President’s article for December, 2016

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On October 20, about 60 representatives of church and church-related groups who use the Annex Building met for an orientation session. Todd Tsudama, who has been our project coordinator and fundraising chairman, used a PowerPoint presentation to explain the different features, how to clean and take care of the “new” building.
“Treat it like it’s your home,” Todd told those in attendance.
I think that’s excellent advice for us all. It’s wonderful to have a renovated, safer building with upgraded restrooms, kitchen and new air conditioning. There are many additional neat features such as lights that automatically turn on and off. The building has a security system and, by the time you read this article, should also have security cameras.
Let’s all enjoy the facilities, and let’s all help maintain and keep our new building clean. If you come across a leaky faucet, toilet that won’t flush or any other problem, don’t assume somebody knows about it. Please report the issue to the office staff.
            All the talk about the Annex Building leads to the monthly update about the Phase 1 of the Generations Campaign. As I write this on November 11, we’re have about $220,000 left to raise in order to fully repay the line of credit from Union Bank.
            Our goal is to erase the debt by December 31 so we can start the New Year with a clean financial slate and begin 2017 with more planning and fundraising for Phase 2.
            Less than half of the temple members have donated to the campaign so far. We are grateful for all those who have generously given to this important effort and hope to see many first-time contributions come into the office over the next month.
Please help us!
Peace On Your Wings
            Peace on Your Wings, an original musical inspired by the story of Sadako Suzuki and the 1,000 cranes, is coming to San Jose next October. The musical was commissioned by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii for its 125th Anniversary, and was written by Laurie Rubin and Jenny Taira, the founders of Ohana Arts, an arts program based in Hawaii. Peace On Your Wings has been performed throughout Hawaii in cooperation with temples there, and also in New York and Southern California.
            Some temple members met with Laurie and Jenny to find out more about the musical. We came away impressed by what they have done and excited they are bringing the show to the South Bay.  The details are still being developed, and we are working with them to help with the advance planning. We hope to get more temples involved in publicizing the musical and possibly arranging home-stays for some of the young performers who will be coming from Hawaii.
There will be more information to come about the musical. Let me know if you have any questions.
In Gassho
Dennis Akizuki