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JACL NCWNP District Awards Banquet

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This year’s celebration of Wakamatsu Colony’s 150th anniversary will be highlighted at the dinner.

The Northern California-Western Nevada-Pacific (NCWNP) District of the Japanese American Citizens League will hold its Award Banquet and Celebration on Saturday, April 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville.

The District will be celebrating JACL’s 90th anniversary. Organized in 1929, JACL is the one of the oldest and largest civil rights organizations in the country and boasts over 100 chapters nationwide.

The district will recognize Paul Kitagaki, Jr. with the NCWNP District Award of Excellence. Through slow and painstaking research, Kitagaki has spent the last 13 years locating and winning the trust of the families who lived through the incarceration camps, documenting their stories of survival and inner strength to overcome injustice, racism, and wartime hysteria.

His photo documentation is now a national traveling exhibition, appearing at the Smithsonian and in cities throughout the country. Titled “Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit,” it explores the legacy of the Japanese Americans’ triumph over adversity in the WWII incarceration camps.

Also to be honored are “unsung heroes” from the local chapters – those individuals who are steady volunteers, always giving, many times in the background and not wanting recognition, and who keep chapter programs and activities going strong. This will be an opportunity to publicly acknowledge their generosity of spirit.

Guest speaker will be Elena DeLacy, the executive director of American River Conservancy (ARC). As a land trust, the ARC has permanently protected over 26,000 acres of open space, historic and cultural sites, recreational trails and wildlife habitat in the central Sierra Nevada region of California. One of these places is Wakamatsu Farm, the 272-acre historic site of the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony farm, established in 1869. She will be highlighting the upcoming WakamatsuFest150 Anniversary.

Also featured at the celebration will be a silent auction with many fabulous items, as well as an opportunity drawing for a weekend package in San Francisco. Auction proceeds will support the WakamatsuFest150 Anniversary Celebration.

Jana Katsuyama, Emmy-winning journalist from KTVU Fox2 in Oakland, will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

To support this event, interested parties may access info on the district website, http://jacl-ncwnp.org.

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