In taking a moment to look back on last year, Spokane Hoopfest would like to recognize and thank everyone who continually make our events possible. This month, we would like to thank one of our most senior volunteers, Han-Chung “Harry” Meng, for all of his support to the program.
Mr. Meng, who celebrated a century of life just last month, would often be found handing out the court monitor t-shirts on the Sunday of Hoopfest.
He has volunteered since 2001. And while no longer a volunteer on the weekend, Meng is still a proud part of Hoopfest.
“This is a way of paying back to the community a little of what I have received,” Meng said in response to the question of why he volunteered with Hoopfest for so many years.
A native of Nanjing, China, Meng served in the Chinese navy. He came to the U.S. by way of the Navy College Training Program at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where he studied for three years. He then returned to Eastern Asia, this time to teach English in Taiwan — after retiring with the rank of captain.
Meng and his wife returned to the U.S. as naturalized citizens in 1990, the year Hoopfest was born. He and his wife, Yu-Yin, moved to the Lilac City from California to be close to one of their four children, who received her master’s degree at Washington State University.
And for that, Hoopfest is thankful.
“It just isn’t Hoopfest unless people like Mr. Meng are there,” Hoopfest operations manager Chad Smith said. “He’s a tremendous inspiration to us all.”
An inspiration indeed. Hoopfest simply doesn’t happen without the help and support of over 3,000 volunteers every year. With so many activities happening within the event itself, there is so much that needs to be done.
“Our community is one of a kind,” explained Chad. “The volunteer support Hoopfest receives from the Inland Northwest is second to none and has allowed us to sustain our energy and our growth for the past twenty-seven years. Hoopfest is the largest event of its kind, but it’s also the best. We have volunteer positions for everyone.”
We at Hoopfest would like to thank all volunteers from the bottom of our hearts for all you do. Today especially, we are thankful for Mr. Meng and his 100 years of life and all the goodness he has brought to the event.
Registration for volunteers will begin February 1st and sign-up is quick and easy. Go to our website: www.spokanehoopfest.net.