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Reception Honors Viet Essay Winners

November 30, 2000|Tami Min, (714) 520-2509

Five winners of the national Spirit of America essay contest--sponsored by the Viet Bao Daily News, a Santa Ana-based newspaper, and the Viet USA Foundation, a nonprofit organization--were honored Wednesday during a reception with local elected officials and community leaders at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda.

Helen Le, 41, of Garden Grove wrote about an abused and orphaned child she remembered from her Saigon neighborhood.

Mai Gia Nguyen, 89, also of Garden Grove, who starred in Oliver Stone's "Heaven and Earth," wrote about gaining his American citizenship in 1993.

Cao Huynh Nguyen, a 56-year-old Santa Ana resident, wrote an essay, "My Father's Bamboo Hubble-Bubble Pipe."

The contest was designed to shed light on the experiences of the Vietnamese community in America, said Kieu Chinh, who chairs the Viet USA Foundation.

Chinh, an actress featured in the film "Joy Luck Club" and television show "M*A*S*H," said the contest drew more than 1,000 entries from throughout the country.

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