By TAP-NY Board, with Stories Contributed by Jacqui Wu, Jeffrey Hsieh, Debra Wang, and Hubert Paul

Over the past several months, as part of our TAP Stories initiative, we’ve received anecdotes from TAP members about how TAP-NY has made a positive impact on their lives. Some have started or enhanced their businesses with the support of the TAP network, others have quickly found new friendships and a sense of belonging. There are those who have found roommates, explored their Taiwanese identity, and even those who found significant others.

With Valentine’s Day on its way, we wanted to share two stories of couples (now engaged) who met through TAP:

Hubert Paul and Debra Wang

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Hubert & Debra first met in Central Park at Sheep’s Meadow on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon for the inaugural TAP flag football team’s first practice.

The flag football team won their first game after Debra threw a last minute touchdown pass to Hubert, so she was pretty sure Hubert thought she was something special…but it would take another 3 months before Hubert asked Debra to hang out sans the other flag football team members.

Over the past several years, they’ve been proud to see TAP grow into a multifaceted non-profit organization that promotes and supports the Taiwanese community, and they’re grateful for all the life-long friendships that they’ve made through TAP.

Hubert recently surprised Debra with a proposal during an eventful 10 PM stroll down memory lane right back at Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park, and after double-checking that they wouldn’t be mugged, she said yes.

Jacqui Wu and Jeffrey Hsieh

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I first started going to TAP events in April 2011 – TAPpy Hour being my first event. I went with a couple of friends and enjoyed my time, but I admit, I didn’t feel 100% comfortable. However, instead of giving up on TAP, in the next month, I tried volunteering at the TAP booth at the Passport to Taiwan festival. I started meeting more friends and realized that TAP created opportunities for me to meet people, but it was up to me to spend the time to cultivate relationships – friendships, professional networks, mentorships. If I viewed TAP as just a meat-market-TAPpy-Hour, then that is all I would get out of it. From then on, I stuck with TAP and continued to go to TAPpy Hours (along with other events).

On July 15, 2012, at the Kiss & Fly TAPpy Hour, I met Jeff. At first glance, I thought he was cute, but could be a meathead (lots of muscles but probably not that smart). Luckily, I was completely wrong, because he turned out to be a witty and sarcastic anesthesiologist, and we became good friends for the next 1.5 years.

At the beginning of March 2014, we went on the TAP Ski/Snowboard Extravaganza together – both questioning whether we had a love connection. He was a more experienced rider than me, so I didn’t see him on the slopes. But, the trip up to Vermont and the post-slopes dinner & party were all great opportunities for us to hang out. I had an inkling then that we could be more than just friends. Finally, at a TAP Board member’s birthday party at the end of March, he made his move. Since then, we’ve shared so many memories together, many of them through TAP – volunteering with NY Cares, cheering each other on TAP sports teams, and most importantly, him proposing at the TACL 30th Anniversary Gala in NYC. We will be married on February 6th!

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