President's Message

Brenda Young Matsui,  2024 President

Happy Holidays, dear Sisters and Brother of the Associated Chinese University Women!  I hope that you enjoyed the holidays by relaxing, shopping, keeping warm, traveling, eating, spending time with your favorite people, and more.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your President for 2024.  I am totally committed to do my best for ACUW by implementing new projects focusing on our Chinese culture, family-related events, strengthening our sisterhood relations and raising funds that would enable us to support the aforementioned focuses.  However, we do need your help to organize these projects and repeat some special projects that are being planned in accordance to your requests.  It is time to make your wishes to come true!  Attending them will make them more enjoyable and worthwhile, too!

Thank you to all who attended our Christmas Installation Luncheon, “The Phoenix Rises Again,” that was held at the fabulous Kāhala Hotel & Resort on Sunday, December 3, 2023.  The beautiful Christmas decorations and onolicious foods created a warm and festive atmosphere as your 2023 Officers and Directors were thanked and your 2024 Officers and Directors were installed.  A special thanks to Edwina Lee for getting Thomas Lee of “The Audio Visual Co.” to let us borrow a BOSE sound system so we did not need to pay $5,000 for the in-house third party audio-visual assistance at Kāhala Hotel!  Whew!  Many thanks for all the leis and gifts from special members and guests who made me feel proud to be the 2024 ACUW President.  Also, my second life is saved for Jennifer Chun, who assisted me with all the necessary changes in the printed program that made it look absolutely gorgeous!  It’s a keeper, for sure!

This event brought together our newer and senior members in the planning, setting up, finalizing, and implementing.  Working together brought smiles, laughter, creativity, and positive results—significant ingredients that bring forth the essence of being a member of an Association like ours.  I invite all of you to share in these experiences throughout the year, to create a flow of positive energies everywhere we go, with everyone we meet, and within everything we do! 

Wendie Liu, 2023 President

Aloha and welcome to the first quarter of our 92nd year as the Associated Chinese University Women, Inc. We started this administration at our beautiful Christmas Installation luncheon on December 3, 2022 at Waialae Country Club. Mahalo to our event directors, Sandra Shiroma and Jerilyn Jeffryes. We also appreciate and thank our Master of Ceremonies, Joseph Hu, who did a marvelous job of adjusting and “going with the flow” as some could not follow their directions. Mahalo to our event sponsor, financial donors, product donors, and entertainers and volunteers who were so busy that they could not sit and fully enjoy the beautiful setting, delicious food and company of their newly met friends.

We celebrate the young Hawaiian performers and athletes doing so well in their competitions. They are showing the world how to love each other and work toward a common goal.  ACUW can also help others in our community by giving of our time and resources as we have fun supporting others in our community with the achievement of their goals for the year. Our joyous luncheon and program at the Waialae Country Club commemorates years of spending time together to socialize, have fun, help each other. We have long lost written and visual records of our club’s existence, but we know from some oral recollections that the early ACUW members were always gracious volunteers in the community, and producers of Chinese cultural events that required fundraising and some personal funds. Mahalo to Mona Chock, Cheryl Tyler, Carol Pang, Elvina Yamashiro, Elizabeth Wong, Dr. Jennifer Pang, Edwina Lee, Deb Lew Wong, Jerilyn Jeffryes, Elizabeth Lum, Gretchen Jong as well as non-members Queenie Mow Chee, Dr. Lawrence K.W. Tseu, Alda Mae Takabayashi, Li May Tang, Victoria Ho, Geraldine Ko, Faith Matsuwaka-Kodama, Roberta Takamoto, Jeanette Ching, and Sylvia Ching Lee for helping us to have a piano, lei, decorations, centerpieces,and entertainment. The event had to be self-supporting with no ACUW budgeted funds.

Mahalo to Dr. Sandra Young for organizing our Holiday Elegance Fashion Walk. It was just fun and fabulous!

Closet and camphor chest treasures were willingly shared to be enjoyed by everyone present.

 For all the time and personal funds Serena and I expended, we just need you to smile and positively participate. We are all unpaid volunteers. We can all be leaders and cheerleaders and supporters in our own way in our families, neighborhoods and our island community. Bring in new members and be a mentor to them. Life is short so enjoy the beauty and opportunities present to live each day in Hawaii.

Mahalo and aloha to all the 136 ladies of the Associated Chinese University Women who have voluntarily served. We are taking reservations for February 4, 2023 General Membership Meeting and Luncheon at Salt Lake Chinese Restaurant by Moanalua Safeway and Long’s Drugstore. Please show your aloha and kokua by smiling, and happily dine with friends and guests as we warmly welcome our new leadership team. Many hands get the job done. Be grateful and be happy!

Serena Kyi-Yim, 2022 President

Happy New Year!

It's 2022 and I hope that you and your families are well as the COVID-19 virus still continues to affect our daily lives and actions. I know that most of us have endured the vaccine and quite a few have braved the booster shot. Still, we remain challenged with the delta variant still wreaking havoc and now, the omicron variant. Is there any end in sight? Please, please, puh-leeze, if you haven't gotten vaccinated, please consider the shot(s). It's worth a couple of hours/days of discomfort to know that you're guarding yourself against some of the more detrimental effects of Covid and give you some peace of mind.

Despite all, our 90th Anniversary celebration and Christmas Installation was a huge success in program and attendance. It was at the 11th hour that we were able to expand our guest count but the membership stepped up to the challenge, probably because we were so excited to see each other in person, enjoying good food and great company. We honored 22 past presidents that were in attendance and 7 "nonagenarians." What is a Nonagenarian, you ask? Well, to qualify, you have to be 90+ years old. This group is absolutely amazing. Please let's give a hand to Rosalind Chun, Bea Kong, Dorothy Mau, Thelma Nip, Flora Thong, Blossom Wong, and Mildred Fong Wong. The newly formed ACUW chorus sang it's newly adopted official song, The Women of ACUW, written and composed by Mildred Wong. Each lady was honored with a beautiful floral centerpiece created by Pat Hubbard and her team. This year's installation was exceptionally dear as I was installed by my great-aunt, Thelma Nip, 1994 ACUW President. Through the generosity of members and guests, co-chairs Wendie Liu and Val Wong, managed to give every guest a door prize. For those of you in attendance, thank you for your support and well-wishes. For those members who missed it, we'll be replaying the awesome slide show created by member Viene Lam, at the next few GMM's. I honestly can't tell you which is my favorite highlight of the 90th Anniversary and the Installation because there are just so many. But with co-chair, Gretchen Jong, it was guaranteed to be a smashing success.

2022 is the beginning of a new tradition for ACUW with respect to the General Membership meetings. This will be our first year of having four (4) meetings per year and while the Board may still meet by zoom, it is my hope that the General membership meetings will be done in person. The decision shall be dictated by either the City or State however, I anticipate that we should be able to meet in person provided we can find a large enough space to accommodate our numbers/members.

Our first meeting will be the first Saturday in February. at Happy Days Restaurant in Kaimuki. Check the Calendar of Events for subsequent meeting dates. There is a back up plan, just in case, please stay attentive to any e-blasts that may be sent out as restrictions could drop in a day.

I would encourage everyone to please mail in your annual dues ($45) and your lunch payment ($20) to the P.O. Box 62264 Honolulu, HI 96839. VP Brenda Young Matsui and Frances Goo have planned an awesome lunch at Happy Days in Kaimuki.

Na Wahine ACUW: There are a number of key positions that are missing, most importantly, a treasurer and a newly created position, Public Relations Secretary, as well as Chair and committee positions, for Culture, Membership, Nominations, Family Event, and Christmas Installation. Get involved because it makes your membership in ACUW all the more meaningful.

The Legislative Review Committee worked super hard these past two years to update our By-laws and create P&P's (Policies & Procedures) for every officer position to help each member understand their committee mission and to carry out the plan. I understand that we’re still waiting to see what the rules will be for gathering but we can tentatively plan.

Ladies, I implore you, we’re all busy with our personal lives but you really have to think, why are you a member? We just made 90 years strong, will we last to see our Centennial celebration? It’s true, everyone is getting older which makes Membership even more important as we embark on recruiting strategies to enrich our membership numbers. Currently, we are at 145 members (135 active, 3 Life, and 7 associates). 35 - 40 years ago, the membership was over 400. It’s up to all of us, to spread the word, love and sisterhood.

An opportunity to gather among like-minded people, interested in furthering and sharing Chinese culture and providing financial support to worthy scholars at the University and high school level. I challenge each of you to bring in one friend this year. Darlene Nakayama has been the membership chair for the last 4 years and wants to hand over the reins but for now, send your nominations to her to get an application. Remember, you need to "vet" your candidate and ensure that they meet the educational requirement of a Bachelor's degree. We had to turn down 3 excellent candidates last year because they did not possess a Bachelor's degree.

Did you order and receive your ACUW 90th t-shirt? They are done so if you ordered one and did not get it yet, please contact Elvina Yamashiro to make arrangements for the pick-up of your shirts.

The Interest Committee is busy planning but with COVID, we're still unsure.stay tuned.

Laure Broderick and Lisa Osurman (Millie Lui's daughters) are co-chairs of the Community Service committee. One of the projects that ACUW will be considering to help is the plea for funds by the Manoa Chinese Cemetery. If there are other worthwhile non-profit organizations where we can donate our community service funds or muscle, please be sure to let Laurie or Lisa know and better yet, join their committee., if you have any suggestions. We have the donation application which needs to be completed by that organization.

Rosemarie Woodruff will be continuing on as the Scholarship Committee Chair and will be tackling the scholarship programs with a new app that we are trying out to see if it will help streamline the selection process.

Please watch the news for the latest update on this virus outbreak and if you do not need to go out, stay at home and be safe. If you do need to go out, please wear your masks and practice good hygiene habits and social distancing. We all need to cooperate so we can contain this deadly virus and keep our family, friends and community safe.

Take care of yourselves, stay healthy and let's look forward to the Year of the Tiger and hope that we will see you all soon.