Volunteering to Give BackBy Vince Wong
I remember my first experience with the Chinese New Year Parade was in 1963-1964. I was five years old and my parents took us for a family outing to Grant Avenue. At the time I had no idea we were going to the parade. I remember being bored because we were there early waiting hours until the parade started. But once it did, the excitement began.
I used to work with Kenny Lee at Presidio Middle School when he was a school counselor and I was a Physical Education teacher. During that time, I coached his son and youngest daughter in basketball, which is when I met Wayne Hu, whose youngest daughter was also on the team. Kenny had worked the parade because of Wayne, and I wanted to give back to our community and volunteer, so Kenny asked Wayne and he said, “yes”.
It’s been over twenty years since I started volunteering for the parade. The first year I was put in a group and then years later I became a section leader. Being a section can be tough because you’re in charge of a large number of groups to make sure they keep pace and move when they need to move.
I never knew what it took to run the CNY parade until I started volunteering. It takes hard work. The parade goes on rain or shine and it’s fun to see students who participate in the parade whether they are holding signs, being in costume, or riding a float.
I’ve met a lot of people along the way and these people have become friends. That’s why I come back year after year. I also enjoy my former students and colleagues who attend the parade yelling out my name as we walk the parade route. That also goes with family and friends who do the same.
Interested in volunteering? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org