President’s article for June, 2016

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The most ambitious temple building project in a half century is almost finished!
As I write this (in mid-May), the $5.4 million gym seismic retrofit and remodeling project is still on schedule to be done by June 10. What that’s means is we’ll be able to use the gym on that date, although some finishing work still might be ongoing.
Moving everything back into the building and getting it ready for Obon will be a major task in itself. Steve Onishi, the vice president of property management, will be planning the move-in. If there are last minute delays in the construction schedule, we will communicate with you through email, social media, the temple’s website (sjbetsuin.com) and announcements at services. We’re developing plans for an open house and dedication ceremony, and we will be sure to keep you posted as these plans come together.
We are also still aggressively raising money for the project. The gap is a little under $1 million. We do have some new momentum. Some of you may have heard the Nikkei Matsuri Committee donated $20,000 to the Generations Campaign on the festival day. The committee also is paying for a new brake job on one of our forklifts, which will cost more than $2,800, and has waived the 12 percent profit-sharing requirement for the Generations benefit artwork sale that occurred during the festival. We’re grateful to Warren Hayashi and the other members of the Nikkei Matsuri Committee for their generosity and overall support of Generations, and we look forward to the festival activities returning to the gym and the east parking lot next year.
I think this donation highlights how important the church facilities are not only to our Sangha, but to the community as a whole. The temple has always been and will continue be a gathering place for the community.
We hope that everyone in the Sangha will contribute to Generations. That will go a long way to closing the fundraising gap so that we won’t have to borrow money to pay for Phase 1. The fundraising committee has been meeting twice monthly, and each committee member has been personally contacting Sangha members. Please donate what you can to help.

In Gassho

Dennis Akizuki