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Chinese New Year celebration at Christ Church Bay Ridge

Horse power! New year brings new celebration to Christ Church Bay Ridge

Brooklyn Daily

It is the Year of the Horse — and one Ridge Girl Scout is learning to take the reins!

When Christ Church Bay Ridge decided to throw a Chinese New Year celebration, they turned to their in-house Girl Scout troop for help — and to the troop’s only Chinese-American member.

The Episcopal Church Women group at the Ridge Boulevard house of worship wanted to acknowledge the lunar new year as a way of welcoming a new community.

“It was a learning experience, and another opportunity to have fellowship at the church,” said member Allison Greaker. “There is a growing Chinese presence in the neighborhood, and we like to support the whole community and recognize everybody.”

It soon became a golden opportunity for 10-year-old scout Samantha Yuen to both celebrate her culture and to earn her leadership badge.

“It’s a leadership program, and we want the girls to do leadership,” said troop leader Mary Witke. “We thought it would be a good idea to support her.”

Yuen — with some help from her family — obtained a traditional Chinese dragon and arranged for lo mein, dumplings, and green tea to be served at the party, held after mass on Feb. 9.

“It was nice, because they could share their world with us,” said Witke.

The 50-girl-strong troop made paper lanterns to decorate the church, and waited on the parishioners during the party — all under Yuen’s guidance. Greaker said the celebration would likely become a new tradition for Christ Church.

“We want to contribute to culture and make people feel welcome,” Greaker said. “We like a party, it is what it is.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at

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