First Annual Doan Foundation Gala Fundraiser

We are deeply grateful for your invaluable support in making the first Doan Foundation Gala event an overwhelming success. The evening was truly enchanting, with an atmosphere of unwavering positivity and high spirits. It surpassed all expectations, creating a truly perfect experience.

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our sponsors. Your selfless contributions, whether in the form of monetary support or in-kind donations, made this event possible and allowed us to fulfill our mission.

A special mention goes to Alana Austin and Jermaine Rocacorba, representatives of Councilman Kent Lee, whose surprise recognition of our attending Scholarship Recipients will forever remain a cherished memory for them. Your gesture has illuminated their paths and will continue to inspire them for years to come.

Our gratitude also extends to the dedicated members of our Board of Directors:

– Dr. Thao Ha, Chair

– Vu Nguyen, Vice Chair

– Lori Kongmalay, Secretary

– Kalvin Le, Treasurer

Your guidance and wisdom have been instrumental in the foundation’s growth and success.

We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to our exceptional volunteers, whose collective expertise far surpassed the demands of their assigned tasks. Your seamless execution of the night’s activities played a pivotal role in its success. You are the backbone of our foundation, and we are truly grateful for your unwavering dedication.

To our inspirational performers, your presence ignited the night with a spark of brilliance. Our DJ, who effortlessly resolved any obstacles, turned challenges into triumphs. Our MC, Tre, skillfully guided the event to success. And our media team, thank you for capturing every significant moment, preserving them for posterity.

Last but certainly not least, we want to express our deepest gratitude to our cherished family, friends, and guests. Your love and support have infused the Gala with an immeasurable warmth and sense of community. It is your presence that truly embodies the spirit of a Gala event.

Once again, thank you all for your indispensable contributions in making this Gala event an extraordinary celebration of our mission and the lives it touches.

Sabaidee Fest 2023

As minorities, we often hear about the “American Dream”. It’s the reason why our parents and grandparents left their homes and made the sacrifice of traveling to this country; in hopes of establishing a better, fruitful life with the freedom to obtain those dreams if they wished to pursue them.
Although there have been a fair share of obstacles for many generations, with some still existing to this day- minorities have finally been able to start break free of our social restraints. Together, united through culture and the need to preserve that very culture- we’ve been able to show this land full of immigrants that our very existence is much more beautiful when we are blessed with the bridge of understanding through our customs, foods, and arts.
@sabaideefest was the first of it’s kind. Guests, artists, and vendors came from all over the United States to support this 2 day event. It was the first and largest Lao, Thai and Hmong music & food festival ever in the United States. The concept was unheard of and many deemed it impossible. But the roaring of the crowd of thousands proved otherwise.
We had the privilege of hanging out at the booth with our sponsors and @magixstyx and also neighbored the members of the Lao Community Service Center all the way from Seattle, Washington as well as take photo opportunities with @kinnalyseattle @pomfoundationofficial . We were also blessed to meet and discuss our mission with community leaders such as @taiwestminster Tai Do, former Mayoral Candidate and Councilman of the City of Westminster. We also finally got to see one of the talented musical artists for our upcoming Gala, @heartbreaka perform on stage for the first time!

Crowd photo by @sabaideefest, Group photo from @thi2raw

Community Partner Vietnamese Boat People Story Slam

Organizations across the United States are helping to spread the word from our community partner, Vietnamese Boat People!!

Share your story on the 4th Annual Mỹ Việt Story Slam!

This year’s theme is Ba, Mẹ ơi (roughly, “Dear Dad and Mom”)

It’s hard to imagine our parents having lives before us. Have you thought about how much you actually know, or want to know, about their pasts and what shaped them into who they are today? This year, season 6 of the Vietnamese Boat People podcast showcases narratives of individuals uncovering the lives that their parents once lived. And if you’re a PARENT who has something you’ve always wanted to share with your kids, we invite you to submit as well!

Five Storytellers will be selected and featured in a live event and on the podcast, plus each will receive $300 and a bag of swag from their sponsors!

​They want to feature YOUR story. For the first time, the Mỹ Việt Story Slam is open to storytellers from ALL OVER THE WORLD, not just the U.S. 

Learn how you can participate by visiting

Oceanside Holiday of Hope 2022 Sponsored by The Doan Foundation

This year, we were fortunate enough to be a sponsor for the Holiday of Hope 2022 celebration at Oceanside High School, which primarily serves the northern portion of San Diego. Mr. Nguyen, Vice-Chair of The Doan Foundation and board member of North County/Oceanside Promise, has helped organize this event for several years.

The primary objective of this annual event is to unite the community, families, and organizations such as the school district and local police departments, for a night of mutual support and community building in a world when isolation is all too common due to the prevalence of electronic devices. We got to see kids having fun and families sharing a moment of happiness together unhindered by technology. The value of that in and of itself is immeasurable.

This year, the Doan Foundation was able to fund the sponsorship of multiple families in need of assistance. We anticipate accomplishing much more in the years to come.

Though our organization’s main objective is to launch the professional lives of young creatives, we must never lose sight of the fact that the foundation for success is laid in the family.

Holiday Hope Toy Drive – In Partnership w/ Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego

Our three-week Holiday Hope Drive met and exceeded its goal. We appreciate the generosity of our customers, their friends, and complete strangers who came by to donate to these kids in need. We want to express our deep appreciation to you and everybody who helped us throughout this holiday season. We gathered more than three XL boxes worth of toys, games, and sports equipment, including rare collectibles, educational games, board games, stuffed animals, and more.

This holiday season, we decided to partner with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego (@rmhcsandiego ) because we believe in their mission and share their vision. The goal is straightforward: provide assistance and solace to ailing children. They were grateful for our gifts right from the start and kept us informed every step of the process. Families whose children are receiving treatment for serious, often life-threatening disorders at area hospitals can turn to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego as a “home-away-from-home.”

We anticipate an impactful partnership with them for many years to come.

Visit to learn more about the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ mission and successes and to find out how you can help them help those in need.

Community Partner VAALA’s Yellow Submarine Rising Exhibition

We are excited to be a Community Partner for VAALA’s Yellow Submarine Rising: Currents within Asian American Art, a multidisciplinary art exhibition showcasing compelling work by contemporary artists Antonius-Tin Bui, Binh Danh, Alison Ho, Bonnie Huang, Alina Kawai, Victo Ngai, Dan Lynh Pham and Jave Yoshimoto. The exhibition is curated by Thuy N. D. Tran. Join us on opening night on Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in conjunction with the Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The exhibition will run from December 3 until December 17, 2022 and will include special programming and community events. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Yellow Submarine Rising opens on Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in conjunction with the Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk. The exhibition will run from December 3 until December 17, 2022 and will include special programming and community events. 

Yellow Submarine Rising is organized into four themed galleries—Cultural Legacies, Belonging_Home, Elevating Empowerment, and Transferences and Futures. Each theme respectively touches upon our humanistic desires for: cultural continuity as found in Alina Kawai’s symbolisms and in Antonius Bui’s provocative papercuts; of rooting oneself into a place as reflected in Binh Danh’s portrait photographs and embodied in Bonnie Huang’s interwoven fibers; of finding courage against the odds as in Jave Yoshimoto’s masterful lasercuts and paintings, Dan Lynh Pham’s feminist visions, or in Alison Ho’s vulnerable installations; and finally of ensuring a more hopeful legacy as Victo Ngai’s children’s book illustrations and Project Honor murals reveal.

The exhibition serves as both contemplations and counterpoints to the Asian American experience and was conceived as an urgent response to the exponential rise in racially-driven hate crimes committed against the AAPI community.

YELLOW SUBMARINE RISING: Currents within Asian American Art
Saturday, December 3, 2022 to December 17, 2022
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
117 N Sycamore St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Opening Reception on Saturday, December 3, 2022, 5pm to 10pm
Gallery hours: Friday – Sunday, 12pm to 5pm




San Diego Tet Festival Fundraiser Gala by VAYA SD

San Diego’s VAYA has been serving the Vietnamese community here in San Diego for quite some time. They host an annual Tet festival and try to keep the event free for the public to enjoy. These fundraising dinners help with that. Our founder and president, Dennis Doan was asked to auction off the original “Model Minority” art print, otherwise known as “Hate is a Virus”.

Here are his words regarding the piece.

“Creating “Model Minority” ©️2020 was somewhat unintentional. As my tattoo business was shut down at the peak of the pandemic, I found myself sitting at home with nothing to do- feeling useless for the first time in my life. I came across the organization “Hate Is A Virus” who was trying to shine a lense on the blooming hate against our Asian-Americans. This inspired me to sit down and let my mind paint my thoughts.

After 20 or so hours, my vision came to life. It was just a piece of art that I wanted to post to help spread the word. But unbeknownst to me- it would shake up the world.

It wasn’t until my wife and good friend, owner of ShareTea pretty much forced me to turn this piece into t-shirts that people could wear that I gave in. This unintentional route ended up becoming the diamond that saved my business from shutting down due to inactivity during the 7 months we were forced to shut down.

This piece allowed me to reach not only tattoo enthusiasts, but every day people that wouldn’t have discovered me otherwise. All over the news and social media, rallies and educational institutions. It feels surreal until this very day.

This paradigm shift allowed me to turn my presence of merely a tattoo artist into a presence that represents action. It allowed me to start The Doan Foundatin to help marginalized youth, especially in minority communities like my own.

It was only right that I would auction this original piece off at the Annual Gala Fundraiser for the San Diego Tet festival. This event helps keep the festival free for attendees to enjoy and learn about our culture each and every year.

As I get older and my perceptions have shifted, I see clearer the importance of not only preserving our culture but ESCALATING awareness of it. Our youth is losing touch with their roots, but we have the power to change that.

Thank you Tri, owner of NotPolish for your generous bid and congratulations on winning this piece that was originally my own hung up on my own wall. Thank you for your selfless contribution to our people and for recognizing the impact that VAYA has for their futures. I can now retire this piece.

We were able to help VAYA raise almost $10,000 from auctioning this piece.

VAALA’s Viet Film Fest – Sponsored by The Doan Foundation

So proud to be a sponsor to Viet Film Fest 2022!! We were able to enjoy the night with our Chair, Dr. Thao Ha as she welcomed us to the beautiful theater and introduced us to all of VAALA‘s board members and great volunteers. We were blown away from the beauty of the films that we were able to watch. It is so amazing to see what an impact an organization that has been around for so long can make in today’s world. We are looking forward to the next one!
Viet Film Fest is the largest international Vietnamese film festival in the world, showcasing the best creative work by and about the Vietnamese people. They have had their films, which have won multiple awards, shown in a wide variety of venues across the globe. In 2003, the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) established Viet Film Fest as a way to honor the many films that feature Vietnamese characters and settings. The festival has been going strong for over a decade, thanks in large part to the thousands of people from all over the world who come to see the breathtaking showcase of shorts and features that filmmakers from all over the world.

The Viet Film Fest is a celebration of Vietnamese cinema that uses the global language of film to bring people together and encourage new viewpoints and ideas. The Viet Film Fest fosters cross-cultural communication between artists and the general audience. The festival serves as a focal point for the Vietnamese film industry, bringing together notable filmmakers, media professionals, and producers.

The Viet Film Festival is not only a great place to watch films, but also a great place to learn about the culture and history of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people today. They are using art to drive social change.