Although the Chinese Cultural Society was organized in 1978, it was not until 1984 that the Society established its program of honoring a single individual as the Outstanding Chinese Citizen of the Year. During its formative years prior to 1984, Society leadership engaged in strengthening its foundation and taking on the task of creating Chinese cultural programs to educate and inform the citizens of Stockton. A prime focus then was organizing and promoting a public celebration of the Chinese New Year which would reach out to the entire community. As the Society came of age, members realized it was time to bring special attention to Chinese citizens who make major contributions to bettering the community. The Society believed that, while many of these were known for their activities within the Chinese community, they deserved to be publicly recognized and honored. Thus was born the program of designating the Outstanding Chinese Citizen of the Year. Several of the previous honorees were active in the founding of the Chinese Cultural Society. All were instrumental in some way in promoting the welfare of the Chinese community and its members as well as bringing honor to themselves and the community through leadership in more-broadly based civic affairs. Each well deserved the honor.