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Hmong Community Fellowship Banquet
to Celebrate 20th Anniversary, Reflect on Past

RELEASED: April 2, 2009

HMAA banquet graphicEAU CLAIRE — The 20th annual Hmong Community Fellowship Banquet, "Reflecting on Our Past, Strengthening Our Future," will be held from 6-8 p.m. April 9 in the Council Fire Room of Davies Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The banquet will provide community members, non-profit agencies and businesses with a chance for camaraderie and the opportunity to enrich and strengthen cross-cultural relationships within the community.

This year's event will be special for several reasons, said Caitlin Lee, Hmong Mutual Assistance Association board president and equal opportunity specialist in UW-Eau Claire's Affirmative Action office.

"Besides the fact that this is the 20th anniversary of the fellowship banquet, April 9 also marks the day when the very first Hmong family arrived in Eau Claire 33 years ago," Lee said. "Several people who have been instrumental in working with the Hmong community during this time will reflect on the past and the changes that have occurred over the years, while the new executive director of the HMAA will speak about plans and goals for the future."

Speakers include Pat McNally, retired police chief from Eau Claire, who came up with the idea of having a Hmong Fellowship Dinner to help build relationships between the Hmong community and the larger community; Andy Boe, former assistant pastor for Trinity Lutheran Church, whose family and church were among the first to sponsor a Hmong family; and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction coordinator Bonnie Dockery, who has helped many Hmong children get into colleges and universities.

Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6 p.m. A dinner of Hmong dishes will be served at 6:45 p.m. Light entertainment also will be provided.

Reservations are encouraged, but not required. Contact the HMAA at 715-832-8420.

Event sponsors are the Eau Claire HMAA, Luther Midelfort, the United Way and UW-Eau Claire's Office of Multicultural Affairs.

For more information, contact Ying Xiong at 715-832-8420 or yingxng@yahoo.com.

-30-

NW/JB

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