LANtern® rang in the Year of the Rabbit with our 3rd Lunar New Year Celebration surrounded by our program clients and their loved ones on February 12, 2011 at a Cantonese style luncheon in Manhattan’s Chinatown. For many, it was a time to catch up with their Asian friends with lupus, and for others, it was a lupus connection; as one participant explained, the event made it easier “to know people who also have lupus, and [also to know] that there is a support network for me.”
We had 60 in attendance, with a consensus that “the New Year is really here – feels great!” and that the event was “very motivating, [with a] friendly atmosphere - like your own family.” More importantly, it seemed for many that to “meet some other people with similar backgrounds and lupus is an encouragement by itself.”
The event convened over a delicious lunch with a BBQ Platter, Rice Hot Pot with Chinese Cured Meat, Roast Rack of Lamb, and Assorted Seafood with Vegetables served in a Crispy Bird Nest, to name a few. The icebreaker game activities among the participants at each table, trivia group games, and raffles complemented an atmosphere that our participants helped to create as well - convivial, warm, and full of energy! Together in hopes and resolutions for the Year of the Rabbit, we garnered tremendous community spirit.
LANtern's staff, Advisory Board, and volunteers also shared with the participants a number of exciting program initiatives – the newly enhanced bilingual Chinese website, a new enewsletter to foster community partnerships, and another newsletter in planning intended for our program clients and their loved ones.
One of the highlights of the event was the sharing of New Year resolutions, hopes, and wishes. Wishes included good health (banishing lupus flares), going back to work or to study, and safe journeys for family members who will be traveling. Another question asked of our guests was how they wanted to be “spoiled” for a day. Responses included a “whole day of shopping,” “no cooking, cleaning, or housework,” and “having an all-day spa treatment.”
We ended our celebration with a special cake for the occasion. In the end, the general sentiment was that, as one participant wrote, “It was amazing to catch up with follow ups and random gossips. Today’s gathering made me feel like a part of the Asian lupus community (like I am not alone).” And another added, “I made new friends and felt the love of LANtern.”
A raffle winner
Cake for the occasion
Lunar New Year greetings
New LANtern website announcement