Even before he joined the board in October 2011, Ernie was already making a difference: Earlier that spring, he volunteered to help set up an outreach table by the campground kiosk to promote membership in Friends of China Camp. Once on the board, Ernie learned that FOCC needed a new treasurer, and he recalls that he “eventually raised my hand because it was pretty clear no one else wanted to do it.”
As treasurer, Ernie did everything—collected cash, created an accounting system, and set up a membership database. At first, there were only about 30 names on our database spreadsheet. But after a couple of kiosk outreach tables that fall, Ernie remembers being “completely psyched” to announce that FOCC had more than 100 members. (That number now stands at nearly 4,000.)
Ernie remained treasurer until Ed Lai took over in late 2017. Ernie has been a long-time visitor of the Village beach and has supported the operations of the China Camp Village cafe since the passing of the former owner, Frank Quan, in 2016.
In his FOCC board “retirement,” Ernie continues to manage the China Camp Village Cafe, selling beverages and snacks at the cafe on weekends to park visitors. That is, after he finishes his trail run and a swim in the bay.