HomeChinese AmericanTony Bennett surprises Chinese American couple for their anniversary

Tony Bennett surprises Chinese American couple for their anniversary

By Louis Chan, AsAmNews National Correspondent

When Mary and Walter Wong went out on their first date in 1977, it was love at first sight-literally.

Walter proposed two weeks later and they tied they knot six months after that.

43 years later, the two are still married and living in Belmont, CA near San Francisco.

“We’re from Boston. At that time the Chinese community was relatively small, so we kind of knew of each other,” Walter explained to AsAmNews.

“We ran into each other. And I asked her out or got a number and asked her out, and the rest is history. We have been we’ve been together almost every single day since 1977.”

Walter wanted to do something special for their 43rd anniversary. He decided to splurge-putting down more than $800 for two front row seats to see Tony Bennett perform at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.

Mary is legally blind and Walter wanted to make sure she could see her favorite performer up close. He concluded plucking down big bucks would be worth it.

The coronavirus shutdown forced that concert to be cancelled, like so many other events. Not deterred, Walter reached out to ABC7’s 7 On Your Side, a consumer help line in San Francisco.

Walter asked 7 On Your Side to help him get a full refund for his tickets because Ticket Center only offered him credit which he said would be useless to him.

“I’m 70-years old,”Walter said. “It’s not like I go out rocking and rolling all the time.”

7 On Your Side not only successfully worked with Ticket Center to get the Wongs a full refund, they went above and beyond.

The station, as is all of San Francisco, is well aware of Bennett’s strong ties to the city by the Bay. After all, Bennett’s hit I Left My Heart in San Francisco put him on the map and remains a classic to this day.

On a hunch, the station contacted Bennett’s management team to ask if it would be willing to participate in a surprise for the Wongs. Bennett did not hesitate to do so.

Reporter Michael Finney asked Walter and Mary for an interview so he could tell their story. Walter said he just thought he would be asked a few questions and that would be it.

“So Mary, you like Tony Bennett?” Finney asked.

“We love Tony Bennett,” Mary exclaimed as Walter chuckled at the understatement.

Walter went on to thank Finney for the help getting the couple’s money back.

“He’s a legend and all that and he’s not at a stage of his life that he’s going to do a lot of these kind of concerts,” Walter said. “But we’ll celebrate our anniversary in other ways.

“So grateful that you and your team exists and and we were really kind of in a bind and I don’t know what we would have done otherwise.”

Little did Walter know that an ABC videographer and this AsAmNews reporter were outside his home at that very moment waiting to spring a surprise on the couple.

“I’ve got something for you,” Finney said. “If you walk to your front door right now, I have got a signed personally signed by Tony Bennett art piece that’s waiting for you at your door right now.”

The two ran to their front door.

“There’s a camera,” Walter immediately noticed as he opened his door.

Mary carefully opened the wrapping to reveal a print of a painting done by Bennett himself, complete with an autograph.

“Wowww,” Mary screamed.

“Thank you, 7 On your Side,” said Walter.

AsAmNews Photo

That, however, wasn’t the end of the surprise.

“Im going to show you something here,” Finney said. “OK, wait just a second. I’ve got to get it up here.”

As Walter and Mary watched on their laptop, Finney played a video greeting from Tony Bennett himself.

“Walter and Mary, happy anniversary,” said Bennett. “I hope to see you in San Francisco.”

AsAmNews Photo. Mary and Walter Wong react to seeing a video personalize greeting from Tony Bennett

The couple screamed with excitement.

“That’s the real deal,” Walter said.

“That’s so special. Thank you so much,” said Mary.

“That makes it special right there. A personal greeting from Tony Bennett,” Walter added.

“This is beyond with anything we could have imagined,” Walter went on to tell AsAmNews.

You could watch the entire surprise below.

AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our  Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Worth the Time

Must Read

Regular Features


Discover more from AsAmNews

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading