I don’t know about you, but ever since I graduated college, i’ve been on a constant grind. When I’m not working, I’m exercising or cooking. When I’m not doing any of that, I’m working (read: blogging), meeting new people and doing new things. I’ve learned that my free time is valuable. I have the decision to pick and choose what I do for leisure and who I do it with so… I make it a point to do things that help me learn.
Call me dorky but I like to volunteer as much and whenever I can. What better way to meet new people and to do new things?
The last time I volunteered for NAAAP-NY (National Association of Asian American Professionals) was for their International convention back in August 2012 when it was held in New York. I learned a lot and met some interesting people- people whom I otherwise would never meet. So, when I saw that NAAAP-NY was holding its first gala, I wanted to be a part of it.
Having volunteered at numerous events and fashion shows throughout college, I’ve learned that volunteering is a fun and rewarding activity. Like I’ve mentioned before , I’ve always liked the “behind the scenes” part of it. You get more out of the experience being a part of the process.
The NAAAP-NY team was kind enough to let me join their team so I rented the runway last minute, and was able to help set up and run the event on October 25th after work. Even though I ordered my dress two days before the event on Wednesday morning, I got it delivered to me the following morning which was pretty fast and the best part- this gala gave me an occasion to finally rent the dress I tried on (but didn’t get) last time!
Besides the fact that this gala was honoring New York’s Most Influential APIAs not to mention the collective achievements of the city’s Asian American community, it was taking place at the jaw dropping venue of Gotham Hall- a venue I had always wanted to go to. Producers of the LINSANITY movie, founders of Drama Fever and the owner of Xi’an famous foods who is just around my age (no big deal), were just a few being honored that night.
During set up, the live string quartet that eventually played during the silent auction was rehearsing. It was all just so beautiful- the venue and the music- that even though it was a super long Friday, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the week.
I really also loved this display that the NAAAP team arranged from scratch! Just goes to show that you don’t need a huge budget to do nice things.
I’m hoping that as a volunteer, I was able to help make the NAAAP NY team’s lives a bit easier and help make the event run as smoothly as possible. It was a pleasant surprise to run into a few familiar faces and nice to also be acquainted with new ones.
Here I am with someone random I met. We happened to hop into a photo together haha.
I’m not the biggest fan of this photo to be honest, (the guy in black behind me looks like he’s a part of me) but I hope this picture shows the energy of the event! Oh and it shows how the dress I rented looks like.
Galas can be quite boring and stuffy but at this event it was quite easy to mix and mingle with other guests, which was great and what an event to celebrate achievement and community should be like.
My photos are a bit blurry (and lacking people as I’m sure you’ve noticed) because I took them with my phone before it started but take a look at this gallery here for better quality photos and what you missed out on 😛
There is also a facebook album you can take a peek at :NAAAP-NY Moon Festival Honoree Gala 2013
If it looks like something you’d be interested in, you can always sign up for the newsletter and other upcoming events by joining the mailing list here
In fact, their next event will be on Novermber 12 at Ainsworth Park~ with Black Lapel and MM La Fleur. If you’re a young professional in New York check it out especially if you’ve wondered what it takes to start your own company and how to dress appropriately for your workplace. Following the panel, you’ll have a chance to shop for items from both companies!
And you can always Become a member– only $35!! Or attend the next convention which will be in Toronto this year.
And of course, you can always check NAAAP NY on facebook 🙂
Thank you again to the NAAAP-NY team for having me and congratulations on a great first gala!
“Every situation is a great opportunity to learn or develop a new skill.”