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Denver Kunming Sister Cities Committee plans for a virtual Chinese New Year celebration

By Jeanie Johnson and France Addington-Lee, Kunming Committee Co-Chairs

Denver Sister Cities International members Jim Ryder and Rachel Clements with OCA Chair Margaret Choi at The Purple Ginger to donate meals to seniors.

Local Pandemic Support In the spring, the committee gave gift certificates from the Empress Seafood Restaurant to hard-working, front- line workers with Denver Health. We also partnered with the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Colorado to donate meals from The Purple Ginger and 1,000 masks to Asian-American seniors in Aurora.

Kunming Park Picnic In October, committee members and friends enjoyed a socially-distanced picnic at Kunming Park to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and see the new interpretive park sign. We encourage you to visit Kunming Park, located at 200 E. Harvard Avenue, one of Denver’s most beautiful parks with an outstanding view of the mountains.

In February 2020, Denver Sister City’s Kunming, China Commit- tee was fortunate to hold a live Chinese New Year Celebration and silent auction at the Empress Seafood Restaurant before the pan- demic set in. This event is the committee’s main annual fundraiser with earnings from the 2020 event dedicated to the new John H. Yee Scholarship Fund.

John H. Yee Scholarship Fund

Many Coloradans may have known John Yee who helped found the Denver-Kunming Sister City relationship. A translator for the venerated Flying Tigers during WWII in Kunming, chance brought John Yee to Denver where he became an educator, professor, and community leader. After his passing in 2019, the Kunming Com- mittee created a new scholarship fund to honor his memory and life’s work.

The Scholarship Fund provides financial aid to Denver students of all ages for educational and cultural travel to Kunming. Student trips can be life-changing experiences and promote intercultural relationships, global awareness, and leadership development in our youth. They also help build long-term relation- ships between Denver and Kunming.

2021 Free Virtual Chinese New Year Celebration Our annual tradition of celebrating the Chinese Lu- nar New Year will continue, but this year it will be virtual and free.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 20, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature new year greet- ings from Kunming, kung fu and guzheng performances, how to cook “Crossing-the- Bridge Noodles” – Kunming’s local specialty, a calligraphy demonstration of a couplet and more.

We hope to see you and we wish you much happi- ness, health and prosperity in the year ahead! Register at

To support student exchanges with Kunming, we appreciate donations to the John H. Yee Scholarship Fund. Please mail a check to Denver Sister Cities, 2650 E. 40th Ave., Denver, CO 80205 or visit

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