Hollywood Helping Hands

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Buddhist Church Fundraiser Supports J-Town Businesses

Christine Oiwake and Cheryl Ikegami serve up sausage rolls from Cafe Dulce as part of the Brew Ha Ha fundraiser sponsored by Hollywood Buddhist Church. (Photo by T. Mukai)

Hollywood Buddhist Church (HBC) hosted its annual Brew Ha Ha fundraiser with a twist this year, by supporting Little Tokyo small businesses.

On Oct. 31, participants purchased a goodie bag and walked through Little Tokyo picking up prepaid appetizers from the following restaurants: Azay, Café Dulce, Fugetsu-Do, Kouraku, Sake Dojo, and TaNoTa Takoyaki. The goal was to bring people back into Little Tokyo to eat and shop, and have fun.

Some of the participants opted for the one-stop curbside pickup at Azay (the last stop) to show their support of Little Tokyo, sans the walking.

Just like at the annual BHH, participants chose their beer/non-alcoholic drinks and won a raffle prize. But this year, the raffle prizes included gift certificates to other Little Tokyo eateries and shops, with a few grand prizes to Sushi-Gen (Honda Plaza) or Toyo Miyatake Studios.

This year’s beer donors included Mutual Trading Company, Silverlake Wine, and Mark Takahashi. HBC hopes that all participants will return to the featured restaurants/shops in the near future.

Long-time Little Tokyo families who owned businesses during wartime sent generous monetary donations, remembering the struggles they had starting their businesses during such uncertain times. To name a few: the Isojiro Terasawa family, who owned Tenri Restaurant on East First Street before World War II, and the Tom K. Taira family, who owned New York Hotel and who housed many families after World War II.

As an affiliate of L.A. Hompa Hongwanji in Little Tokyo, HBC is committed to preserving the Little Tokyo community and is grateful to all participants for their donation towards Little Tokyo small businesses.

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