In recognition of the K-9 themed artwork used to raise funds, the San Gabriel City Council recognized the extraordinary talent of 160 students from the West California Academy of Art and Design (WCAAD) on October 17, 2023. San Gabriel council members, police department officials and other city leaders attended the recognition ceremony.
from left: The Beverly Arts Foundation Co-founder Deedee Gao，WCAAD Art Instructor Noriko Yanagisawa，San Gabriel Vice Mayor John Wu, San Gabriel Councilmember Denise Menchaca, WCAAD Principal Lei Wang, San Gabriel Mayor John R. Harrington, San Gabriel Councilmember Tony Ding, San Gabriel Councilmember Eric Chan, Chinese Women's Business Association of California President Eva Qian, Board Member Florence Lin, Executive Director Daphne Fong
“This is the honor of both students and our school. 160 of our students have taken active part in the art creation aimed to raise funds for K-9 Bentley and K-9 Edy.” WCAAD Principal Lei Wang shared that through art, her students expressed their feelings of appreciation for the San Gabriel K-9 unit. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who have made generous contribution to our art charity sale. Chinese Women's Business Association of California in particular, has contributed $2,000 bidding a 53-student group artwork to raise funds for the K-9s. I’m deeply grateful.”
“In this special fundraising event, I would like to express our gratitude to the 53 students from West California Academy of Art and Design for their creativity and collaboration.” Eva Qian, the President of the Chinese Women's Business Association of California, said in her speech, “the group artwork is not only a beautiful piece but also symbolizes our support and blessings for the K9 unit. we hope to provide necessary support for the K9 unit, including training equipment, healthcare, and daily needs. We also aim to raise awareness and understanding of the K9 work within our community and encourage more people to get involved in this great cause.”
from left：Chinese Women's Business Association of California Board Member Lucy Lu, Florence Lin, WCAAD Principal Lei Wang, San Gabriel Mayor John R. Harrington, Chinese Women's Business Association of California President Eva Qian, Executive Director Daphne Fong，San Gabriel Councilmember Tony Ding, San Gabriel Councilmember Eric Chan
Established in 1996, the WASC-accredited WCAAD strives to offer only the highest level of art education for the community. The academy's students produce exceptional art for their age and it has achieved a reputation as “the children’s art school with most art contest winners,” as well as students achieving 100% admittance to their perspective colleges. For almost 30 years, WCAAD has been transforming students into confident, creative artists and designers who have gone on to have successful careers in their chosen field. In addition to offering art education programs for children, WCAAD staff and students have also been continuously taking time and efforts to provide voluntary public service for the community. During the past twenty years, Principal Lei Wang, WCAAD instructors and students have collectively contributed more than 6,000 hours to domestic and international public service.
San Gabriel Police Department Captain Brock expressed his gratitude for the generous donation of $6,010 for K-9 Bentley and K-9 Edy. The police officers of the San Gabriel Police Department were impressed by the children's outstanding creativity and artistic talent. He thanked the young students who have used their artwork to convey their love and respect for the police officers. He believed that such effort would inspire more people to get involved and channel their compassion to assist the police work.
San Gabriel Mayor John R. Harrington commended the young artists and the Academy for bringing forth such honorable act and contributing back to the San Gabriel community and particularly the police department.
“The police are the protectors of social security and the heroes in the hearts of our citizens.” Zixuan Ren, the WCAAD student representative, said in her speech, “Police dogs are loyal comrades of the police. It has contributed a lot to urban security and prosperity in our community. They are responsible for patrolling public places to search for dangers to maintain the safety of students and residents in the city.” She shared that through this charity sale organized by the Academy she had gained new enlightenment: if everyone could do more social charity activities then “the world would be full of sunshine.”
“It is a privilege to have Edy and Bentley serve us and protect us.” Cody Li, the other WCAAD student representative, said in his speech, “We really appreciate the work that Edy and Bentley have done and the community is proud of them because they kept them safe for all this time.”
Before the recognition ceremony, the San Gabriel police officers brought one of the K9s to meet with the students.
the second from left is Ms. Sue Fitzsimmons, a volunteer who takes care of the K9s. She bought two student artworks donating $200 for the K9s.
Have fun with the K-9 at the site!
The student artworks were exhibited in the council meeting room and four copies were selected to donate to the San Gabriel Police Department.
The art charity sale has received active support from the WCAAD teachers and students as well as parents and they enthusiastically participated with admiration to show their love for society and make their due contribution to the police K9 unit. The San Gabriel community appraised that such charity sale would be beneficial to society, student education, and community unity. It directly involved children in social care actions, and through children's perception, it awakened more people to care for society and jointly established a harmonious society.
Jorge Herrera Avila, City of Saint Gabriel Commissioner, Human Equity Access Relations
Mike Wang, President of American Chinese Experts Association
Florence Lin, Board Member of Chinese Women's Business Association of California
Sun Wei, President of US China Economy Trade and Culture Art Federation President
Deedee Gao, Co-founder of The Beverly Arts Foundation
The students and parents signed their names with proudness on the donation check.
WCAAD Principal Lei Wang thanked the city council for recognizing the students’ effort by awarding them with the honorable certificates. She also expressed her gratitude to the parents who had made contributions through buying the K9 dolls.
Linda Shen, the parent representative, said that the art charity sale event could educate and cultivate children to establish respect and gratitude for police officers and K9s from an early age and to thank the police department for their significant contributions to community security. “It has also increased trust, communication, and interaction between police and community residents. The children learned about the hardships and dangers of police work, as well as the importance and important role of K9s in assisting public security work.”
This recognition ceremony doesn’t draw a close to the art charity sale, “actually we hope it will bring more public attention to this fund-raising auction as it continues online.” WCAAD Principal Lei Wang said, “Hopefully it will become a long term endeavor in helping our K-9s.”
The art charity sale will continue online, with over a hundred student artworks available for public selection. For artwork info, please contact WCAAD via 626-558-7777, web: www.myarteducation.com.