On September 8, 2023, Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) witnessed an overwhelming display of community support during its highly anticipated groundbreaking event. Hundreds of individuals representing the diverse cultures embraced by APCC gathered to be part of this historic moment.
Early arrivals seized the opportunity to mingle and share personal stories of their connections with APCC's rich history. It was a heartwarming reunion of familiar faces united in their appreciation for APCC's extensive contributions to the community.
The ceremony commenced with the vibrant Parade of Nations, where participants adorned traditional attire representing their respective cultures. This colorful procession set the stage for an awe-inspiring event. The opening segment featured the melodious rendition of "America The Beautiful" and "Amazing Grace" by enchanting voices. An invocation marked the close of this initial part of the ceremony.
The subsequent segment featured opening remarks and introductions from key figures, beginning with Faaluaina Pritchard, Executive Director of APCC.
Welcoming remarks came from distinguished individuals, including:
Patsy Surh O'Connell, President and Founder
Honorable Mayor Victoria Woodards of the City of Tacoma
Honorable Executive Bruce Dammeier of Pierce County
Following these introductory remarks, the event continued with congratulatory messages from esteemed guests, including:
Honorable Congressman Derek Kilmer, United States Congress
Honorable Speaker Laurie Jinkins, WA State House of Representatives
Honorable Senator Yasmin Trudeau, WA State Senate
Honorable Senator Steve Conway and Honorable Aunty Rosa Franklin
Honorable Consul General Euen Ji Seo, Republic of Korea
Honorable Consul General Hisao Inagaki, Country of Japan
Honorable Mayor Jason Whalen, City of Lakewood
Honorable Andrea Smith, Chair of the Tacoma Metro Parks Commission
Executive Director Toshiko Hasegawa, Commission Asian Pacific American Affairs
Executive Director Michael Byun, Asian Counseling Referral Services and Chair of APIC King County
Honorable Daravuth Houth, Cambodia Consulate
The pivotal moment arrived when APCC's esteemed guests donned hard hats, picked up sledgehammers, and, at the count of three, collectively made symbolic holes in the walls of the APCC building. This gesture signified the dawn of a new era for APCC, even as cherished memories of the old building and other APCC locations will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
Heartfelt gratitude goes out to Executive Director Faaluaina and President and Founder Patsy for their unwavering dedication, tireless efforts, and boundless passion in bringing this dream to fruition—a new home for the 47 countries and cultures that APCC proudly represents.
Our sincere thanks also extend to the committed current and past Board members, the Advisory Board, the Building Project Development Team, the dedicated APCC staff, both past and present, and the thousands of volunteers who have been part of APCC's journey.
Furthermore, we express our appreciation to the numerous building project funders, both confirmed and pending, for believing in our mission and supporting us in realizing our new home. Your contributions are invaluable and deeply cherished.
CLICK HERE to see more photos of the event.