15th Rafu Shimpo Golf Classic Tees Off April 7 at South Hills

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south hills country clubThe Rafu Shimpo Foundation will once more raise funds to benefit five Nikkei community organizations by hosting its 15th Charity Golf Clas­sic set for Monday, April 7, at the exclusive South Hills Country Club in West Covina.

Funds raised at this year’s event, whose theme is “Golf for Commu­nity,” will be donated to the Little To­kyo Community Council (LTCC), the Little Tokyo Public Safety Associa­tion (Little Tokyo Koban), the Nikkei Games: Games for the Generations, the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, and the Nikkei Federation.

For the second year, George Sug­imoto, founder of KGS Electronics, is the tournament chairman, and he and his wife Ruri are the tournament sponsors. Jun Niimi, consul general of Japan in Los Angeles, serves as the honorary tournament chair.

“I am honored to continue my role as tournament chairman of the Rafu Shimpo Foundation Charity Golf Classic,” Sugimoto stated. “This event raises funds to help deserv­ing community groups, which Ruri and I fully support. The South Hills Country Club in West Covina is an excellent venue and I anticipate a strong turnout.”

The South Hills Country Club maintains an 18-hole golf course designed by the respected golf course architects Bill Bell Sr. and Jr. The Charity Golf Classic utilizes a “shamble” format, where golfers participating in the Callaway Flight in each foursome may share the best drive from the group, but then play the rest of the hole individually. Competition will be straight medal play for the Handicap Flight.

After the golf competition, partici­pants will be welcomed to a golfers’ reception with appetizers and drinks and the opportunity to bid on golf, food and travel items in a silent auc­tion. The event concludes with a buf­fet dinner, the awarding of the golf prizes, and the raffle drawing.

The golf committee expects a full field this year. All Tournament, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors will receive priority entry to the tournament and will be rec­ognized with signage on the tees or greens. Sponsor recognition will also be included in The Rafu Shimpo’s special golf supplement.

For more information on sponsor­ships or donations, contact The Rafu Shimpo via email at [email protected] or leave a message at (213) 500-7217.

About the Beneficiaries

Little Tokyo Community Council

The Little Tokyo Community Council is a nonprofit organization composed of over 90 businesses, nonprofit organizations, residents and others with the mission of maintaining Little Tokyo as a viable historic, cultural and social center for the Japanese American community. Organized in 2000, LTCC acts as a conduit between government agen­cies, developers and other businesses and Little Tokyo through the organiz­ing of public meetings and forums on current issues. For more information, visit www.littletokyola.org.

Little Tokyo Public Safety Association

The Little Tokyo Public Safety Association was founded in 1982 in response to crimes that were affect­ing businesses in the Little Tokyo area. What started as a patrol of three men peaked to over 50 volunteers working with the LAPD. In 1996, the LTPSA opened the Koban in the heart of historic Little Tokyo. Bilin­gual staff members and volunteers maintain the facility. The Koban provides support to merchants and security patrol support for events in Little Tokyo with its all-volunteer force. For more information, call (213) 613-0281.

Nisei Week Foundation

The Nisei Week Foundation runs the annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo, the longest-running ethnic festival in the United States, which was founded in 1934. The 74th festival, set for Aug. 9-17, promotes Japanese and Japanese American heritage and traditions, while bringing together the diverse communities of Southern California through arts and cultural education. For information, contact the Nisei Week Foundation at [email protected] org or go to www.niseiweek.org.

Nikkei Games: Games for the Generations

The Nikkei Games encourages all ages within the Nikkei community to participate. With competition spread over four weeks, most of the events are held at the Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach. The games offer martial arts, basketball, baseball, bowling, coed softball, golf, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The Nikkei Games follows the tradi­tion of friendly competition dating back to 1928 and the original Junior Olympics and its successor in 1952, the Nisei Relays. The Orange County Coordinating Council sponsors the Nikkei Games. For more informa­tion, go to www.nikkeigames.org.

Nikkei Federation

The Nikkei Federation, com­posed of 16 community centers and cultural organizations, serves as a clearinghouse of information for Nikkei resources and activities. It also organizes public gatherings and leadership retreats to facilitate dis­cussion of the challenges facing all Nikkei community organizations to­day, with the goal of sharing the best ideas. The Nikkei Federation runs a number of educational, cultural and community programs annually. For more information, go to www.nik­keifederation.org.

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