Phew!!!

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That’s the first thing that came to mind as I started to write my monthly article. July just flew by. After 5 days of Obon construction, beef skewering and Annex renovation mtgs, I was already tired by time Sat rolled around but…..when I saw all the people who came to the temple, the Taiko groups, all the game and food booths in full swing, I got my 2nd wind. To top it off seeing 1336 dancers going around the Yagura with all the lanterns lit up was awesome. Granted we didn’t move very far around the circle but it sure was fun. The crowd was electric.
Sunday was great too. After a good night’s sleep, I was ready for the home stretch. I was very honored when Mrs Kobata asked me to come up on the South Yagura to dance. Secretly, it had been a dream of mine to make it up there. That’s why some of you saw me at so many dance practices, sometimes by myself, practicing all the steps so I could be ready for when I would get “The Call”. Well it came sooner than I thought and it was so fun. All the other ladies, Bob and Tyler made me feel quite comfortable but was still super nervous. You can feel the hundreds of eyes watching you but once the music started, it was all good. I knew the steps and everything became natural. Once again, Phew!! For those of you who heard my Sunday night thank you speech before dancing started, I mentioned how Sunday night is when all the families dance and how they wear the same or similar hapi coats or kimono’s. Well….I was wearing a Kirin beer hapi coat and people asked me what family that represented??? Hmmm let me see….
A big thanks to Jim McClure, George Yamaichi, Obon Chairs and ALL the volunteers for making Obon happen. As you may be aware, Obon is our biggest fundraising event for the church and without all of you, this wouldn’t be possible. Arigato Gozimasu!!!
On another note, pls be sure to read the Phase I Annex Renovation update on the next page. If you haven’t heard already, we didn’t hit our $2.7M goal to start construction and will delay until next summer. While this is disappointing, it shouldn’t over shadow the fact that in less than a year we raised almost a MILLION dollars in donations and pledges. And this is before we started our general campaign, which oh by the way is starting on September 7, 2014 at the first Dharma Service and Organization day. Pls mark that day on your calendar and come out to the kick off.
Just a heads up, over the next month the office staff will be updating the membership contact info, so if you get a call from the Betsuin phone number, pls pick up so we can validate your information. We will also ask for an email, so we can better communicate with you in a cost effective and quicker way. This does not mean we will stop sending regular letters but will give you an option.
Thanks again for listening and as always, if you have a question or comment, shoot me an email at hanahou2@yahoo.com
In Gassho,
Todd