By: Borann Heam
Cambodia Town, CA – Congresswoman Juanita Millender McDonald inspired an entire audience by doing karaoke to the song “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, at the Second Annual Community Pride Awards on Saturday, August 5, 2006.
This year’s awards, which was sponsored by Congresswoman McDonald of the 37th Congressional District, recognizes outstanding citizens and volunteers who have made a difference within their city. Long Beach, Compton, Signal Hill, Watts-Willowbrook, and Carson, are all apart of the 37th Congressional District. The program honored many leaders who exemplified a commitment to volunteerism thus improving the quality of life for everyone in their community. From Long Beach, many local leaders such as: Richer San, Sithea San, Reverend Kong Chhean, Pastor Anong, and Chan Hopson, all received this year’s Second Annual Congressional Community Pride Awards.
“I am very grateful,” said Richer San, Vice-President of Cambodian Coordinating Council. “This is apart of a long effort, it doesn’t just belong to me. These awards belong to all of us. My board at Cambodian Coordinating Council, Long Beach Phnom Penh Sister City, Cambodian-American Chamber of Commerce, and Cambodia Town. It’s a joint effort. These two awards that my wife and I received, actually it belongs to all my friends, including yourself.”
“This is my first time getting this award,” said Sithea San. “We’re are very happy and grateful to receive it. Usually, only one person will receive it, but both my husband and I get it. But it’s not just Sithea and Richer, it also Cambodian community. Without our friends and their support, I don’t think we would win this.”
Apart from receiving the awards, Sithea San hopes that it will inspire other people to volunteer and help the community, especially to make Cambodia Town become a reality in Long Beach.
“We want everyone to be aware of Cambodia Town,” she explained. “For the last five years, we have worked hard to get this designation. It’s a P.R. [Public Relation] piece. We want everyone to know this name [Cambodia Town], so when we go to the City Council and ask for it, they know this name already. When someone ask us, ‘Where are you coming from?’, we reply, ‘Cambodia Town, Cambodia Town’.”