A crowd of around 300 people filled the House of Hong Restaurant on June 19 in a strong show of support for the Seattle Chinese Garden. This community kickoff event for the garden’s Brick Campaign raised more than $45,000 toward construction of Knowing the Spring Courtyard, the first major structure to rise on the Garden’s 4.5-acre site in West Seattle. Attendees ordered more than 100 personally inscribed bricks honoring family or friends, and orders are still coming in. The bricks will be set in a recognition wall near the courtyard entrance.
“We are thrilled by this enthusiastic response from the Chinese community and the family associations and organizations,” said Jon Geiger, president of the Seattle Chinese Garden Society. “Three pairs of community leaders spurred fundraising by contributing a total of $15,000 in matching funds for the first 100 bricks sold. We extend a big thank you to Jerry and Charlene Lee, MulvannyG2; Benjamin Lee, Hong Kong Association of Washington; and Yale and Laura Wong, General Biodiesel.
Other community leaders who had key organizing roles for the event are Tan Tho Tien, Sun Food Trading Company; Wei Fang, Washington State China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification; and Faye Hong, Hop Sing Tong.
Twenty-six skilled artisans will arrive from China this summer to build the courtyard’s traditional gate, tile-roofed walkways, intricate windows, water feature, and planted areas. The public will have the opportunity to watch the artisans at work during the three to four-month construction period, with a grand opening anticipated in late fall.
Special guest of honor at the dinner, Consul General Gao Zhansheng of the People’s Republic of China Consulate in San Francisco, told the crowd that the Seattle Chinese Garden will become a “landmark symbolizing the many important ties between China and our region and state.”
With a mix of public and private funding, the Garden Society has raised close to 70 percent of the $4.5 million cost of building the courtyard. After this successful Chinese community kickoff event, the Garden Society plans to extend the brick campaign to other communities and interests groups to meet its goal of placing at least 500 bricks on the recognition wall.
Seattle Chinese Garden • 6000 16th Avenue SW, Seattle WA 98106 • 206.764.5219