Progress update

The city of Merced is going to issue me a proclamation to represent the city of Merced.
We might get support from the local community, maybe some gifts to the orphans.
I’ll be getting some training from the local boys and girls club so when I fly to Wenchuan I can better handle the children.
We will be making some video trailer to better promote this project which involves me performing and or teaching local children magic.
Most importantly, our website is close to be complete.

United way

Today’s meeting with different people that are the heads of different areas in Merced is successful. They like my idea to Make Merced magical. Can’t imagine I come back 10 years and see Merced as Magic town.



Yesterday joined the local united way meeting and meet Flip who organized a meeting of many useful and helpful people.

His email attached.

I had a very interesting, and a rather unique conversation with a UC Merced physics student this morning and I would like to invite you to take a look and consider becoming involved with his project.


John Li is a scientist and spends his scholarly time in the empirical world; but in his spare time, he’s a magician and has strong feelings about the power of that art form to give hope to people in need.


I first met John two years ago when he pitched an idea to Merced Ahead. He proposed the transformation of our community into a center for magic. His idea was to host events, including an annual festival that would brand Merced as the “Magic Capital of the West.”


Now, he’s engaged in a new project: John will be traveling to China this Summer where he’ll perform for hundreds of children who were made orphans four years ago during the great earthquakes that killed or injured tens of thousands and left 300,000 homeless. John hopes to visit a dozen or so orphanages during a month-long stay in China, using magic to raise the spirits of children who are still struggling to overcome the trauma they experienced in 2008.


“Magic helps people, especially children believe that what seems to be impossible actually is possible,” John told me, displaying the kind of passion that I really appreciate. He calls his project “Magic for Hope” and has enlisted a cadre of Chinese volunteers that is already doing legwork on the ground in preparation for John’s arrival in late July.


Last week, the John A Straub Scholarship Foundation announced that John Li is the recipient of a $10,000 grant which will help fund his trip and the production of a documentary video.


His “ulterior motive” is to use the China trip as a springboard to accomplishing his original goals from two years ago and to help brand Merced as a Mecca for magicians and fans of magic.


Who can argue that we don’t need some re-branding? Last week, another national media outlet specifically identified Merced as an unhappy place to live. A resident interviewed by CBS’ John Blackstone even repeated the despicable “Mer-DEAD” label on the air. We know that Merced is a wonderful place to live and I believe John Li may actually be able to use magic to help correct the misperceptions.


But, it will take more than magic to make these things happen: John leaves for China on July 21! So I’m asking you to consider becoming part of the support team for this project and  make things happen during the next 10 weeks.


If you want to consider an “Out of the Box” project – don’t look any further!  Take the challenge. Don’t decide today, just please agree to attend a meeting at the United Way office on Tuesday, May 22nd at 2 p.m. you can meet John and learn more about the project and THEN decide.


This is an amazing opportunity s – who would have thought….planning a magical tour of China.


I’ll be floating down the Colorado River next Tuesday; but I’m certain that, once you’ve put your heads together, you won’t even miss me. But I am committed to becoming fully engaged when I return on May 21 – just two months before John Li leaves for China.


Tuesday, May 22 – 2 p.m. at the United Way on Main Street.  I will have David Burke follow up with everyone….thanks


Go for it



city council meeting

Today I went to the local Merced city council meeting to share my project with the city council seeking some help.

I was super nervous and the speech went badassly perfect! Well done John, big milestone ! And an even bigger one tmr !!

The city council looks very supportive, they might issue me a certificate to represent the city of merced in this trip.

My speech attached bellow.
May 12, 2:28pm 2008, almost exactly four years ago, a great tragic earthquake happened in the central southern part of China, Causing 69 thousand  death. If including people that were missing, that will be total 87 thousand. This number is about 8000 more than the total population in Merced. In other words, if this earthquake were happened in Merced, the whole Merced is gone. This earthquake left 630 orphans. In the beginning of this incident, 80 thousand Chinese expressed their willingness to adopt them. Due to strict adopting policy and dimming passion, only 12 were actually adopted; there are still 618 orphans reminding in orphanages. Some adopted orphans were returned back to the orphanage due to physical and psychological injury after the earthquake. These orphans were already abandoned by their dead parents once, the second time injury by being abandoned by their adopting parents is even more harmful.
The project Magic4Hope is designed to bring hope to the orphans in the means of magic. Magic can be fast, amazing, and shocking (!!!) to gather people’s attention. Most importantly, magic makes impossibility possible,It represents the hope to conquer any difficulty. And this , is the message I want to bring to the orphans, that although they were in a disadvantage situation, they can still make miracles happen, they shouldn’t give up their hope- and live in a negative attitude. Magic itself is attractive to bring more people’s attention onto this project, and thereby giving the orphans more attention.  Magic can help the children build self-esteem. The orphans grow up in an incomplete environment, especially the ones who became handicapped in the earthquake. Teaching them magic allows them to be amazing to other people, and helps them to build their confidence in themselves.
A national news just called Merced “mer-dead” an unpleasant place to live. My intension is to combine Merced into my project and help Merced, my college town, to spread its name to the world–in a positive fashion. In this trip of visiting china, I want to go in the name of Merced, representing Merced in this trip makes me more official and helps other people to take me seriously. In return, Merced can make this an excellent topic of national news to show the nation we are not dead, Merced is involved in helping the other side of earth. Meanwhile I need the city of Merced to help me get some donations as the gifts to the orphans– such as almonds which china doesn’t have and playing cards that has the image of Merced printed on them and maybe potentially Some money to help the orphans–if I can.
city council
city council
city council
city council