By Nicole Shine/Garden Grove Journal
The Tet Parade is on.
Parade organizers presented a $60,000 check to the Westminster City Council Wednesday night, putting an end to weeks of uncertainty.
“They pulled off a miracle,” Councilman Sergio Contreras said of the work by the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California, the main event organizer. “Literally $60,000 in two weeks, that’s just amazing.”
The money will go toward traffic management, police, and staff services at the Feb. 10 parade, something the city couldn’t cover due to financial problems.
Until Wednesday, the parade’s fate was in doubt.
Problems began Jan. 11, when the city okayed a special permit, but gave organizers only 15 days to come up with $60,000.
Then confusion ensued when donations meant for victims of Superstorm Sandy were deposited in a Westminster bank. It turned out that many of those who had raised that money were the same ones now looking for parade funding.
An outcry followed, with Supervisor Janet Nguyen and community leaders questioning the deposit. Now the Sandy money will be hand-delivered to New York’s mayor on Feb. 22, according to Neil Nguyen, President of the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California.
As for the parade, Nguyen said they raised the $60,000 so quickly from participation fees, sponsorships, and by selling more than 600 $50 raffle tickets—with prizes like a Toyota Corolla, 50-inch TV and Gucci watch.
They’re ready to put on a spectacular show, Nguyen added.
“You’re going to see this blossom relations between the city, businesses and people in the community,” Nguyen told the council.
In other matters Wednesday, the council filled seats on several boards and commissions, most of which come with a nominal per-meeting stipend.
Some 30 residents applied for the Community Services & Recreation Commission, Personnel Board, Traffic Commission, Potentially Dangerous/Vicious Dog Review Board, and Planning Commission. Don Anderson and Kimberly Ho were reappointed to the Planning Commission, along with newcomers Carlos Manzo, Khanh Nguyen and Ken Robbins.
Contact the writer on Twitter at @nicolekshine.