Phoenix Yee Fung Toy Family Association News Page

斐匿余風采堂 2012 年活動及文章

Happy Fall Festival For Phoenix YEES

For the third year now, the Phoenix Yee Fung Toy Family Association gathered at the City of Phoenix (Mayor) Margaret T. Hance Park near the Japanese Friendship Garden in the heart of the metropolitan area to celebrate with considerable joy indeed the return of cool weather with the annual Autumn Picnic. Each year, nearly half the time will be seasonally warm and then seasonally unreasonably so; thus, while the rotation of the Earth may bring a regular occasion for Spring Festival, the formal name in Chinese for the Lunisolar New Year, renown throughout the world for the color and felicity of that premier holiday: in Phoenix, Arizona, the sentiments of families and friends on this occasion is truly quite comparable.



The fare has always been bi-cultural even if the weather element is singular: as Chinese-Americans, we all naturally enjoy the hamburgers and hot dogs along with side dishes that recall our hearths and homes across the Pacific with veggies, rice and noodle preparations, and of course the sweets that cannot but make cookies and cakes take second billing. To savor the foods and the aromas when pleasant breezes can waft along the scent of mown grassy fields in a setting not less pleasing to the eye only enhances the occasion.

Moreover, as word gets out about it, the Japanese Friendship Garden has become, rightfully so, a further attraction; at the expense of $5 millions from governmental (city and federal) as well as major corporate donations, the extensive site with the sense and serenity of East Asia for a stroll is a unique additional benefit for the occasion. Thanks to Association former president David M. Yee, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Japanese Friendship Garden and has been for many years a prominent supporter thereof, free admission tickets are available for those attending the Yee event. (To be sure, while Chinese and Japanese aesthetics are not identical, and sometime can be quite divergent, there cannot but be a certain shared sense of kindred spirit in gardening for how botanical and aquatic life can combine with architectural touches.)

Each annual event of the Association is only feasible through the diligent and dedicated volunteers who ensure that the invitations are issued, the furnishings moved, the food arranged, the set-up orderly, and the clean-up completed. The Hance Park site provides for the Picnic ample fixed seating under ramadas, properly fenced in for relative privacy in a public space. The very young have adequate playground equipment; and there would be ample area for field sports but to gain that additional element will require more attention and attraction of youngsters by the Association leadership. Every success, after all, naturally only invites more effort to attain to yet brighter achievements.

Numbers of community leaders have been attending Association events – the Spring Festival banquet of course, but the Clan Hall Anniversaries, and now the Picnic as well. This is a mark of the contributions which many Yees continue to make to the betterment of all Chinese-Americans in the greater Phoenix area.

Now, as that November 4th occasion fades to happy memory, and the holiday season sets in with its busy schedules, we Yees in Phoenix can look back on 2012 as another high stepping-stone well climbed, and can be looking forward to more steps ahead with 2013.

Yee Moon-cheak, Phoenix, Az.

亞利桑那首位華裔州參議員 余艷芬

Kimberly Yee is pictured with her father Mr. Jack Yee at a voting center in Phoenix, Arizona on Election Day November 6, 2012.

2012 116 日又成為亞利桑那華裔參政具有歷史意義的時刻,原首位亞利桑那華裔眾議院余艷芬在瑪麗庫帕第20區獲得了超 過 52% 的選票,成為亞利桑那州首位華裔女參議員。

根據亞利桑那州秘書處消息,余艷芬的最後投票結果遠遠超過她的其他兩個競爭對手。 余艷芬在加州和亞利桑那州贏得了豐富的政府工作經驗,近年被選為首位華裔女眾議院,在眾議院切實地為亞利桑那市民服務。
余艷芬說:“我非常感謝市民們的鼎力支持,特別是華人社區的大力支持。 我很榮幸能代表我們小企業,以及那些努力工作的家庭。 再次表示榮幸,能夠繼續在州參議院內繼續為大家服務。”
余艷芬是鳳凰城華裔夫婦余哲夫(Jack Yee),鄧淑珍(Betty Yee) 的女兒。 同時也是馬英華(Nelson Mar)醫生的太太。

November 6, 2012:   Kimberly Yee becomes first Chinese Woman Elected to the Arizona State Senate

Kimberly Yee is pictured with her husband Dr. Nelson Mar at the Arizona Republican Party Victory Celebration
in downtown Phoenix at the Hyatt Regency on November 6, 2012.

Phoenix, Arizona - November 6, 2012 became another historic date in the records of Arizona political history. Current state legislator, Kimberly Yee, was elected as the first Chinese woman to the Arizona State Senate.

Yee captured over 52% of the votes in Maricopa County’s Legislative District 20. The final tally of votes for Kimberly Yee far exceeded those of her two competitors vying for the same district seat, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

After serving and gaining experience in various capacities of governmental service in Arizona and California, Yee follows her current elective term as the first Chinese woman to serve as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives.

“I am thankful for the amazing support that I have received from our Chinese community. It is a sincere honor to represent you, our small businesses and our hard-working families. I will serve you honorably in the State Senate,” Yee said.

Kimberly Yee is the daughter of Jack and Betty Yee of Phoenix, Arizona and the wife of Dr. Nelson Mar.


Reflections on the 2012 World Yee Convention in Vancouver, BC


Taking the occasion of a trip to cool and wet Northwest out of sunny and sweaty Arizona, I and my brother, Chapter President Joe with his wife Mayen, arrived in the evening of Wednesday, August 1st, a couple days ahead of the 5th World Convention of Yee Fung-toy Family Associations. Our accommodations were at the Hotel of the River Rock Casino and Resort right on a riverine waterfront; as in all such venues, these were top-notch for facilities and amenities. (Convention planners, take note!)

Thursday, Chapter Adviser David Yee with his wife Stephanie and daughters Meghan and Emily, arrived to join us, along with another Chapter Adviser, Rudy Yee and his wife Mary Ann. We all then boarded for a very scenic ferry ride out to Victoria (on Vancouver Island), the capital of the Canadian Province of British Columbia. After viewing the deservedly famous Butchart Gardens, we toured downtown sights – museums, government buildings, and Chinatown – concluding with dinner aboard a cruise ship and then back to River Rock.

On Friday, the excellent light rail system of Vancouver afforded us a chance for convenient sightseeing and shopping at Aberdeen Centre, where, afterwards, for dinner, we were joined by Ms. April (Wu) Taylor, a local Phoenix community leader, with her sister Barbara and two Korean friends at the Fisherman’s Terrace Restaurant. Seafood in the Pacific Northwest is justly appreciated for freshness and excellence.

The first event of the Convention was the Saturday night banquet at the Continental Seafood Restaurant in the adjacent suburb of Richmond. Grand Elder John M. Yee, and Chapter Vice President Cheak Yee, along with Jack Yee with wife Betty, and Brenda (Yee) Fung with husband William, were able to be present by this time.

Formalities of course commenced the Convention on Sunday morning; in this case, a Chinese Pavilion at a local cemetery in Vancouver was the site for the customary ancestral veneration rites. Then, everyone headed to the local Yee Fung Toy Association Hall in the Chinatown district, which of course on this occasion was filled to overflowing for opening ceremonies.

A dim sum style luncheon at the nearby Floata Seafood Restaurant (largest available for banqueting) was followed by meetings and sessions in breakout rooms, photography, and then some free time to shop before dinner. On this occasion of a Yee worldwide celebration, no less than half a dozen lion dance troupes choreographed quite an exhibition and a local celebrity newscaster performed as Mistress of Ceremonies.

Monday and Tuesday was the period during which the Canadian Yee associations convened their own national meeting; we were thus free to tour Vancouver and Chinatown. A highpoint was literally at Queen Elizabeth Park with its stunning views of the city set along its complex harbor amidst tree-clad mountains. Additionally, we had an opportunity briefly to visit the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Gardens, modest in size but memorable for loveliness laid out in the style of the famed gardens in the city of Suzhou, south of the Long River, the ChangJiang (the “Yangtze”) between Nanjing and Shanghai. Similarly, Stanley Park and the kitschy Granville Island rounded out the bus touring.

Dinners on Monday night was hosted by the local Mah Family Association, in honor of the long-standing close kinship/cooperation between the Mah’s and the Yee’s, hailed as four centuries long. (This cousinly relationship also extended to the Tse’s…)

Tuesday afforded a day long trip into the nearby Canadian Rockies – to Whistler and Shannon Falls; a ski lift ride was enjoyed by a few of us so inclined to dizzying heights of beauty. On the way back, a brief stop was made at Britannia Beach, and the evening concluded with another banquet at Continental Seafood in Richmond.

Time was taken on Wednesday to visit the Villa Cathay Care Center, which specializes in providing assisted care to Chinese elderly, as this is a facility that will no doubt become more and more of interest to the Phoenix community in due course. Grand Elder John M. Yee had a chance to visit with a dear friend of his own, and then treated all of us to a dinner at the Anytime No. 9 Restaurant to conclude a memorably pleasant excursion.

The Vancouver area had especially received extensive immigration out of Hong Kong before that British Crown Colony reverted to China in 1997; thus, not only is the cultural and cuisine scene in the area of highest quality, but Chinese-Canadians routinely achieve electoral office, especially in the suburb of Richmond. The Vancouver Yees definitely have a lot to showcase, and there can be little doubt not only that their efforts for this event were deeply appreciated, but that many of us will visit again whenever feasible with fondest anticipations.




By Edward Yue, Phoenix, Az

Rep. Kimberly Yee is featured as one of
Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women in New Book

Phoenix, Ariz. – State Representative Kimberly Yee (R-District 10), who represents the legislative district areas surrounding Glendale and northwest Phoenix, has been named as one of Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women of Arizona and will be featured in a centennial coffee table book now sold in select bookstores. Yee is the first Asian American woman ever elected to serve in the Arizona State Legislature.

“It is truly an honor to be named with the trail blazers, the history makers, and the outstanding women who are recognized among these 47 other women in this book,” Yee said. “As a native Arizonan, I appreciate the history of my home state. With each page of this Arizona centennial celebration book, I relate to every personal story shared in the book and the contribution each woman has made to the legacy of this great state.”

Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women is a part of the Arizona Centennial Legacy Project which celebrates the State of Arizona’s centennial, marking 100 years since becoming the 48th state. The selected honorees hail from all walks of life, from a jail minister and a bullfighter to a municipal judge.

Partnering with the Arizona Historical Society and the Arizona Community Foundation, the 48 Women project was created to honor women from diverse backgrounds whose leadership and commitment in the workplace contributed significantly to the betterment of our wonderful state.

The complete list of honorees, including Yee, are listed on the website Some familiar political names noted among the honorees include former Arizona Governors Rose Mofford, Jane D. Hull and Janet Napolitano, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

“Individually, the 48 Women governing board knew there were many Arizona women who are working hard every day to enhance the lives of others and to make Arizona the best state it can be,” said Connie Robinson, chairperson of the 48 Women project. “The level of statewide involvement and the number and quality of the nominations confirmed that. In fact, the scope of their work and commitment is remarkable.”

A coffee table book titled “Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women,” which tells the women’s stories in words and photos, was launched at a luncheon in Phoenix. The book is now available for sale at select book stores and locations throughout Arizona.

Phoenix Yees Welcome 4710 – Year Of The Dragon

Incoming Phoenix YFT President, Joe Yue, delivering his welcoming speech at the Spring Banquet

National YFT Grand Vice President, Alan Yee, addresses the Phoenix YFT with warm wishes

The Phoenix Yee Fung-toy Family Association convened for its annual celebration of the Chinese Lunisolar New Year on March 3, 2012 at the Great Wall Restaurant in central Phoenix. In recent years, family and friends have nearly filled the premier Chinese banqueting facility available in central Arizona – this year, every possible table seating was filled – 430 diners. With such a full house, it was no wonder a festive time indeed was had by all.

Az Rep Kimberly Yee presents an award to David M. Yee, outgoing president of Phoenix YFT, for his exemplary clan and community leadership over many recent years

Mr. Jack F. Yee was again the adept bilingual Master of Ceremonies, and this year had again the additional pleasure to introduce to an appreciative audience his very own daughter, Kimberly Yee, the first Asian American woman ever elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. Rep. Kimberly in turn had the opportunity to convey the greetings of the legislative chamber and to present an award to David M. Yee, outgoing president of the Association, for his exemplary clan and community leadership over many recent years.

Calif State Senator Leland Yee conveys congratulatory certificates to incoming President and VP of Phoenix YFT for 2012, respectively Joe Yue and Cheak Yee

A further special note of long-distance recognition was accorded by California State Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D., who had conveyed congratulatory certificates from his chamber to the incoming President and Vice President of the Association for 2012, respectively Joe Yue and Cheak Yee.

Given the long-standing and prominent support of the Association for scholarship achievement by young Yees, no doubt the highlight of the evening’s honors was the award and recognition of the following individuals (which of course rendered especial delight to the proud parents) –

YFT Scholarship winners

Mr. Jack F. Yee was again the adept bilingual Master of Ceremonies, and this year had again the additional pleasure to introduce to an appreciative audience his very own daughter, Kimberly Yee, the first Asian American woman ever elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. Rep. Kimberly in turn had the opportunity to convey the greetings of the legislative chamber and to present an award to David M. Yee, outgoing president of the Association, for his exemplary clan and community leadership over many recent years.

In high school – Zachary Yee, son of Jon and Anna Yee
Emily Yee, daughter of David and Stephanie Yee

In junior high – George Yu, son of Mr. & Mrs. Kebin Yu
Derek Yu, son of Mr. & Mrs. Jian Xin Yu
Taylor Yee, son of Jon & Anna Yee

Chinese School – Derek Yu, son of Mr. & Mrs. Jian Xin Yu

As could well be expected, a young person of talent and ambition works hard in every area, and each recipient compiled an extensive list of extracurricular activities and won college admissions readily – both the Clan and our general society can expect to benefit greatly from their ongoing contributions.

In addition to the customaries for this occasion – lions prancing, astrologies predicted, gifts raffled, toasts proffered, musics enjoyed, and of course, a succession of delicious courses consumed with gusto, there can be little doubt that the hallmark of the Yees banquet in Phoenix is the conviviality of the occasion. This is not by accident: prior to the evening, the Clan elders gather under the guidance of Grand Elder John M. Yee to review the RSVPs and devise the seating arrangements. Friendships and good relations at each table are thereby assured. Year after year, such extra care ensures that the community expects a pleasant time, and so repeat attendance is assured.

YFT officers/advisors/elder toast the Phoenix YFT

The Lunisolar New Year’s Day in 2012 fell on the relatively early date of January 23rd. In 2013, it will fall on the relatively late date of February 13th. These represent the approximate extremes that the Chinese calendar, set into its basic regularity during the Han Dynasty in 104 B.C.E., can have the Spring Festival occur. Another local custom in Phoenix is that the Association, regardless of these lunar (and often intercalculary) variations, will always target the first weekend in March for its banquet, and so everyone can anticipate enjoying another such occasion with regularity.

Again and again, through the cycle of the clan and community Spring Festival banquets of 2012, a year of the Water Dragon, the good wish will be expressed repeatedly for Lung Ma Jingshen: “[May you enjoy] Dragon and Horse Lively-spiritedness” – for these are creatures uniquely full and emblematic of energy and power and spirit. Surely everyone who attended with the Yees in March will have had an evening of all such blessings, as an augury hopefully for a full year of nothing less.

M. Cheak Yee / Yu Wen-chuo
Vice President,
Phoenix Yee Fung-toy Family Association

Give Hope A Chance!


On February 4, 2012 something happened during an NBA game between the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks. An unrated, unknown newly-signed player, Jeremy Lin, was given a chance to realize a life-long dream of playing in the NBA.

After Harvard, and after being cut by the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, Jeremy Lin was a player without a team. Hope for the 23 year old player was at a low point in his life by the end of December, 2011. He was discouraged, disappointed, and offended, but decided to persevere and continue toward his dream of playing in the NBA. What was he going to do? His options included playing basketball in Europe, playing in the Developmental League or taking a year off from the game he loved so much. In January, 2012, the New York Knicks picked him off the waivers and added him to their team. He would possibly have an opportunity to play, but he really needed a “chance to play.” When injuries started to impact the starting five, he was given that “chance to play.”

Jeremy Lin’s life would never be the same and his world would be turned upside down. No one has ever seen the sudden and spectacular ascent of an undrafted reserve player like Jeremy Lin. He started as point guard and managed to score 25 point to help the Knicks beat the Nets. Even though he had a number of turnovers, he displayed a quiet confidence and good basketball decision-making. During his next five games he continued to showcase his basketball skills, poise, composure and that quiet confidence. Five games, five wins for the Knicks-a stretch during which they played inspired basketball without their two best players, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire thanks to Jeremy Lin. The New York fans, the national media, the international sports world and anyone who cares about basketball began to hear the new word, “Linsanity”. Jeremy Lin took the NBA by storm fitting in perfectly with Coach Mike D’Antoni’s style of playing basketball. He ran the court distributing the ball to the open teammate and/or drove to the basket confronting taller players. As his confidence grew, the world saw Jeremy Lin and the Knicks take on the L.A. Lakers and Kobe Bryant. What a game! The Knicks beat the Lakers and Jeremy Lin outscored Kobe Bryant with a career high of 38 points to Kobe‘s 34 points. In the game with the Toronto Raptors, the “Sports Highlight of the Week” showed Jeremy Lin scoring a three-pointer in the final 3 seconds of the game for a Knicks’ win!

Jeremy Lin’s first five games gave him an average of 23 or more points per game for a total of 136 points. This is the most points scored by a player in his first five starts since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77.

Lin is the first Taiwanese-American to play point guard in the NBA. Some may question all the attention and media hype, but no one can question the statistics. Before Jeremy Lin was in the starting lineup, the Knicks were below .500. With Lin at point guard, the Knicks won seven games and lost one. Former Sun, Amar’e Stoudemire, said, “He’s done a phenomenal job.” Lin said, “It’s not because of me, it’s because we’re coming together as a team.”

Under Coach D’Antoni’s pick and roll style of play, the point guard (like the Suns’ Steve Nash) controls and distributes the ball to the open player. With Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in the lineup, they tend to hold the ball for the isolation or one on one play. Remember, the Knicks were without Amar’e and Carmelo during their sudden winning streak. Upon their return, adjustments will need to be made as they continue to work together as a team. A balance is needed to combine the talents and skills of Amar’e, Carmelo, and Jeremy as the Knicks continue with a newly found energy and excitement. In their recent game with the Atlanta Hawks, with Carmelo and Amar’e back in the lineup, Jeremy only scored 17 points but his role as a traditional point guard showed his patience, balance and control of the game.

Does ethnicity really make a difference in any sport? Some recent comments from listeners, viewers and commentators on talk radio and TV would have you believe the spotlight on Jeremy Lin is because he is Asian-American. The Asian thing captured and captivated everyone. Being Asian in America, you grow up with the stereotype of excelling in academics, math and science, but not necessarily as athletic and talented in sports as everyone else. Sports in the culture of the United States as well as the entire world are based on performance. Jeremy played basketball at Palo Alto High School in California; he was not recruited by any college or university basketball program. He graduated from Harvard with a Degree in Economics. His basketball coach considered him to be a hard working, dedicated and intelligent basketball player. The evaluators of basketball talent (NBA scouts and coaches) failed to see the whole picture of Jeremy Lin. WOW! Were they wrong! It is our good fortune in the basketball world that Coach D’Antoni recognized Lin’s abilities and gave him a “Chance to Play”. If you like sports, you have to like what Jeremy Lin is doing. Could Jeremy Lin become another Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or any of the “best”? We don’t know. Time will tell. In the mean time, let’s enjoy the beauty of this young man, Jeremy Lin, his exciting play and his passion for the game of basketball. Jeremy Lin hoped he would get a chance to play basketball in the NBA. GIVE HOPE A CHANCE!

“Everything has its beauty but not everybody sees it.”--Confucius

By Rudy Yee, Phoenix, Az

Updated November 27, 2012