The Seattle branch of the Soo Yuen Benevolent Association celebrated its 15th anniversary with performances and food in the Chinatown International District.
The Soo Yuen Benevolent Association brings people together by the power of surnames. The Chinese community organization was formed more than 100 years ago for people with the family names Louie, Fong and Kwong. There are satellite groups all over the world, and the Seattle branch celebrated its 15th anniversary Sunday with a large performance in the Chinatown International District. The Huayin Performing Arts Group donned colorful costumes for traditional Chinese dances, and the Seattle Kung Fu Club rolled in to the sound of firecrackers for a lion dance and martial-arts show. Jack Fong, vice president of the Soo Yuen Benevolent Association in Seattle, said the community organization helps recent immigrants and those who don’t speak English to navigate living in the city. Soo Yuen is a place to play a game of mahjong, and a support network to help decipher bills and paperwork and to find a job. “It made me more comfortable,” said Fong, who joined seven years ago when he moved to Seattle. For more information at http://www.sooyuen.org.