From left: Michael Lee, APCF board chairman; John Chiang, emcee; Julia Gouw, Philanthropy Leadership awardee; Robyn Brinkerhoff, Community Hero Award representative; Chun-Yen Chen, APCF executive director; Marco Cordova and Tony Chou, gala co-chairs and board members.

On June 17, Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF) celebrated the 15th annual “Giving for All Seasons” Fundraising Gala with the announcement of the Women Leadership in Philanthropy Fund.

In a study conducted by APCF, over 60 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) nonprofits in Southern California indicated an increase in demand for services due to COVID-19, while only one in five smaller API nonprofits received funding or resources from government institutions or private foundations. The new fund aims to change this narrative by inspiring more API women leaders to actively support the local API community.

“Fifteen percent of Asian American women gave to social-care organizations, which is 5 percent more compared to non-Hispanic white women, yet we are underrepresented in roles that have decision-making power regarding the funds we support,” says Julia Gouw, APCF philanthropy leadership awardee and inaugural donor to the Women Leadership in Philanthropy Fund. “The Women Leadership in Philanthropy Fund invites Asian American women leaders to donate and direct program investments within our API nonprofit sector.”

Women who are interested in joining the fund can pledge $10,000 annually to support nonprofits that serve the API community.

From left: Visionary Leadership Award recipients Bill Watanabe, Marissa Castro-Salvati, and Catherine Endo Chuck.

In addition to the new fund, APCF recognized philanthropic leaders who continue to selflessly serve the API community. The honorees were South Coast Plaza with Brian Chuan, senior director of international and domestic markets, accepting the Corporate Philanthropy Award; Julia Gouw accepting the Philanthropy Leadership Award; Korean American Scholarship Foundation with President Robyn Brinkerhoff accepting the Community Hero Award.

“APCF is so proud to partner with such impactful leaders and organizations toward our vision of a thriving API community fostered by a culture of philanthropy,” says Chun Yen Chen, executive director of APCF. “For over 30 years, we have worked to strengthen the API philanthropic voice and create stronger, healthier communities.”

Spanning more than three decades of service in the founding and evolution of APCF, the Visionary Leadership Award was presented to the following past APCF board chairpersons:

• Marissa Castro-Salvati, public affairs region manager of Southern California Edison

• Catherine Endo-Chuck, president of McBirney & Chuck, PC

• Bill Watanabe, retired, founding executive director of Little Tokyo Service Center

• Robert Yap, CEO of Gen Mobile, Inc.

• Michael Chee, deputy director of public affairs for the City of Montebello

• Tony Yu, managing attorney of DSG Wealth & Trust Law

APCF Executive Director Chun-Yen Chen (left) and KASF Western Regional Chapter President Robyn Brinkerhoff, Community Hero awardee.

The 15th annual “Giving for All Seasons” Fundraising Gala sponsors include Diamond Sponsor, Cathay Bank; Platinum Sponsors, Ark Clinical Research, Edison International, and Julia and Ken Gouw; Gold Sponsors, Evolution Design Lab, Arthur and Iona Kuan, Monarch Private Capital, Transglobal, and Walmart; Silver Sponsors, Royal Business Bank and South Coast Plaza.

Established in 1990, APCF is a community-based, nonprofit fund created to educate and encourage individuals and companies to support API communities in need by donating through workplace giving programs and other channels. The organization is the only API community-based fund of its kind in Southern California. Since its founding, APCF has raised and distributed over $9 million in grants to its partner agencies as well as other community organizations.

APCF and its 62 network agencies serve more than 2,750,000 people annually with programs and services provided in 34 Asian and Pacific Islander languages, in addition to English and Spanish. Programs include childcare/youth programs, affordable housing, counseling and case management, healthcare, job development and training, legal services, senior services, violence prevention, and much more.

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