Serving Up Hope


Donation drive for earthquake relief at the West Covina Cherry Blossom Festival held at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center on March 19. (Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

In the wake of the tragic earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center (ESGVJCC) and the members of its board have been called to action to organize fundraising and donations for disaster relief.

The ESGVJCC will be utilizing its upcoming events to help raise funds for relief efforts in West Covina’s sister city, Ohtawara, Tochigi Prefecture, and help to distribute donations directly to those hardest hit in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.

Chef Ryo Sato and his wife, Yoshie, served desserts with all the proceeds benefiting earthquake relief in Ohtawara City, Tochigi Prefecture.

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival raised $5,300 to help Ohtawara. ESGVJCC also raised $3,500 for the Nanka Miyagi Kenjinkai, which has created a relief fund that will send donations directly to Miyagi Prefecture.

Nanka Miyagi Kenjinkai of Los Angeles was organized in 1902 to bring together the people of Miyagi Prefecture and provide them with opportunities for friendship, socialization and mutual support here in Los Angeles. Its over 100 members continue its mission to be a bridge both here in America as well as across the ocean to their home prefecture. The ESGVJCC will partner with this group to make sure that it is able to send financial support to Japan.

For more information on the upcoming events or to make a donation for disaster relief efforts,  contact Pearl Omiya, executive director of the ESGVJCC.

At right, Rev. Kenjun Kawawata, of West Covina Buddhist Temple supervises the cooks at the teriyaki chicken booth.










Students from Cal State Fullerton folded origami cranes for disaster relief.



Kids watch mechanical bugs racing at one of the carnival booths.


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