On Saturday, January 26, 2019, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles gathered together nearly 500 guests at the Sheraton San Gabriel to host the 54th Annual Miss Chinatown Los Angeles Pageant. The event was powered by Big Token, title sponsor of the event, Diamond corporate sponsors AA Meat Products Corp, Cathay Bank, Chinatown Service Center, Commerce Casino, Exact Tax, SRAX, Sunrider International, YiHua Timber Industry, and Young Engineering, and Diamond individual sponsors Takashi Cheng & Dorenda Wong, and Christopher Miligo. The event also honored special guests, Dr. Kenneth Sim from Apollo Medical Group, Eric Lu, Operations Director from Cartier New York, Mr. & Mrs. Kin Hui, Chairman of Sinpoli, Mr. and Mrs. Li Wei Quan Chaiman of Kangwei Group, and Mr. Tin Chu Wong, Principal of RES Associates, CEO Club.

Since 1963, the annual Miss Chinatown Los Angeles pageant commenced a tradition for Chinese American women to explore their heritage and be involved in their community. The Miss Los Angeles Chinatown Queen and her court serve as ambassadors to better understand and advance the growth of achievements by Chinese Americans, as well as network with local businesses and officials. The pageant itself doubles as an epicenter for interconnection amongst diverse businesses and civic leaders within the community. The event is one of the major fundraisers of the year for the Chamber, and the evening brought together influential members of the Chinese community to celebrate the Lunar New Year and their rich Chinese heritage.

Our nine Miss Chinatown finalist contestants this year displayed their intelligence, grace and beauty in front of a 5 person judging panel, and each presented their platform for how they plan to utilize their year as reigning Queen to foster cultural relationships and be a public servant, both here with the Los Angeles community and abroad in China. One of the major responsibilities of the Queen and her Royal Court is to partake in a cultural exchange visit to key cities in China and Hong Kong each year with Chamber Chairman Chester Chong.

The evening was kick started by an energetic performance from Cyndney Ee, followed by opening remarks from Chamber Chairman Chester Chong and new incoming Chamber President Kevin Chen, who promises to bring a new energy and exciting initiatives to the Chinese American business community in 2019. Emcees of the evening, Alice Wong (previous 2015 Miss Chinatown Los Angeles Queen) and Christopher Gray kept the night upbeat and entertaining, as the contestants displayed various fashion numbers including evening gowns from renown couture designer Sienna Li, and the traditional Qi-pao. Each young lady is sponsored and accompanied by an individual or couple, who aside from funding their pageant costs also donates toward an educational scholarship for them. This was also the first year the Chamber conducted a live auction fundraiser with exciting items like cases of highly sought-after Opus One wine, a Global Ocean Club luxury yacht cruise and His and Her set of Rolex watches going to the highest bidder. One hundred percent of the proceeds of the auction go towards funding key projects of the Chamber, like business networking programs and educational scholarships for high school seniors pursuing higher education. The tail end of the reception featured a show-stopping performance from Katherine Ho, local Los Angeles native and performer of the song “Yellow” from last year’sblockbuster “Crazy Rich Asians.”

Of course, the highlight of the night culminated with the reveal and crowning of Miss Chinatown Los Angeles 2019, Miss Kellie Chin, a sophomore studying biochemistry at East Los Angeles Community College. Her presiding Royal Court of 2019 includes 1st Princess Isabell Liu, 2nd Princess Sela Wang and 3rd Princess Ashley Thompson and Friendship Princess Barbara Wong. We look forward to great things to come as these exceptional young women go out into the world in search of their best selves and how they can make a meaningful contribution to the Chinese American community at large.