Oct. 5, 2018 (DALLAS) – Dallas-based non-profit Against The Grain Productions celebrated its milestone 10th and final Fashion for a Passion presented by Audi Dallas on Saturday, September 22nd at sixty five hundred, giving longtime and new guests alike a memorable experience and intimate glimpse into how the organization has affected change for over a decade. Through sponsorships, ticket sales, live and silent auctions, a raffle and additional donations, more than 350 glamorous guests gathered together to raise more than $40,000 net to benefit ATG’s giving budget in 2019, which includes supporting orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, a scholarship fund, media projects and community outreach programs. Over the past decade, ATG has given more than a quarter of a million dollars to help these causes.
Dallas-based non-profit ATG Against The Grain Productions is proud to announce its 10th Fashion for a Passion line-up of Exhibiting Artists. The roster of Asian American artists practice a variety of media and includes a mix of emerging talent and established legends. Fashion for a Passion, which serves the organization’s mission to support and provide a platform for emerging Asian American artists, will take place Saturday, September 22, at sixty five hundred near Love Field Airport.
Guests of Fashion for a Passion will have the opportunity to bid on each artist’s work through a silent auction. Proceeds from the silent auction and tickets to the event will benefit ATG’s supported orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, artistic and leadership scholarship fund and community outreach programs.
This year’s Fashion for a Passion emcees include veteran Ben Smithee (CEO of The Smithee Group), Hillary Kennedy (Emmy Award winning Host and style blogger) and Allyn Hoang (Emmy Award winning Journalist).
Dallas-based nonprofit Against The Grain Productions is proud to announce the line-up of entertainers for their 10th (and final) Fashion for a Passion charity event, which will hosted on Saturday, September 22, at sixty five hundred near Love Field Airport. This year’s charity event will feature the talents of three strong American musical performers who are past audience stand-out favorites.
This year’s Fashion for a Passion emcees include veteran Ben Smithee (CEO of The Smithee Group), Hillary Kennedy (Emmy Award winning Host and style blogger) and Allyn Hoang (Emmy Award winning Journalist). The evening includes a fashion show with live auction, raffle, art exhibit, tasty bites by Chef Uno of Chino Chinatown & Red Stix and sips by Roxor Gin.
Proceeds from the evening’s ticket sales, art and lives auctions as well as generous sponsors benefit ATG’s supported orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, scholarships for student artists and leaders and community outreach programs in the U.S. to inspire, educate and entertain the community.
General Admission and VIP Reserved Tickets range from $75 to $150 and are on sale at www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com/events/ffap.
Through our Scholarship Program, ATG proudly awards Artistic, Groundbreaker Leadership, #LiveLikeLyly and most recently the Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur scholarships to a select group of amazing Asian American high school seniors, college undergraduate and graduate school students who are shining examples of what it means to go Against The Grain. Since 2011, we have awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships. Our selection committee reviews a combination of criteria: GPA, extracurricular activities, portfolio, essay and letters of recommendation. Finalists are given a phone interview before deciding who will be our actual winners. We are truly proud of this exceptional group and look forward to all that we know they will accomplish for their vocation and for the Asian American community in the future.
Meet Our 2018 Scholarship Winners:
- Dan Ta – Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship
- Jana “Sze Ching” Choi – Artistic Scholarship
- Isaiah Wu – Artistic Scholarship
- Aaron Geldert – Pat & Bruce McRae Artistic Scholarship
- Isabella Li Kostrzewa – #LiveLikeLyly Memorial Scholarship
- Jasmine Cho – Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship
Through our Scholarship Program, ATG proudly awards Artistic, Groundbreaker Leadership, #LiveLikeLyly and most recently the Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur scholarships to a select group of amazing Asian American high school seniors, college undergraduate and graduate school students who are shining examples of what it means to go Against The Grain. Since 2011, we have awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships. Our selection committee reviews a combination of criteria: GPA, extracurricular activities, portfolio, essay and letters of recommendation. Finalists are given a phone interview before deciding who will be our actual winners. Winners will be announced in our 2018 August e-Newsletter, so stay tuned…
Meet Our 2018 Scholarship Finalists:
- Dan Ta
- Amy Jiravisitcal
- Derek Chung
- Jana “Sze Ching” Choi
- Isabella Li Kostrzewa
- Jasmine Cho
- Joseph Zhang
- Ashley Zhu
- Isaiah Wu
- Aaron Geldert
In mid July, our ATG Tribe flew to Estes Park, Colorado to present at Southeast Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Camp as a part of Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families. We are proud and honored to help adoptee youth spend a few days in the summer connecting with their heritage, bonding with new friends and participating in enriching activities.
Here are some of their memories about this wonderful trip:
“Stronger side by side was the theme of the camp this year. We represented that theme weaving in the food, dances, culture and traditions at Southeast Asian Pacific Islander Heritage (SEAPI) Camp. The parents and students all thoroughly enjoyed ATG’s cooking workshops taught by Carol, Hue and Jennifer. It was a hands-on approach that unified and differentiated the significant beef dishes of each country where campers are most represented at the camp – Bo Luc Lac from Vietnam, Bistec Tagalog from the Philippines and Nam Tok from Thailand. They also presented the class with alternatives to address food allergies and dietary restrictions. ATG team members Jimmy, Lisa and Hue also taught the “Honoring Your Child’s Vietnamese Culture.” With Hue’s adoption background, she was speaking to the parents from personal experience. Hue brought up things that she felt students wished they could tell their parents, from a place of cultural understanding and vulnerability. After coming seven years, she has been watching students grow from young campers to counselors and presenters of workshops themselves. It was fulfilling to see them pay it forward. ~ Hue Pederson (Co-Director of Community Outreach)
“Attending SEAPI Heritage Camp with my husband and three young children for the first time was a privilege and blessing. My husband, Jimmy, and I helped facilitate the cooking workshops as well as Co-presented on the topic of ‘Honoring My Child’s Vietnamese Heritage.’ Through those experiences, we were able to connect with adoptive parents who are invested in ensuring that their adoptive and biological children have an understanding and appreciation of their birth cultures. As the Co-Director of Community Outreach and Country Advisor to Thailand for ATG, this experience impacted me greatly and reignited my passion for serving an organization where one of its goals is to provide aid to orphanages in Southeast Asia. My husband and I are already committed to volunteer at next year’s camp!” ~ Lisa Tran (Co-Director of Community Outreach, Advisor – Thailand
“This was my 1st Heritage Camp and I enjoyed meeting people from many diverse perspectives — adoptees, siblings, parents, community volunteers and alumni (to name a few). At some point, all our backgrounds blended into one another, allowing us to soak in the beautiful environment and the company of those around us.” ~ Jimmy Tran (former Director of Community Outreach)
“It was so wonderful to have the ATG tribe back at SEAPI Camp. A diverse group of Asian Americans fit perfectly with this year’s camp theme, “Stronger Side By Side.” Over a span of four days, the tribe presented 10 workshops including cooking, dancing, Vietnamese culture and parenting. Thank you to Carol Nguyen, Hue Pedersen, Jimmy & Lisa Tran, Jennifer Devay and Bryan Florece. You are all the role models our kids need to help build their self esteem and educate them on their heritage.” ~ Jared Rehberg (Advisor and Vietnamese Adoptee)
ATG also gave two Heritage Camp Scholarships to Mai Miller and Alex Jantzen.
You can help us continue this important work by donating to help offset the costs of our team’s travel and expenses.
SEAPI Heritage Camp: (L to R) Mai Miller, Carol Nguyen, Alex Jantzen, Jennifer Devany and Hue Pederson
ATG is Proud to Announce our 2018 ATG Heritage and Culture Camp Scholarship Contest Winners!
Alex Thanh Jantzen, 11
Overland Park, Kansas
What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me?
It has several meanings. One of them is standing up for what you believe in – no matters what the others may think. Also, standing up for what is right. When you sand or saw wood, you can go against the grain. It’s OK to be different from others.
How do I go ‘Against The Grain’?
In my family, I stand out because I look different. Some kids who don’t know my family don’t realize that my sister and I are actual siblings – because I’m adopted. Not following the crowd when they laugh at another kid is another example of going against the grain. Standing for what’s right.
Mai Miller, 17
Samuel Dieu Schlumpf Butler, 10
What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me?
What “against the grain” means to me is feeling and being free to love myself without any urge to follow the crowd ; a feeling of freedom and happiness of who and what I am inside and to express the true “me.” It means that I am the only person that I truly want to be.
I can be, and am going against the grain by being myself and being happy and proud of what I think of myself instead of what others think of me. I can be who I want to and stick to it by being happy of myself. Then, I will make long lasting friendships with people who respect and appreciate who I am.
For example, a kid who used to think that I was “nerdy” and “weird” ended up actually rethinking and wanting to be my friend after I started dressing goofy because it tends to make me happy and comfortable throughout the day. The next day, he walked up to me and asked if I wanted to play with him and his friends at recess. I was amazed at what being myself could change other’s perspectives and feelings about me and how wonderful it felt to be myself. In conclusion, these long lasting friends over time can help others find themselves as well. So I guess I can say that being against the grain has changed my life and how I view myself.
Dallas, TX — Against The Grain Productions is proud to introduce its inaugural ‘Groundbreaker Awards,’ created to honor those who embody the spirit of ATG. These individuals were chosen for excellence in his/her chosen career path, leadership to pave the way for others, having a servant’s heart to help and improve the lives of those around us and sharing ATG’s vision of “One Voice. Many Stories.” These awards will be presented at ATG’s 10th (and final) Fashion for a Passion charity event, which will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at sixty five hundred in Dallas, Texas.
Against The Grain Productions functions as a traditional 501(c)(3) nonprofit but with a twist. In the true spirit of its name, ATG finds unconventional, innovative and entertaining ways to promote leadership, positive identity, unity and artistry in the Asian American community; promote awareness of Asian American culture; give a platform to emerging Asian American artists; and provide inspiration to the community around us to think and act “outside the box.” Over the past decade, the organization has raised hundreds of thousands for orphanages/underprivileged children, scholarships for Asian American student artists/leaders, produced an award-winning documentary (Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam) and become a platform for artists and leaders through its events. Groundbreakers Speak, a signature event, was a panel which brought together Asian American leaders from diverse disciplines together to share their inspiring journey and path to success. “As ATG enters its next decade, we wanted to evolve and find a way to continue inspiring the community. The creation of these ‘Groundbreaker Awards’ allow us to honor shining examples of those who have bravely and selflessly served while passionately trailblazing a way in their own career,” said ATG President and Co-Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “You can love what you do, work hard to be successful and still remember to give back to others. That’s the ATG spirit of what we want to inspire.”
The 2018 Groundbreaker Award Honorees are:
Quynh Chau Stone
Quynh Chau Stone, known to many as “QC,” is a mother, educator, entrepreneur and advocate. She is the President and Founder of The Source of Hope, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with more than seven years of service to Dallas-Ft. Worth underprivileged communities. Under Quynh Chau’s direction and leadership, The Source of Hope collects, distributes and donates food and groceries to those in need and starting over through a network of charitable organizations. The Source of Hope delivered over 1000 meals monthly to the homeless, veterans, first responders, and at risk families and actively works with partner organizations to serve the most vulnerable in the Dallas – Ft. Worth communities.
As a Vietnamese woman who has lived the majority of her life in American, Quynh Chau experienced extreme trauma and loss in Vietnam which shaped her world view. At the age of twelve, Quynh Chau bravely escaped Vietnam with her four brothers. They were rescued and placed in a refugee camp in Malaysia after 13 days at sea. With the help of faith organizations and philanthropies working together, Quynh Chau was reunited with her father, who had already been sponsored to the United States. Quynh Chau’s unthinkable experience as a child strengthened her faith and cemented her lifelong commitment to truly give back to the country and people that helped her so much.
As an entrepreneur, Quynh Chau is a skin care rain-maker and has been working with different platforms to educate and implement skincare practices for over 20 years. She received her formal training from international institutes such as the Matis Paris Institute in Paris, France and exclusive aesthetic skin care clinics in New York, Chicago and Dallas. Quynh Chau also manufactured a line of exclusive skincare products sold to boutique skincare clinics internationally. Through her training and certification, she continues to support and promotes new cosmetologists entering the aesthetic profession and require guidance, training and experience, frequently publishing insights and training content for professionals internationally and has helped to set up over 1000+ salons.
Quynh Chau is a media darling for the Vietnamese American community, regularly directing and producing her local television and radio show, “The Quynh Chau Show,” which covers resources for the community, political views, life skills for minorities, health & beauty insights and entrepreneurship.
Quynh Chau has won numerous awards each year for her work with the community and including the 2016 Women that Soar Award plus over 100+ additional recognitions for her philanthropic work with the city of Garland, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Dallas and Ft. Worth. She was featured in a book written by Mirela Sula titled 50 Inspiring Voices of Migrant Women from Struggle to Success in a chapter written by Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk . She and The Source of Hope were celebrated at the event “Heroes of Houston,” where other organizations and individuals were recognized for the work they did in service of Hurricane Harvey.
Quynh Chau Stone is dedicated to the mission of inspiring others and serving those in need with dignity, wisdom and a generous heart. She relies on her faith and generosity of others to grow the community, sharing her story and hoping to inspire others to soar above. “To me, ‘Going Against The Grain’ means to not take the easy path that others have already made but to go in the direction that the Lord has chosen for me, though it may be rough and uncertain at first.”
“God has created me to be a leader. Through the trials I have faced along side my family and my friends, I have always wanted one thing, to be able to teach my girls and young men and women across the world, that to be a leader, is to help another in need of your guidance. I am honored to receive this award, as a young girl I didn’t ever think I would be “first” at anything. It always felt as if I were last, last to eat, last to learn, last to escape the life I thought I had been burdened with. But as I continued to grow, as I moved on to my life here in the US, where I got to obtain skills, and help others, I realized that I am lucky to have the life God has BLESSED me with. In receiving this award, I hope to only grow more, and to show people that no matter where they come from or who they are, they can be a leader and accomplish anything.”
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas as a Chinese American, Daniel Eng’s Chinese roots date from his great-grandfather immigrating to the U.S. in the late 1800s to build railroads in the United States. Daniel’s father, T.K. Eng., moved from Hong Kong in the mid 1950s, where he later established the real estate foundation for the Eng family.
Daniel graduated in 2001 from Franklin College Switzerland (now Franklin University Switzerland) with a B.A. in International Banking and Finance and started his career and passion in Commercial Real Estate. He has served on the Board of Trustees for his college for three years and is still active on the college’s Alumni Association. He has served as 2016 President for the AREAA DFW Chapter (Asian Real Estate Association of America), the Director for Dallas CCIM Cultural Diversity Chapter in 2011 (Certified Commercial Investment Member), the IREM Dallas Chapter Board for IYP in 2012 (Institute of Real Estate Management ), served on the City of Richardson’s Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors in 2011-2014, 2013 National Association of Asian American Professional DFW Chapter Senior Advisory Council and is an active member at Grace Chinese Baptist Church in Plano. Daniel maintains an office at the Offices of Legacy Chase Oaks in Plano and manages an extensive Commercial Real Estate portfolio of over 50 properties around the DFW area with about 1 million square feet of rentable space.
Growing up watching and learning from his father, Daniel gained an interest in community service at an early age. Daniel would say that his father inspired him to “Go Against The Grain.” Giving back to the Asian American community has always been in Daniel‘s heart. Receiving this award is an honor but he believes there are so many others that deserve this award. “I look forward to continuing to serve and inspire the next generation to ‘Go Against The Grain’ and ‘Be the Cause’ with the ATG team.” Daniel has two daughters and one son. His eldest daughter attends a faith-based private school in the DFW Area, and he hopes she will one day take over the family business and learn to serve others in need.
Nha Khanh Nguyen
Khanh Nguyen, co-founder and the Creative Director of the Nha Khanh label, has been surrounded by fashion and art throughout her life. Khanh attended the University of North Texas and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Fashion Design where she received numerous awards. In January 2010, the Nha Khanh label was established producing seasonal Ready-to-Wear lines, as well as, custom Atelier service to the public. Designs and manufacturing are 100% based in Dallas, Texas, while the sales and marketing PR are based in New York City. The Nha Khanh line can be found in stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Stanley Karshak, Rent-the-Runway and many others around the United States. Nha Khanh’s designs have been worn by Kim Kardashian, Brooklyn Decker, Guliana Rancic, and Kelly Osbourne, to name a few. Nha Khanh has been recognized through various awards and articles written by organizations such as FGI Rising Star, D Magazine Best Woman Custom Design, Harper’s Bazaar, People, Vogue, Teen Magazine, US Weekly, Glamour, InStyle, ENews and Style Network. The company takes pride in exceptionally well-made garments and strives to push the envelope on innovation and creative, elegant designs.Nha Khanh’s designs focus on modern glamour; they are inspired by art, architecture and, most importantly, nature. The designs are ethereal, meticulously constructed and host an ease about them that allows for an effortless sensibility. The company offers seasonal “advanced contemporary” Ready-to-Wear, a custom Atelier collection (which hosts one-of-a-kind custom pieces) and a bridal line.
The Nha Khanh mission is to empower women with inner-strength through their clothing while focusing on “feminine elegance with a modern edge.” “Nha”, in Vietnamese, is a feminine word implying‘ light and elegance’, whereas “Khanh” is a masculine word, meaning ‘victory and celebration’. The fusion of the words creates a balance of unison between feminine and masculine. The collection joins lightness and softness of silhouette and fabrication with the celebration of construction and classic forms. This is the fundamental philosophy and creative driving force behind the Nha Khanh label.
For Khanh, “Going Against The Grain” is “taking the road less traveled and stubbornly refusing to fit in and live life on your own terms.” When asked what receiving this award means to her, she said she is humbled, grateful and honored. “I am humbled that I boldly followed my heart and took the road less traveled, grateful to be able to live life on my own terms and very honored to be recognized among my peers and community for this wonderful award. “
Tickets for Fashion for a Passion go on sale in August.
For sponsorship details, please contact Fundraising@againstthegrainproductions.com
For more information on the event, please visit: www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com.
The 2018 Against The Grain Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Camp Scholarship application process is officially open! Following our support of orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, Against The Grain also provides scholarships here at home to ten young Asian American adoptees each year to attend culture camps such as Catalyst Foundation’s Vietnamese Culture Camp and Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families SEAPI (Southeast Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Camp). Last year, we raised $1,000, allowing ten youths to spend a few days in the summer connecting with their heritage, bonding with new friends and participating in enriching activities for this year’s Heritage and Culture Camps.
Eligibility: Proof of camp registration with Catalyst Foundation’s Vietnamese Culture Camp and HCAF SEAPI Heritage Camp. Sorry, past recipients are not eligible for this year’s scholarship.
Due Date: Saturday, July 1, 2018
Application: Simply submit the following in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Name of Applicant
- Age of Applicant
- City and State
- Photo of Applicant
- Question 1: What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me?
- Question 2: How do I go ‘Against The Grain’?
Many thanks to our Aid Advisor (Thailand) Lisa Tran and our volunteer Nong Sasinapa, ATG was able to deliver an aid mission with heart and “vision” to aid many underprivileged children in Phob Phra district, Tak province of Thailand. Through Nong’s research and assistance, we purchased 49,350 BAHT (approx. USD $1,495) for 141 eye-glass frames for 141 children.
Phob Phra Hospital estimates that approximately 10% of children in Phob Phra District have vision problems. This district is far from the city and most people are minorities without Thai citizenship, hindering them access to government facilities and social welfare. Due to the lack of accessibility for parents to provide glasses for their children, those with vision problems cannot live and learn properly. Many of them are reportedly to be intellectually underdeveloped. Most students in the Thoo Mhew Khee Learning Center are Burmese refugees who stay in Prob Phra District without proper civil registration. Many students with vision problems do not have eyeglasses, and this mission provided eyeglasses to enable these students with eye or vision problems to have a better quality of life.
For the 2017–2018 academic year, a total of 141 students received vision checks and eye glasses. The glass frames were purchased by ATG. The lenses and technical support (Optometrist, optician and eye examination devices) were provided free of charge by Thai Glass Center and the Thai Health Promotion Center.
It is with your support that we can continue to improve the lives of underprivileged children and give them hope of a brighter future. Please continue to support our cause by donating.