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Photo by Travis Broxton, courtesy of the Nathan Yip Foundation.

Predictions for the Year of the Dog

In advance of their annual Chinese New Year celebration on Friday night, we spoke with the executive director of the Nathan Yip Foundation about what to expect from the Year of the Dog.

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The Nathan Yip Foundation’s (NYF) 15th Annual Chinese New Year celebration kicks off Friday night at the McNichols Civic Center Building. This year, the foundation is celebrating the Year of the Dog, which is without question the greatest Chinese zodiac sign (it’s also true that the author of this piece was born in the Year of the Dog—and no, I don’t think it’s a coincidence). This year, the NYF’s celebration will include lion dancers, karaoke, a Chinese calligrapher, and more.

In terms of how the Year of the Dog may look for Coloradans, we spoke with the Nathan Yip Foundation’s executive director Tarika Cefkin about this year’s predictions. Much like a New Year’s resolution, we wanted to look at these predictions as a “could be” rather than a “this-will-definitely-happen-to-you-so-read-on-and-learn-your-future” type of story.

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The Year of the Dog, Cefkin says, is supposed to have less drama, and with no new Games of Thrones episodes to look forward to, that seems to be a pretty safe bet. (However, it doesn’t look like Washington got the memo.)

Cefkin, who was citing predictions found at astrologyclub.org, says that we will “All be imbued with the Dog’s keen sense of right and wrong” throughout the coming year. Many of us could likely be better about recognizing the injustices our neighbors fight through every single day, things like discrimination in the workplace, Denver residents who are being displaced from their homes, or the ongoing battle to protect indigenous lands. At the very least, I think we all would appreciate it if we made 2018 the year where everyone picked up after their pets—especially along our state’s beautiful hiking trails.

Baby steps.

Another prediction for the Year of the Dog is that it will inspire a willingness to give rather than take. That’s something that the Nathan Yip Foundation (NYF), which donated $240,000 to rural schools in China, Colorado, and Juarez, Mexico, has been doing effectively since its inception in 2002. The NYF, Cefkin says, partners with educators in these rural communities, specifically, because it’s often those programs that lack resources like technology, up-to-date books, or the ability to properly develop their teachers.

“Sometimes what we provide is something as simply as a SmartBoard,” Cefkin says. “But we’ve also provided virtual reality goggles, three-dimensional printers—really, we try to bring whatever these schools say they need the most.”

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The celebration, of course, is also an NYF fundraiser—all proceeds from the evening will go toward the foundation. Cefkin says that they will have decorated McNichols Civic Center Building to feel like an Asian market and will be offering fresh seafood from the Seattle Fish Company. There’s also an open bar. All of it, Cefkin says, is part of the effort to make this fundraiser an unforgettable experience.

“We moved away from the sit-down dinner with speech after speech,” Cefkin says. “We want folks to come obviously to support the cause, but also for a good time and a great party.”

If you go: Friday, February 9, 6–11 p.m. The McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave. Tickets are available here and range from $100 to $225.

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