Photos by John Gregory
Family business holds celebration
Scripps Ranch residents Bill and Cynthia Collins provided a Chinese New Year celebration for the public at their business, Collins Family Jewelers, 8220-A Mira Mesa Blvd., on Saturday, Feb. 2.
A drumbeat began as performers donned four colorful lion costumes and danced in front of the store and through the enthusiastic crowd. On occasion, the performers within each lion costume climbed on one another’s shoulders to make the lions appear stand up tall, towering above the onlookers.
The lions spread a bouquet of flora and confetti in front of the store entrance. A string of firecrackers popped loudly to ward off the spirits of the previous year and the lions each entered the business to cleanse it for the new year.
Then, the performers presented Bill and Cynthia Collins with two banners for their store.
A group of high school students from the GDPT Hoa Nghiem Vietnamese Buddhist school in El Cajon provided the costumes, instruments, banners and traditional fireworks.
The crowd was given red envelopes in which monetary donations could be stuffed and “fed” to the colorful dancing lions. The donations went toward a scholarship fund for the students at the school. Collins Family Jewelers also provided a generous donation to the fund.
Chinese New Year – or Lunar New year – is actually Tuesday, Feb. 5 this year, but the Collins family scheduled their celebration and ceremony for Feb. 2 on a Saturday so that more people could attend. This is the fifth year the family has provided this celebration for the community.
This is the Year of the Pig, the Chinese zodiac sign for both Bill and Cynthia Collins, owners of Collins Family Jewelers.
“We’re real excited that we always are able to provide our celebration of Chinese New Year … It’s great for a business to cleanse the business from the spirits of the last year and welcome the new spirit of the coming year,” Cynthia Collins said. “It’s our gift to the community because it’s not often you can see a lion dance in such short proximity, where parking isn’t an issue.”
Their jewelry business is very much a family affair for the Collins family, with some of the children working at the store. Bill and Cynthia have five daughters and three grandchildren.