Sacramento Soo Yuen Benevolent Association Vandalized
Members of the Soo Yuen Benevolent Association’s Sacramento Chapter say an intruder did irreparable damage to its downtown facility last week. From valuable artifacts to ancestral prayer items, framed pictures, furnishings, antiques, and more, all destroyed thanks to one man. In addition, members say the suspect damaged chandeliers and light fixtures, caused flooding, and littered the floors with broken glass. They also claim the suspect released a fire extinguisher and smeared human waste on the walls. According to Sacramento Police Department spokesperson Officer Karl Chan, Police detained a suspect in the incident later identified as Brian Myers. Myers is suspected of occupying and vandalizing the building for no more than 1-1/2 days. Sacramento Police are not currently investigating the incident as a hate crime. Members say they intend to fundraise to help cover repair costs.
About Soo Yuen Benevolent Association
The Soo Yuen Benevolent Association is a global organization consisting of descendants of three Chinese families: Louie, Fong, and Kwong. The history of these families dates back over four thousand six hundred years ago in China. During the late Ching Dynasty, the families migrated to the United States and settled down in Sacramento. Many worked as gold miners or as builders of the railways for the Central Pacific Railroad. Because of problems with the English language and racial discrimination, in 1859 the families created the Soo Yuen Benevolent Association in Sacramento at 416 C Street as a place for social and civic gatherings. While over 162 years old, the Association’s Sacramento Chapter was the first Soo Yuen Benevolent Association in the United States. The Association’s headquarters is in San Francisco.
The Soo Yuen Benevolent Assn facility serves as a community and cultural center for our members, especially the many seniors. The hall is used for meetings, social gatherings, cultural events and observing the many traditional celebrations throughout the year.Henry Fong, Former President, Soo Yuen Benevolent Association
The Sacramento Soo Yuen Benevolent Association relocated three times, with the last move in 1969 to the current building in the heart of China Town at 401 J Street during the redevelopment of the downtown area. The downtown Sacramento location is known as a community & cultural center for families.
Road To Recovery For Soo Yuen Benevolent Association Sacramento Chapter
Mr. Henry Fong, former President and current advisor to the Association, says costs for clean-up, repair, and restoration aren’t determined yet. However, he considers the damage to the downtown Sacramento facility extensive and says the Association intends to fundraise to cover repair costs.
Based on the extensive damage this adds a great financial burden to our financially strapped association. We have to do some major fundraising to cover the repair and restoration costs.Henry Fong, Former President, Soo Yuen Benevolent Association
Mr. Fong also believes the incident is a potential hate crime. Although Sacramento Police are not currently investigating the incident as a hate crime, AAPI communities across America are on high alert. According to research released by reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate, citizens reported nearly 3,800 anti-AAPI incidents over the course of the last year.
It appears that this was likely an anti-Asian hate crime since the restaurant area which was accessible to the intruder did not show any discernable evidence of vandalizing; only the water damage from the water seeping down from the flooded bathroom on the (above) association hall floor.Henry Fong, Former President, Soo Yuen Benevolent Association
To learn more about the Sacramento Chapter of the Soo Yuen Benevolent Association, visit https://sites.google.com/site/sooyuensac/.