Chinatown leaders, NYC officials to be honored

Updated: 2014-06-12 10:23

By Elizabeth Wuin New York(China Daily USA)

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Leaders of Manhattan's Chinatown and New York City officials will be honored for years of service to the Chinese community at the annual gala of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp on June 19.

The partnership is a non-profit, public-private organization founded in 2006 that works with residents, business owners and community groups to maintain and develop Chinatown. The organization's 7th Annual Benefit & Awards Gala will be held at Jing Fong Restaurant.

Father Raymond J. Nobiletti, pastor of the Transfiguration Church and School, will be given the Community Leadership Award. He is a Maryknoll priest who spent 15 years as a missionary in Hong Kong, and now helps new immigrants to adapt to Chinatown.

During the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, he was caught in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, emerging from the rubble with other survivors. He ministered the injured and dying.

Dr. Wilson Ko, past president of the Chinese American Medical Society, will receive the Community Leadership Award. A renowned heart and lung surgeon, Ko is the attending cardiothoracic surgeon at Beth Israel Medical Center. He immigrated to San Francisco with his family at the age of 12 and studied medicine at Cornell University.

Ko has been active in serving the Chinese-American community in New York on multiple fronts. He has been on the board of directors of his medical society for eight years, and contributed to community health-education seminars as well as health-related articles in Chinese newspapers and on radio programs. Ko was a visiting professor at the First Municipal Hospital in Guangzhou, China.

His medical society initiated "healthy heart" food-education programs for local restaurants, annual free flu vaccinations and financially supported community-based research programs on various diseases. Ko is also the president of China AIDS Fund, which has built children centers in Henan, China, helping 400 HIV-infected orphans in neighboring villages.

Harvard H. Tang, president of On Leong Chinese Merchant Association, will be given the Business Leadership Award. Tang is also vice-president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York.

Born in Taishan, Guangdong province, Tang grew up in Hong Kong, and immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. He received a degree in business management from Baruch College. In 1970 during the Vietnam War, Tang voluntarily enlisted in the US Army. After completing his tour of duty, he joined the New York Chinese-American Legion and served as president for two terms.

Tang is also vice-chair to the New York Chinese American Business Association, working with the Chinese-American community to help it develop. He participates in various charitable activities in Manhattan's Chinatown, including the Chinatown Cherry Blossom Festival, Immigrants Day, and Red Cross blood drives.

Others being honored and their awards include York Chan, president of the Hung Chi Foundation, the Community Leadership Award, Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough president, the Civic Leadership Award, and James B. Milliken, chancellor of the City University of New York, the Education Leadership Award.