2015 Annual Meeting Summary
With the New Year celebrations still lingering in mind, the Angel Heart family gathered at UC Irvine for their 2015 year recap and commemoration. Kicked off by the amazing violin performance of the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto (Liang Zhu) by violin teacher Zhong Ying, volunteers were taken through the music and through their roots with the lyrical and moving playing.
This year’s MC Haotian Xu then officially began the meeting by introducing long-time parent volunteer An Lan, who set the stage for the meeting. An Lan eloquently retold the tale of Dr. Shouyan Lee’s experience with his daughter’s congenital heart disease (CHD), and how it fueled his determination in bringing Angel Heart International to life as a non profit organization dedicated to giving children living in Gansu, China a means to get the much needed medical attention for their congenital heart conditions.
Having gone back to the roots of the AHI story, the meeting then progressed onwards, reflecting on the 2015 year. After the new board members were introduced, Vice Presidents Tiffany Wu and Yvonne Lu thanked all the AHI donors for another year of generosity and support. Moving right along, President Jennifer Yang gave her State of the Union speech. Though the new president congratulated us on a successful year, President Yang urged volunteers, new and old, to plow onwards and achieve more in the upcoming year. Leading by example, she made it clear that the success of the organization, and the depth of relationship between volunteer and patient, are solely dependent on the willingness of the volunteers to reach out and make a change.
Fueled by the new leadership, Dr. Tang of the University of California, Irvine was then invited to the stage to share his personal journey in tying together the UCI students with the AHI organization. Having met Dr. Lee at an Edwards Foundation awards ceremony, the professor was then introduced to AHI’s incredible mission and goal. Intrigued, he then incorporated his own students into the program, hosting separate Gansu trips to give his students an opportunity to be apart of the journey. The relationship and partnership between UCI and AHI is a strong one, bonded by student groups and Gansu trips. Through reminiscence of the past year’s accomplishments and trips taken by the UCI students, a newer and higher standard was set for the upcoming year.
After a short but heartwarming video shown by Dr. Lee about the struggle ofQi Jingjing and her struggle for health, the meeting then covered the 2015 Gansu trips. Headed by Helen Lu, the presentation included insights and experiences from volunteers Carissa Chen and Bryan Lu whom had attended the June trip to Gansu. Although the individual lessons shared by the volunteers varied in their own ways, the overall message of community, family, and the warmth between volunteer and patient emanated from the presentation.
Finally, the meeting concluded by celebrating accomplishments made in the past year by distinguished volunteers. These individuals include:
- Best Presentation: Phoebe Pan
- Best Journal/Diary (English): Carissa Chen
- Best Journal/Diary (Chinese): Ci (Cherry) Ren
- Best Fundraising Efforts: Pacific Academy
- Leadership of the Year: Haotian Xu
- Volunteer of the Year: Helen Lu and UCI
- Special Recognition for Dedicated Service and Leadership: Annie Wang and Alina Yang
2015 was a great year for Angel Heart International. Adding to the growing list of cured patients from congenital heart disease, the year strengthened existing bonds between cultures and established new bonds where there were none. In addition to reflecting and celebrating a year of successes, the annual meeting invigorated volunteers and their families to do more, reach farther, and create stronger bonds.