Golden Celebration - 50 Years

On March 23, 2024, the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) held its Golden Celebration at Highline College, commemorating 50 years of service to the Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities of Washington State. The event brought together over 400 community members, sponsors, elected officials, exhibitors and performers to honor the Commission's legacy and accomplishments.

Emceed by Cheryl Lee, executive director of the Korean Women's Association, the event featured a full program of speakers, performances, and recognition of outstanding individuals. Notable guests include Governor Jay Inslee, former CAPAA Executive Directors Michael Itti, David Della, and Liz Dunbar, as well as dozens of elected officials from across Washington State. 

The Commission distributed 8 awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award to NW Asian Weekly newspaper founder Assunta Ng and the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Kelly Wicker. Sili Savusa was honored with the Vanguard Award, earning her the title of Commissioner Emeritus. And, five community heroes were awarded with the Unsung Hero Award: Duc Tam, Shomya Tripathy, Queena Tupou, Pam Tajima Praeger, and Dr. Khamph Southisombath. 

Performances included an invocation by members of the Makah Tribe, a welcome song by COFA - Marshall Island Community, “God Bless America” sung by Maricres Castro, as well as Korean cultural dance performed by the Morningstar Dance Group, and Tahitian Dance performed by Ke Liko A'e O Lei Lehua Kapuokalani. A special thank you to the Asia Pacific Cultural Center who provided food & beverage, set up & take down, and all venue logistics. 

Overall, the Golden Celebration was a testament to the dedication, resilience, and accomplishments of the Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities in Washington state. It served as a reminder of the importance of advocacy, unity, and celebration of diversity in creating a more inclusive society.

A video and pictures of the Golden Celebration can be found below.

Photo Booth Pictures

Pictures by Melissa Ponder

Highlight Video