UPDATED: December 30, 2009 9:25 PM
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Royal Birthday.

Thai Ambassador Don Pramudwinai leads the celebration of Thai King Bhumibol Adulayadej’s birthday last December 5. At the Capitol Hilton event, attended by top guests from the diplomatic, government and business circles, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) and his wife Hong Le Webb (far left), join in singing the royal theme song. Photo: Bing Cardenas Branigin

From left: Bill Branigin, senior editor of The Washington Post, with Surin Pitsuwanm Secretary General of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Photo: Bing Cardenas Branigin

WHA Blue Lanterns Benefit.

Hien Vo (far right, first photo) is World Health Ambassador’s volunteer Chief Operating Officer and organizer of the Blue Lantern Benefit. Dr. Chauhan, shown with his wife, is a pulmonologist at Alexandria Hospital. He spoke at the event. He has participated in WHA medical missions.

Lucky Money Collections for “Year of the Tiger”

To mark Chinese Lunar New Year, Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing recently announced the newest additions to the Lucky Money Collection, “Year of the Tiger” and “Dragon Boat.” Lucia Chen, 3rd from left, who contributed a Chinese poem for the Lucky Money Collection, was invited to this press conference. From left: Kevin Brown, Karen Smith, Lucia Chen, Pamela Gardiner, BEP Deputy Director, Gino Wang, Jun Barn. The Tiger is a sign of luck in the twelve zodiac symbols in the Chinese lunar aalendar. The lucky money note features an uncirculated $1 note with the serial number beginning with “8888,”designed with decorative Chinese symbolism and packaged in a red folder with gold foil. The "year of the Tiger" represents good fortune and prosperity, signifying success in the New Year. This note is sold for $5.95 and only 88,888will be available for sale. The Lucky Money Note “Dragon Boat” features a crisp uncirculated Series 2004 $50 Federal Reserve Note with a serial number beginning with “8888.” This lucky money note is attractively presented in a decorative folder, with the note encased in a protective, clear, acid-free polymer sleeve. This product is limited to 6,888 sets and is available for the price of $68.88.

UPAA Induction.

Bong Pangilinan, newly inducted President of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association, of Metropolitan DC, MD, and VA, received the UP statue from outgoing president, Louie Topaz, during the induction and Christmas party held at a restaurant in Northern, Virginia. Photo: Bing Cardenas Branigin

Wreaths for Heroes.

16,000 Christmas wreaths were placed by volunteers at the Arlington Cemetery last December 12. Organizers placed wreaths to the tombs of the older part of the hallowed grounds. 1,000 wreaths were also placed at section 60, where the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are laid to rest. Photo: Bing Cardenas Branigin

Elizabeth Joy Roe Recital.

Korean American concert pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe played a benefit recital at the Carnegie Institution for the Esperanza Education Fund, a community-financed college scholarship for immigrant students in the area. Ms. Roe has been hailed as “brilliant” by The New York Times. She has appeared on the BBC, NPR and MTV, and has performed in concert halls in New York, Paris and Seoul, among other places.

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