The road from Taiwan to the Pasadena Convention Center, where Methodist Hospital friends John Wuo and his wife, Jane, will be celebrated as 2013 Crystal Ball honorees, has been a satisfying one filled with numerous exciting twists and curves. After many years the couple, who tirelessly support the hospital in so many important ways, will receive a chorused "thank-you" from the hospital's giving family when the event is held October 19 in Pasadena.
"It was a shock when they told us we were going to be this year's Crystal Ball honorees," John said. "I feel very strongly about Methodist Hospital, and this is certainly a great honor."
The Wuos are not new to the Crystal Ball, which this year features Grammy Award winning artist Smokey Robinson. Last year John co-chaired the 23rd annual event after also chairing it in 2008. This year the event will mark 47 years since John first came to the U.S. to undergo open-heart surgery as a young man. He had planned to return to Taiwan after an anticipated lengthy recovery, but that never happened.
Instead, he remained in the U.S., earning an engineering degree from the University of Redlands and growing to love this country. He loved it even more when he reconnected with childhood friend, Jane, who was attending graduate school. The two hit it off and were married in 1974.
The couple settled in Arcadia where John's political aspirations led him to serve three terms as mayor; he currently sits on the Arcadia City Council. His service to the hospital dates back to 2004 when he first joined the Methodist Hospital Foundation board of directors, rising to become chairman in 2010. He also has served on the hospital's Cardiac Council, supported the Next Generation of Care campaign that established our new North Tower and its state-of-the-art Hollfelder Emergency Care Center, and has been a member of several Foundation committees.
"The Crystal Ball has come a long way," John said. "I remember when it was a much smaller event. That all changed when we began to get headline entertainers to perform. Now, the event is iconic in the San Gabriel Valley and is heavily supported by the community—I think that's the most important thing. Methodist Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital, and it's important not only for us to get community support but to be able to thank our supporters for the many years they have been a part of the hospital family."
Jane also has been involved in various activities. She studied accounting and became well established in the banking industry before opening a pre-school. She also has served on the Arcadia Chinese Association board of directors while supporting John's numerous political, civic and other interests. John and Jane have three grown children.
"It is such a great honor" to be in the company of the other wonderful supporters who have been named Crystal Ball honorees, Jane said. "Absolutely!" John agreed. "What's most important is that we do great service for the community," he said. "One way we do that is by providing the best equipment, and this year the Crystal Ball will help us achieve that."
During the Crystal Ball attendees will be treated to live and silent auctions, a gourmet dinner, dancing and opportunities to mingle with the large contingent of supporters who will make the event truly one to remember.
Proceeds from this celebration will enable us to fully renovate the Catheterization Laboratory #2 at Methodist Hospital, replacing current equipment with updated imaging systems, ensuring physicians and technologists experience easy integration while seamlessly increasing the quantity and quality of procedures performed. "We are so pleased to be able to participate in the Crystal Ball in this way, and are really looking forward to a great event," Jane said. John echoed his wife's enthusiasm: "I look forward to this event every year," he said. "It's just a great way to pass along the message of the hospital, that we're here to serve the community in ways that make it much, much stronger. I believe the Crystal Ball helps us do that."