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Tiansheng Yu's family

Gala offers aid to families of Oakland violence victims

on September 6, 2010

Over 300 people convened at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in downtown Oakland on Saturday night, to attend the 23rd annual gala of the Organization of Chinese Americans-East Bay (OCA-East Bay).  In addition to featuring Asian American athletes Kristi Yamaguchi and Kurt Suzuki (former Olympic skating champion and Oakland Athletics catcher), the gala had another highlight—the presentation of a $75,000 to Zhirui Wang and Jincheng Yu, the widow and son of Tiansheng Yu, the victim of a fatal attack on the 1800 block of Telegraph Avenue in Oakland this April.

Yu, 59-years-old, was brutally beaten when he confronted two young men who had punched his son moments earlier. He never recovered from the injuries and was removed from life support four days after the attack. Oakland police have arrested two young men, Lavonte Drummer and Dominic Davis. Both have previous records for robbery as juveniles.

“Unfortunately, although $75,000 is a lot of money, it’s not enough money to carry someone too far down the road,” said Stanley Kiang, the vice president of OCA-East Bay. Kiang said he and other OCA members would try to find the younger Yu, 27, some work to help the family weather its financial difficulties.

Yao Ming sneaker

This sneaker, custom-made for NBA player Yao Ming, was one of the auction items featured at OCA-East Bay’s gala. The auction was held to raise funds for the organization.

Two weeks ago, the OCA-East Bay also launched a foundation to aid the family of Jinghong Kang. Kang was a Chinese American computer engineer from Fairfax County in Virginia who was robbed and shot to death on July 18 in Oakland, one day before a job interview with Google. Two suspects, a man and his girlfriend have been arrested and charged with murder. Kiang said no further information regarding trials of the suspects in either Yu or Kang’s case had been heard by OCA-East Bay.  Kang is survived by his wife Wendy Kang and three teenage sons.

Kiang described the widow’s financial situation as “almost worse than Yu’s.” Her deceased husband had donated “a lot of his money to his church project to help Chinese immigrants,” said Kiang. “Not long before he was murdered he just canceled his life insurance policy, so he could invest more resource in the project he was working on.”

Kang’s body is buried in a cemetery in Los Angeles on a donated plot. “They don’t even have money to ship him home to Virginia,” said Kiang.

The gala was also accompanied by a silent and a live auction. Auction items included sneakers custom-made for NBA player Yao Ming, an autographed NFL jersey of former Oakland Raiders receiver Jerry Rice and an autographed bat that once belonged to A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki. The auction benefits the general fund of OCA-East Bay, but both the Yu and Kang families will likely receive an additional contribution from the proceeds.

Image: Stanley Kiang (left) and Carl Chan (far right) presented $75,000 to Zhirui Wang and Jincheng Yu, the widow and son of Tiansheng Yu. The elder Yu was the victim of a fatal attack on the 1800 block of Telegraph Avenue in Oakland this April. Photo courtesy of Ryan Chia Photography,

Donations in the name of the “Kang Family Fund” can be sent directly to Metropolitan Bank at 250 E. 18th Street, Oakland, CA 94606.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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