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Chinatown Project

The Missouri delegates of the 2004 Republican National Convention are taking some time out of their trip to give back to the city that is hosting them.

KSMU's Katie Hummel reports from New York City...

THAT'S THE SOUND THAT GREETED THE MISSOURI DELEGATES WHEN THEY ARRIVED IN CHINA TOWN FOR A COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT.

DELEGATES MADE THEIR WAY DOWN COLORUFL STREETS TO A RETIRMENT COMMUNITY : WHERE THEY PREPARED LUNCHES FOR THE ELDERLY.

THAT WAS MISSOURI DELEGATE VIOLET CORBET AS SHE HANDED DOWN FORTUNE COOKIES TO THE ASSEMBLE LINE OF LUCNH WORKERS.

CORBET SAYS SHE BELIEVES THIS KIND OF SERVICE WORK FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE PRESIDENT'S AGENDA.

OTHER DELEGATES JUST SPENT THEIR TIME TALKING.

SHIRLEY SIMONS SAT A CAFETERIA TABLE WITH SOME FEMALE CANTONOESE WOMEN AND CHATTED WITH THEM ABOUT THE CONVENTION.

SHE SAYS SHE BELIEVES SERVICE WORK LIKE THIS WILL HELP STRENGTHEN AND REPAIR THE REPUBLICAN IMAGE.

BUT IT WASN'T JUST TIME WORKING AND TALKING : THERE WAS ALSO SOME SINGING INVOLVED.

THE SERVICE PROJECT HAPPENED TO FALL ON THE CHINESE HOLIDAY FALL FESTIVAL.

LOCAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS DRESSED UP IN BRIGHT COSTUMES REPRESENTING THEIR CULTURE AS THEY SANG AND DANCED TO TRADITIONAL CHINESE MUSIC.

AND AFTER THE SHOW WAS OVER, MEMBERS RECEIVED A VISIT FROM UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF LABOR, ELAINE CHAO.

CHAO SPOKE WITH THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS ABOUT THE LABOR DEPARTMENTS WORK TO GET JOB AND PENSION SECURITY FOR ASIAN-AMERICANS.

IT WAS ALL TIME WELL SPENT ACCORDING TO MARIANNE STONEBAKER, THE CONVENTION STAFF CORRDINATOR.

SHE SAYS THE DELEGATES WANTED TO DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE WITH THEIR TIME IN NEW YORK.

AND ALL OF THAT TIME AND ENERGY WAS APPRECIATED BY THOSE IN THE CHINATOWN COMMUNITY.

ESCPECIALLY BY OLIVER TAN : WHO SPORTED AN "I HEART CANTONESE" T-SHIRT AS HE THANKED THE MISSOURI DELEGATES FOR ALL THEIR WORK.

OLIVER, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS OF GREATER NEW YORK, SAYS IT TIME TO BRING CHINATOWN BACK ON IT'S FEET, AFTER THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY 9/11 : AND THE WORK MISSOURI DELEGATES PROVIDED THAT DAY WILL HELP THEM ACHIEVE THAT.

FROM THE 2004 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION, I'M KATIE HUMMEL FOR KSMU NEWS.