The Fountain Valley Rotary Club’s Charitable Association and Project Oasis in combination with the city of Fountain Valley sponsored Walk For Vietnam, a fundraising event designed to help relieve Vietnam’s economic struggle due to the COVID-19 on Saturday, Oct. 2. The event at the Mile Square Park Tennis Center had hundreds of attendees in Walk for Vietnam T-shirts.
Before heading out on the walk, Vietnamese drummers dressed in traditional yellow “ao dais” played a performance, sponsored by the community organization, Nailing it for America.
The city of Fountain Valley is over 20% Vietnamese and boasts many Vietnamese-run small businesses, many of whom immigrated to Orange County after the fall of Saigon in 1975.
Notable attendees were Fountain Valley’s two Vietnamese council members, Mayor Michael Vo, and president of the Fountain Valley Rotary Club and City Councilmember Ted Bui. Founder of Project Oasis Compati, a charity organization, Roxanne Chow, also attended. Vo shared sentiment that this event focused specifically on raising relief for Vietnam and not for Fountain Valley.
“We are here to show our love for Vietnam. This walk is not for the city of Fountain Valley. This is the walk that the people in this community share our love. I thank every one of you here today to show your kindness, kindness for humanity and kindness for Vietnam,” Vo said.
Currently, Vietnam has over 19,000 deaths due to COVID-19 and around 800,000 cases.
However, with the surge of the Delta variant due to low vaccination rates, methods such as isolation have proved difficult. Only just recently has the Vietnam government eased restrictions after enforcing strict restrictions for the past four months.
Marchers walked along 16378 Brookhurst St. singing along to the “Tiếng Gọi Công Dân,” which was the official national anthem of Southern Vietnam from 1956 to 1975.
“This shows that the Fountain Valley community stands with Vietnam. Right now, Vietnam is facing unprecedented challenges with COVID-19 and their economy is dying,” attendee Van Tran said. “People there cannot make a living because they are in lockdown and we are here today to help them get back on their feet financially.”
So far, the Walk for Vietnam’s GoFundMe page has raised almost $24,000 of its goal of $120,000. Sponsors included One Church Irvine, 7 Leaves Cafe, Pho Bolsa TV, the Fountain Valley Police Officers’ Association and more.
For those wishing to view the event, PhoBolsaTV posted a livestream of the entire event. Those looking to further support the Walk for Vietnam can donate at the GoFundMe page for a tax-deductible donation or email email@example.com.
“Your presence is warm welcoming. It shows the rest of the world we care for Vietnam and for humanity. The reason why we wanted to organize this event is to bring awareness. The most important thing is to bring awareness to the people suffering through this second wave of the Delta variant,” Bui said.