More Than $70,000 Raised During KCET Broadcast for Japan Relief


KCET, the nation’s largest independent public media company serving Southern and Central California, announced May 26 that $70,495 was raised during its live televised benefit for Japan — 100 percent of which will go toward relief efforts in the region most affected by the earthquake and tsunami disasters.

The show aired May 24 from 8 to 11 p.m., with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa making a special appearance. The show was rebroadcast on May 28 from 3 to 6 p.m. Donations can continue to be made by calling (888) 202-2750.

KCET is working with the U.S.-Japan Council to disburse funds to NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) in Japan, including the Japan Platform and the Center for Public Resource Development.

Hosted by KTLA anchor/reporter Frank Buckley, Fox 11 anchor/reporter Susan Hirasuna, and actress/filmmaker Lily Mariye (“ER”), KCET’s live telecast included several leaders from the Los Angeles community, including Consul General Junichi Ihara, actor George Takei (“Star Trek,” “Heroes”), Deputy Police Chief Terry Hara, and the U.S.-Japan Council’s Bryan Takeda.

“Congratulations to the people of Los Angeles for rallying together to help ease the suffering of families in the devastated areas of Japan. Your generosity is admirable,” said Villaraigosa.

“We are thrilled to be able to facilitate such a significant contribution to help those in continued need in Japan. Although we’re not surprised at the charity of our viewers, we are certainly very thankful,” said Al Jerome, KCET’s president and CEO. “We are particularly grateful to our distinguished guests who gave their time last night and shared their personal experiences of how the disaster has affected their lives, and to our distribution partner NHK World for allowing us to re-air its disaster coverage.”

“We are extremely appreciative to KCET, their audience, and the impressive show of leaders and dignitaries from the Los Angeles community who came out to help raise such a substantial sum for Japan Relief,” said Takeda. “Following Saturday’s rebroadcast we will work to disburse the total amount raised directly to NGOs in the Sendai region of Japan.”

The broadcast also featured Chris Komai of the Japanese American National Museum; Lalit Acharya, international relations officer for Riverside, sister city of Sendai; Dr. Kozue Shimabukuro, who was part of a pediatric disaster relief team in Japan; and Mark Benthien of the Southern California Earthquake Center.

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