational skills.  The lesson was followed by a delicious lunch in Chinatown! 

Cup of Tea is the only CASL program that is entirely run by volunteers.  Every Saturday, 10-15 volunteers lead interactive English lessons in small group settings to teach students functional English skills.  Volunteers sign up week to week, and no long term commitment is needed. The next special AB+COT event will be in winter 2014. 

To view the pictures, click http://on.fb.me/1eavoFD

You Rocked the ROOF!

Thank you so much for those who attended AB's Happy Hour Social event at ROOF on theWit on July 11.  The sun was shining and all of us were smiling as we enjoyed the roof top views.  Over 50 attendees contributed over $300 worth of craft supplies and $200 cash for the School Age Center.  

CASL's SAC is part of the Child Education & Development Services Department.  With summer in full swing, SAC has 40-50 students daily in attendance and was in great need of craft supplies for their classrooms.  Our successful event brought them over $500 of supplies: play dough, markers, color pencils, poster board, construction paper, glue sticks, pencils, erasers and pipe cleaners.  The kids are the direct beneficiary of your generosity!

To see what the SAC children did last summer, click here(link).

Monday, July 1, 2013

CASL AB Mid-Week Chic Recap & July Social on the ROOF!

(Photo courtesy of Ascene Chicago)

Thanks to everyone who made it out to CASL AB's Summer Benefit: Mid-Week Chic @ Akira a few weeks ago. The ladies had a great time trying on Akira’s beautiful and stylish summer styles, while the guys mingled.
Many of our fashionable guests also participated in the “Try it on at Akira Contest.” We had 3 winners; Rachel Frain won for her hot “Chicago Summer” style, Susan Claire pick up an award for her “Artsy Wicker Park” outfit and Vicki Lau put together the best “Day to Night” ensemble. 

We’d like to give a special thanks to our sponsors of the night: Fuga Salon & Spa, Mandarin Quarterly, Pretty Quick and of course Akira for hosting the event.

Don’t forget AB is hosting our summer Service/Social Event on July 11th at ROOF on theWit!!  We are collecting supplies for CASL’s School Age Center. With over 50 kids at CASL's summer program, SAC is in great need of play dough, markers, color pencils, poster board, construction paper, glue sticks, pencils, erasers, pipe cleaners, etc. You may contribute by bringing supplies or a $10 suggestion donation.

July 11Thursday, 6-8 p.m.

ROOF on theWIT, 201 N. State    

To RSVP, visit:

Hope to see you guys there!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Autumn GoodBye (Temporary) & Welcome Esther

Our beloved Autumn is packing her bags and moving to Wisconsin to embark on her Physician Assistant graduate program. AB is proud of her hard work and is 100% cheering for her!  We are also 100% sad to say goodbye to our awesome Communications and Marketing Co-Chair.  We will miss her positive energy, team spirit and superb graphic design skills!  However, we will be sure to keep up with her by her daily coffee shop facebook check-in's.  We hope to see Autumn at AB events when she visits Chicago.  Be sure to wish her good luck!

Esther Choy is our newest Executive Board member.  She grew up in Hong Kong, moved to Chicago to finish high school, graduated from UIUC with a Landscape Architecture degree and now lives in Bridgeport with 2 cats,and her husband, Jimmy.  After working at CASL for two years as a development assistant, she now is a full time brand designer and also works on her online jewelry business, Fusiana (www.fusianajewelry.com).  Esther is passionate about using her media and design skills to spread the word of AB far and wide.  After making two short films related to Fusiana, her next project will be a short film about AB.  Stay tuned!! 
Please join us in welcoming Esther and wishing Autumn all the best!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Event: CASL's 24th Annual Dinner Gala

Volunteers Needed: Behind the Scenes at CASL's Dinner Gala

CASL's 24th Annual Dinner Gala is coming up on Monday, May 8, 2013. This is CASL's largest fundraiser of the year with over 500 guests and over $300,000 raised! The Gala is an all-hands-on-deck project for CASL, and AB has been asked to spread the word on volunteer opportunities. 

In order for the dinner to succeed, CASL needs a lot of help with event setup and management. This is a great way to help with CASL's fundraising effort, as well as getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse of its marketing and development strategies. Volunteers are needed from 4:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. with flexible start time if you cannot leave work until 5p.m. Training on all positions will be provided on-site, and volunteers will also receive a staff meal. 

Specific volunteer opportunities include:
  • Event set up-decoration of the room, arrangement of the room
  • Registration desk-help with event check-in, name tags, etc.
  • Ushers-help direct guests, answer questions
  • Stage helpers with performers-help manage the young dancers, stage performers, etc.
  • Staffing for the media table-check in interface with media and journalists
  • Auction-help with the operation of silent auction

If you are interested, please contact associateboard@caslservice.org, for more information.   

Would you like to attend CASL's 24th Annual Dinner Gala?

The Gala will feature a gourmet 3 course meal prepared by three spectacular chefs, Charlie Trotter, Art Smith, and Tony Hu. Dinner program will also include a cocktail reception, silent auction, raffle, traditional Chinese Lion Dance and performances by CASL’s clients. 

The Associate Board just received a big discount for tickets and we want to pass on this opportunity to you!  Corporate pricing is normally $350/ticket, and we are able to purchase tickets at $150 each!  We would love to be able to put a full table of Associate Board members together! 

Please contact associateboard@caslservice.org for more information.

Meets and Eats!

On a cold night on Friday in March, a group of CASL AB members got together to warm up with some hotpot at Sweet Station. It was a great evening of meets, eats, and greets (and sweets). We took this opportunity for AB members to let their hair down and really get to know one another. AB members experienced a night of fun, delicious food, and laughter. It was a great way to say good bye to a fantastic winter of AB events and start the spring! 

Lunar New Year Chinatown Parade 2013

In February, the Associate Board led the design of the CASL float in the Chinatown Lunar New Year parade. Thousands of Chicagoans came to watch the festivities and celebrate. We worked closely with high school students from the WIA high school program to design and then decorate the float. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

S for Snake, Service, Seniors

On February 7th, in light of the upcoming Lunar New Year of the Snake, CASL AB held a happy hour/gift drive at the upscale sushi lounge Ara OnWe had over 40 guests in attendance despite the weather and, with everyone's generously donated gifts and dollars, surpassed our goal of 70 gifts for the seniors at the CASL Adult Day Services (ADS) program!

We also filled out a giant Happy Lunar New Year card for the ADS seniors, and some of us got to showcase our calligraphy skills :)

With the help of extra funds contributed by AB, we delivered 120 gifts to the ADS Lunar New Year party the next day and saw MANY smiling seniors! 

More about ADS
This program provides on-site care for older adults, ages 60 or above, to promote their social, physical, and emotional well-being in a supervised and structured group setting. The program provides seniors with social, recreational, therapeutic, and culturally sensitive activities, including but not limited to arts and crafts, fitness classes, outings, and singing and dancing groups. Participating seniors receive transportation services to and from the center if living within the service area, nutritious meals, and regular health monitoring by a registered nurse. To read some client stories, click here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

"Why We Give Back To The Community"

On January 26th, CASL Associate Board kicked off the New Year with our first general membership meeting. Members had the chance to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and learn more about CASL and our cause. 

Jing Cheng, AB Co-Chair, presenting an overview of CASL, its mission, and the vital role AB plays as the young-professional arm of CASL

Bernie Wong, founder of CASL, telling us about the history of CASL. Hearing how the organization has grown over the past 30 years - from 10 to hundreds of staff, from a handful to 700+ volunteers - was incredibly inspiring and humbling.

We had an amazing speaker panel consisting of Joanie Lum, a Fox News journalist and advisory board member; Anne Shaw, an attorney who started the Pro bono Legal Clinic at CASL, and candidate for 1st Ward Democratic Committeeman in the 2012 election; and Karen Chiu, a physician and co-founder of Project:VISION.

The panelists describing their ideal superpower - Joanie wanted to be able to instill compassion in everyone, Anne wanted to be able to provide justice for all, Karen wanted to be able to be in multiple places at once.

All our speakers gave great insight into their views of community issues, as well as the importance of volunteerism and leadership in helping make changes around us. 

After a tour of the CASL facilities, some of us joined two of the panelists, Anne and Karen, for a delicious lunch at Sweet Station

What a great way to start the New Year with the goal helping out and doing more for our community. Thank you all for attending!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wrapping up 2012

On Saturday, December 15th, 28 of Santa's most warm-hearted elves gathered at the CASL headquarters to wrap gifts for nearly 200 kids from the following CASL programs: Family Learning & Resource Center (FALREC), Child Development Center (CDC) and School Age Center (SAC). 


 Bernie Wong, founder and president of CASL, came down the chimney and was amazed to find the boardroom so packed with giftwrapping elves and beautifully wrapped presents!


With the presents piled up nicely for Santa to distribute them, Stephanie Chan, Community Service co-chair, took the elves on a tour of the incredible CASL facilities. Do YOU want to go on a tour? Or want to meet and network with other like-minded young professionals and find out why they give back to the community? Come join all of us on January 26th for our General Membership meeting!