Today’s news:

Flushing community center opens with huge crowd

The Chinese community in Flushing has a new place to gather.

Founded by a group of Chinese business leaders in New York, the nonprofit Chinese Community Center of Flushing, at 43-17 Union St., opened for the public’s use July 5. More than 100 people, including seniors, parents and children in the community, visited the center for its grand opening July 1.

“This place belongs to the people of the community,” said Howard Sang, founder of the center and chairman of the board of directors. “This is where we celebrate [Chinese] culture.”

Aimed at the whole family, the center seeks to care for the mental and social needs of the community through cultural classes and therapeutic services.

On weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the center hosts a senior adult day care program. Working with local health organizations and the state government, the center offers free meals, classes and recreational activities for seniors older than 55 possessing both Medicaid and Medicare cards.

“[This center] is very good, especially for the elderly. It’s good for their health to go outside of the home and chat,” said Jesse Li, outreach coordinator of WellCare, a sponsor of the center.

In addition to Ping-Pong tables, the center also provides equipment for seniors to play Wii and sing karaoke.

Flushing ´╗┐resident Ling Dao Chi said he looked forward to coming with his wife to the senior program to play Ping-Pong, learn computer skills, and read the newspaper.

“It’s not bad, very big,” Ling said of the more than 10,000-square-foot center, which has just been renovated.

This summer the center is also running a Ping-Pong camp for children and youth with plans for a class in the fall with professional coaching.

“It is primarily a training ground for the Queens children,” Sang said of the center’s pingpong program.

The Ping-Pong facilities are open to the local Flushing ´╗┐community Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Each visit costs $8, or $6 for children under 15 and seniors.

To fulfill its goal of passing on Chinese culture to future generations, the center plans to hold classes in Chinese arts and crafts where seniors and youth can interact.

“We want seniors to share their Chinese life experience with the children,” Sang said.

Other planned classes include instruction in Chinese calligraphy, dance, philosophy, music and language. At the center, immigrants can also learn English and find assistance in completing government forms.

More information about the community center can be found at cccflushing.org.

Reach reporter Evelyn Cheng by phone at 718-260-4524.

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