2012 Nikkei Place Community Awards & Fundraising Dinner

On Saturday, September 22, 2012, over 300 friends and supporters filled the hall of Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre for the second annual Nikkei Place Community Awards & Fundraising Dinner.  The banquet was held to honour eight amazing individuals and groups for their hard work in building a strong and vibrant Community at Nikkei Place. The evening raised over $104,000 to support programs, services, research and exhibits at the National Nikkei Museum & Cultural Centre, Nikkei Home and New Sakura so.

Master of Ceremonies and NNMCC Board Member Justin Ault started the evening thanking the event platinum sponsors Bob and Jane Nimi, Ken Shinozaki, Sam Yamamoto, Cypress Capital Management, Davis LLP, Hapa Izakaya, Hi Genki, Spectrum HR Law, Skyland Travel / Escapes.ca and the Vancouver Shinpo. Canadian Tire, Cambie and Grandview locations – owned and operated by Ross and Ward Saito – were recognized with thanks as the Presenting Sponsors for the event. Special guests who were recognized included Consul General Ito, Consul General Tomi, Richard Ho of BC Housing, Burnaby-New Westminster MP Peter Julian, Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan and John Yap, Minister of Multiculturalism. Guest speaker Mary Kitagawa gave an inspirational presentation touching on her successful campaign to have the seventy-plus Japanese Canadian UBC students of 1942 receive the degrees that were denied them because of the war and their subsequent expulsion from the University. After her presentation and the showing on a video prepared by Al Yoshizawa and Elana Kusaka showcasing the UBC Convocation Mary received a well deserved standing ovation. The Board of Directors, volunteers and staff of Nikkei Place Foundation thank all the awardees, guests, sponsors, donors, presenters and volunteers for helping make the 2012 Awards Dinner a great success! Thank you very much and see you next year. If you have any questions about the event or how to make a gift in support of our 2012 Awardees, please contact us at jcoward@nikkeiplace.org or 604.777.2122. 2012 Nikkei Place Awardees Saeko Tsuda, Leadership Award – presented by Tomoko Shimada Ken Yada, Special Events Award – presented by Henry Wakabayashi Mary Ohara, Nikkei Heritage Award – presented by Cathy Makihara Masako Hori, Community Service Award – presented by Kiyoko Hamada Barbara & the Late Wataru Shishido, Quiet Endeavor Award – presented by Barbara Shishido Iwasaki Family, Philanthropy Award – Presented by Ruth Nakatani Coles NNMCC Auxiliary, Award of Distinction – Presented by Miko Hoffman Grace Eiko Thomson, Japanese Canadian History Preservation and Education Award – Presented by Beth Carter 2012 Nikkei Place Community Awards Staff and Volunteers Mark Carlson Grace Chan Mike Coles Naoko Ebata Aki Foster Kazuki Fujimori Atsuko Fukuda Ayumi Hirose Elaine Homma Aki Horii Naomi Horii Alexis Jensen Serina Jones Sherri Kajiwara Koki Kawano Yvonne Kong Gavin Lau Alex Law Ella Law Kitty Liu Betty Ly Mercedes Wong Reiko Miki Amanda Nakashima Nichola Ogiwara Yugi Ohara Mark Stubbs Terry Okitsu Louie Oka Takako Osawa Linda Reid Glenn Tanaka Satoshi Tanaka Tom Teranishi Michelle Tran Hatsumi Tuckey Morgan Wylie Alan Yamamoto Hiroshi Yamamoto Sam Yamamoto Eric Zhu Dinner Committee Fred Yada, Chair Kevin Banno, Banquet Manager John Greenaway, Designer Josh Coward, Event Producer Ayako Habing, Volunteer Coordinator Miko Hoffman, Silent Auction Manager Tommy Li, Sponsorship Manager Bill Yung, Registration Manager Beth Carter Ruth Coles Paul Esslinger Joey Oikawa Selections Committee Cathy Makihara, Chair Mitsuo Hayashi, Frank Kamiya Japanese Translation Naoto Horita, Mitsuo Hayashi, Akiko Gomyo, Hiroshi Yamamoto Nikkei Place Foundation would like to acknowledge the following sponsors, silent auction and live auction donors contributing to the 2012 Nikkei Place Community Awards and Fundraising Dinner
From left: Ken Yada, Saeko Tsuda, Barbara Shishido, Yoshi Hashimoto (for NNMCC Auxilliary), Lynn Gardner, Mary Ohara, Grace Eiko Thomson, Masako Hori Masako Hori (Community Service Award) has dedicated much of her time to providing cultural experiences to many people and introducing them to Japanese culture.  She has done this work at the Centre since it opened its doors. Ken Yada (Special Events Award) and his family have made an exceptional contribution by holding the Nikkei Golf Classic for the last seven years.  Along with his good friend Henry Wakabayashi, they have raised over $100,000 to date and have introduced hundreds of people to Nikkei Place. For 34 years, Saeko Tsuda (Leadership Award) has delivered news to Japanese-speaking people to help keep them in touch with current events, and helping them better understand and become a part of the Canadian societal fabric as president of the Vancouver Shinpo news publication. Barbara Shishido and her late husband Wataru Shishido (Quiet Endeavour Award) are amazing people. During the capital campaign to build the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, they made an exceptional effort to raise much-needed funds from the community and inspired many people to do follow their lead.  While Wataru cannot be here with us today, his kind-hearted spirit fills the walls of Nikkei Place and will always be remembered. Mary Ohara (Nikkei Heritage Award) helps people embrace their Nikkei heritage by showing them the beauty in Issei values of ganbari and gaman for the sake of the next generation. In her positive way, she educates people about Japanese Canadian history. The Iwasaki Family (Philanthropy Award) has donated close to $200,000 to Nikkei Place. In fact, their family has a room named after them at New Sakura so, the “Iwasaki Room.” Their consistent philanthropy over the years is helping the sustainability of Nikkei Place and its programs and services. The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre Auxiliary (Award of Distinction) has helped build a strong and vibrant Nikkei community and have helped maintain a spirit of goodwill within Nikkei Place. They have raised over $100,000 through community service; have created and run the Spring Bazaar, Mochitsuki and Farmer’s Market; and have built the Community Kitchen at Nikkei Place. Grace Eiko Thomson (Japanese Canadian History and Preservation & Education) has made a significant impact on preserving Japanese Canadian history and educating the public about Japanese Canadian history. Her lists of accomplishments include curating three of the most important Japanese Canadian history exhibits to date: Re-shaping Memory; Shashin; and Levelling the Playing Field; founding of the Japanese Canadian National Museum; and being the key person in having the Asahi team recognized at the Canadian sports hall of fame.

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