Humanitarian Awards


Tom Hom and Loretta Lum Hom

"Philanthropic and civic leaders dedicated to the preservation of the historical culture, identity and education of Asian Pacific Islander descendants in San Diego County. "

Tom Hom and Loretta Lum Hom

2012 ushered in the Chinese NewYear of the Water Dragon. Dragon Years occur every 12 years but Water Dragon years only occur every 60 years and are characterized as dramatic, filled with a critical consciousness of humanity and higher education. New business ventures and relationships are considered to be auspicious and therefore successful. Water Dragon year is a social year with lots of generosity, good will, and blossoming of the cultural arts and fashion. The cleansing effect of water fosters good luck with continued health, wealth and happiness. This Year of the Water Dragon was chosen to especially honor philanthropic and civic leaders, Tom Hom and Loretta Lum Hom of Chula Vista, CA.

Loretta Lum Hom was born, raised and educated in Honolulu, HI, where she received her Master’s Degree in Educational Communications. She retired with teaching credentials and experience in K-6, school librarian/media specialist. She played an active role in the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the National Education Association, serving in many different leadership positions. Loretta has been an advocate for the training of women and minorities to encourage their greater participation in the social, civic and political life of our diverse communities. Looking at the organizations to which she belongs, it is evident that Loretta currently cares about the education, health/nutrition, business, political and social issues affecting San Diego County.

Tom Hom was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He is the third oldest child in a family of twelve children. In 1963, Tom was elected to the San Diego City Council and in 1964 he was unanimously elected Deputy Mayor by his colleagues. In 1968, Tom was elected to the California State Assembly, representing the 79th Assembly District which included almost all of the City of San Diego. Tom, founder of the Tom Hom Group, has enjoyed a successful career in real estate development. He is the Founding President of the Gaslamp Quarter Association, helped establish the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum and he has been honored for his dedication to numerous San Diego County business, civic and church organizations. His father consistently reminded him, “Always be a gentleman.”

Tom and Loretta had both raised successful families and enjoyed meaningful careers He was a widower and she was a widow when they were introduced. Eleven years ago the Hom and Lum blended families were united with 10 children and 19 grandchildren located in California, Hawaii, Arizona and Maryland. The Sapphire Princess Cruises on a recent voyage, awarded Tom and Loretta with the “Most Traveled Passengers Award.” In the past 13 years this couple has energetically accompanied friends and extended family to intercontinental destinations of Asia, Europe, South America, North America and the major cities of China. They will soon travel the ancient Silk Road with stops in the far Northwest cities of Urumqi, Turpan and Dunhuang in China.

Tom and Loretta have longtime affiliations with the following organizations and non-profits:

APAPA, San Diego Chapter
Charter Board Members, Tom and Loretta
Panda Bear Pre-School
Founders, Tom/President and Loretta/Treasurer
Chinese Community Church Tierrasanta
Honorary Chair/Tom and Recording Sec/Loretta
San Diego Asian Film Festival
Host Committee, Tom and Loretta
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
Past President/Tom
Chinese Service Center
Board Member/Tom
Asian Business Association San Diego
Founding Member/Tom
The Ladies Guild
Past President and Advisor/Loretta
Tecate Chamber of Commerce Treasurer/Loretta

“This dynamite couple is actually nuclear,
they cause a chain reaction to make people do things!”

John Ma, Colleague

Tom Hom and Loretta Lum Hom were nominated by:
Len Novarro and Roz Carmen, Founders
Asia Media, Inc., Asian Heritage Awards


Confucius was a Chinese philosopher who lived many years ago. He actually shaped the culture of China by teaching us that,

  • If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
  • If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
  • If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
  • If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

JTF Note: This award honors those individuals who promote the welfare, dignity and education of a diverse population of graduating high school Seniors. Established in 2003, this award acknowledges the person(s) who best display the qualities of true aloha spirit as shared by the Jonathan Tarr Foundation in "Recognizing the Potential and Rewarding the Determination" of the students in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

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