Shinkichi Koyama, past President of Southern California Gardeners' Federation and 2015 recipient of the Japanese government's Order of the Rising Sun, will be our guest speaker tomorrow. This is a very special opportunity for us to be able to listen to the history of the federation, which has been the backbone of the Japanese American community. You do not want to miss this chance to learn first hand the contribution and dedication the gardeners in Southern California played for the prosperity and growth of our community both culturally and economically.
Trying to beat the morning cross town traffic, several members became early birds and made it to the last quarterly District Breakfast at LAX Westin on April 5th at 7 am. We love the friendship with other Rotarians in the district, but also wanted to show our support to the Interact and Rotaract students, the next generation Rotarians, who were emcees and organizers of the breakfast. The room was packed with more than 300 attendees.
Our club was again recognized as one of dozen clubs which inducted new club members this Rotary year. We welcomed a total of five new members so far, a net gain of 25%.
Shown in the picture from left to right are Makiko Nakasone, Joyce Chinn, Mari Robinson, and Mike Okamoto. Attended but not shown in the photo are Sylvia Ena and Jan Perry who had to leave early for work. As you may see, some of us purchased Rotary backpacks to support the Interact abd Rotaract students who are already planning for next year's humanitarian trip!
The joint meeting with Burbank Sunrise was a big success on 3-29-16! Some of us became early birds, attended their 7:15 am meeting at the Burbank Holiday Inn, and were ever so warmly welcomed. We were happy that we could thank them for their generous support to our club in person. We will not forget their kindness to donate their $192 Happy Bucks earlier this Rotary year, several Tiger rice cookers they had purchased at our first fundraiser, and the banner banner they had given to us.
We proudly presented our brand new club banner for exchange. This banner is the creation by all of our club members over several months, but in particular with the time and effort thrown into by Yokko Ueda, our professional computer graphics designer. The banner was a big hit.
Accompanying Makiko were Tomoko Omura and Weili Materna.
At our monthly beautification project at Frances Hashimoto Plaza yesterday, we were delighted by the visit of Ryan Friedman, the son of late Frances Hashimoto, and his finance, Sharon Im. We were happy that we could personally show Ryan and Sharon what we had been doing to express our gratitude and respect to one of the most respected community leaders, late Frances. Even though it was Easter Sunday, 15 members and friends showed up to clean the plaza, and water the Rosemary we had planted.
Sown in the picture from left to right are: Weili's friend, Kumiko Nakamura, Mari Robinson, Hiro Yokota, Yokko's husband Hiroyuki Ueda, Haru Takehana, President Makiko Nakasone, Ryan Friedman, Weili Materna, Sharon Im, Chris Komai, Joyce Chinn, Mike Okamoto, and Yokko Ueda. Not pictured but came for the clean up are Kathy Ikeda and Derek Furukawa, past president of Gardeners Federation of Southern California. It is important to note that Derek had a conflicting schedule, but instead of skipping the clean up altogether, he came early in the morning to blow leaves on the plaza for us to make our work easier! Now that is commitment and dedication.
As part of the beautification project of the plaza, we are planning to install a stone monument to honor Frances with the money we raised by selling the 52 rice cookers Japan Tiger Corporation of U.S.A. had kindly donated last fall and the Rotary District community grants we recently received.
The next clean up will be ay 9:30 am on Sunday, April 24.