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China Care Bruins Buddy Program - 2012

China Care Bruins logo

Update: All openings have been filled for this year. Kindly try again next year.

We are delighted to announce that there are a few additional openings in the China Care Bruins Youth Mentorship "Buddy" Program for the 2012-2013 academic year (October 2012 through June 2013).  It is my pleasure to serve as the Liaison between our adoptive families and the China Care Bruins leadership.  Please contact me (and not the China Care Bruins leadership) should you have any questions or concerns about the application process.

Founded in 2005, China Care Bruins is a student-run group at UCLA that raises funds to provide medical services for children in China's orphanages and mentors Chinese adoptees and their siblings.  Last year, more than 50 FCC children and youth were paired with college student “Big Buddies.”  The Buddy groups participate in monthly Sunday afternoon get-togethers on the UCLA campus throughout the academic year.  Visit and check out the photo gallery.  During the Buddy gatherings, parents are invited to join in our Parent Roundtables featuring discussions, film viewing, speakers and more on a variety of current events and adoptive family topics.

Since we began collaborating with China Care Bruins and initiated the mentorship program in 2005, it has grown in size and has been recognized as a model mentoring program.  In 2009, China Care Bruins was selected from more than 40 chapters to receive the inaugural Outstanding Community Service Award from the national China Care Foundation for this mentorship program and received similar honors in 2010 and 2011.  For its fundraising efforts and community contributions, China Care Bruins received the 2011 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy Award from Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and the Asian Pacific Community Fund.

Latest News from Orange County

OC Holiday Party 2011

What's been happening in Orange County for the past six months or so?  In October we screened the documentary Talking With the Moon Princess followed by a discussion for girls ages 10+ with the filmmaker Priscilla Hefley.  Thank you Priscilla for joining us and to Christine Friend and all the volunteers who helped organize and run this new event.  In November we held our annual art workshop with teacher Melanie Vogel, where kids created works of art to turn into holiday gifts. Thanks Susan Tschabrun for organizing and to the group that helped out on site. December was Holiday Party time, with another great turnout for this OC tradition.  This event took a village - thank you Jenifer Weigand
for all the advance arrangements and to Michelle Sheehan, Tanya Turro-Vilander, Debbie Kistler, Sandy Draper, Maggie Davenport, Mary Wattenberg, Patty Uy, their families, and everyone else who pitched in on this event. In March we got together for our first Dim Sum Sunday of 2012 and were happy to have several families with babies in attendance. Thanks Christine Friend for organizing. 

If you have photos from any of these past events you'd like to share, please send them to and we'll get them posted.

What's still to come in 2012?  A number of OC parents participated in a March planning meeting to outline the calendar for the rest of the year - see attached.  Many of the dates and times are still to be determined, so check your email and for updates as the year progresses.  Up next is a kickoff gathering for the Blazing Paddles dragonboat team on April 29.  Contact Maggie Davenport at for details.

If you have any questions or want to get involved please email

Orange County's 15th Annual Moon Festival Banquet Delights All

Four friends at the Moon Festival

Orange County held our 15th Annual Moon Festival Banquet on September 18.  Keeping with tradition, the event was held at Ten Ten Seafood Restaurant in Artesia.

The evening started off with an icebreaker activity, the Moon Festival Legends Game. Each participant received a sheet about the legends and were tasked with finding images related to the legends, e.g. 10 suns, Chang-e, Hou-yi etc.  Each family was given an envelope of images to hand out and the kids had to run around the room collecting images from other banquet attendees.

As always, everyone enjoyed the delicious menu of egg drop soup, honey walnut shrimp, beef and snow peas, tofu and mushrooms, cashew chicken, house lo mein, yang chow rice, and of course, moon cakes.  Dinner was followed by a variety of entertaining and education performances: 

  • Martial Drum: Performer Arthur Chen and instructor Rachael Sysiong
  • Beijing Opera Master: Kevin Chai
  • Lion Dance Instruction: Jonathan Wong

All attendees had the opportunity to try out the instruments and costumes and learn some of the routines first hand.  The evening ended with prizes for the kids - all went home with an adorable stuffed xiong mao, hou zi, tu zi or other animal.

Many thanks to organizers Susan Tschabrun and Debbie Kistler, and the group of volunteers who helped make this banquet a success! Copy and photos for this post contributed by Patty Uy and Jenifer Weigand.

Posing for the camera at the Moon Festival