Les Grande Dames

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Back row: Tucky Fukunaga, Cookie Atsumi, Grace Yamada and Jean Furuta (co-presidents). Front row: May Kay Fong, Margaret Miyauchi, Iris Teragawa, Yoni Chin and Phyllis Imamoto (alumni).

Celebrating their 50th anniversary, Les Dames recently had their annual Mother/Daughter Tea in San Marino.

Special guests included five former members of Les Dames, especially honoring Iris Teragawa, a fashion designer, who originated the women’s organization in 1961. She wanted to form a group that could be a philanthropic organization as well as a support network of lifelong friendships for members. Another special guest was Yoshiko Inose, mother of Lily Nakatani, still very spry and active at 103 years young, an inspiration to everyone there. Other former members present were Yoni Chin, May Kay Fong, Phyllis Imamoto and Margaret Miyauchi.

In the last 50 years, the group has lived up to its name, having raised thousands of dollars for such recipients as Keiro Senior HealthCare and the Japanese American National Museum.

The membership has grown to 18 active and two inactive members who have become a sisterhood of support for one another through the years.

The chairpersons for this event were Cookie Atsumi, Reiko Fujino, Laura Inouye, Sueko Nakayama and Yoko Tagawa. The co-presidents of the 50th anniversary were the four charter members: Atsumi, Tucky Fukunaga, Jean Furuta and Grace Yamada.

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  1. Patricia McGrath Thomas on

    I would like to send congratulations to Iris Teragawa. She was a classmate of mine when she attended costume design school in Boston. It was very exciting for me to see her picture and to learn of the good work she does. Please contact me if you wish. Thank you.

    Patricia M. Thomas

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