Presidents Message – June 2012

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I have found that our Sangha members are very humble and don’t like to call attention to all the wonderful and varied things that they do for us.  The Betsuin relies heavily on our Sangha, so I want to make sure that we are mindful of their efforts and express our gratitude to them whenever possible.

Have you seen the new Betsuin Photo Directory? Mas Horiuchi and his committee did a wonderful job, putting a lot of work and effort put into this project.  Mas first presented this idea to the Board about two years ago.  Mas arranged for the photographers and did all the promoting.  Mas actually called Sangha members to make sure they knew about the photo opportunity and to encourage everyone to come out. He coordinated the photos for the affiliated and sponsored organizations, as well as the Board and Staff.  Then he formed a committee:  Bonnie Kobayashi, Phyllis Sugimoto, Deborah Aso, Diane Fujioka, and Amy Horiuchi, who coordinated all of the sittings.  Lane Terasaki helped with the layout and Marlene Aso helped with the editing.  The results are terrific. It is a wonderful keepsake.  We all loved the photos of Aki and Linda Iwasaki’s and Roy Yamanouchi and Dina Onishi’s “babies”– evidence that all beings are happy.  Thank you to Mas and his committee!  Next time you see Mas, buy him a beer.

Another major project undertaken by Sangha members was the new projector and screen in the gym.  Al Hironaga did a lot of research and footwork (even though he is still recovering from knee surgery) getting a new high-powered projector for the gym, one that will display a clear picture.   Shig Tokiwa helped Al with the connections for the sound for the projector.  Al also managed to secure the donation of a large commercial movie screen, and with the help of George Hanada, Warren Iwamura, and Stan Kawamata they have stretched it onto a permanent frame and mounted it in the gym.  We are grateful to Dennis Skaggs, the former owner of Camera 13, who donated the screen.  Thanks to Al and his helpers, Sangha Support was able to screen the movie “Great Grandfather’s Drum” which was a Japan Relief Fundraiser.  This new projector and screen will be available for use at funerals and other large gatherings. Thank you to Al and all his helpers!

Not only did Al find the new projector for the gym, but also during his research he found a new less powerful projector for the Boardroom, which he bought and donated to the Betsuin.  Terrific!

Many years ago—over 50—according to Mum Arii, he mounted a 2″X 4″X 30′ beam over the stage, which was used to hang props.  Recently, that beam was found broken on the stage (no word on who broke it or how it broke) but George Hanada and his buddy, Mike, put up a new beam made out of PVC pipe with Mum Arii watching, so we can once again hang props.  Thanks George, Mike and Mum!

A while ago, the Betsuin gave up making Teriyaki chicken for Nikkei Matsuri but in the last couple of years, Randy Shingai has reintroduced the Betsuin Teriyaki Chicken booth at Nikkei Matsuri.  Randy, Ernie Inouye and Bill Kusumoto spearheaded the efforts, which netted $3013.10 of which $1430 goes into a Betsuin fund for youth development initiatives and the rest is shared by the participating Betsuin youth organizations:

Jr. YBA, Girl Scout Troup 60260, Venturing Scouts, Jr. Choir, Dharma School, and Lotus Preschool.  What a great way to support our youth programs!  Thanks Randy, Ernie and Bill!

Finally, I would like to share with you that the Betsuin, together with Yu Ai Kai, was named as beneficiary in the Frank Fujimoto estate. Tom Yuki recalled that Frank was his Jr. YBA advisor and a long time member of the Betsuin. Frank, who passed away last year, left his home in Willow Glen to the Betsuin and Yu Ai Kai.  Allan Hikoyeda, who represents the trust, informed us that the home had been sold for $710,000, which was $60,000 OVER the asking price!  There was also a bequest from the Craney Ogata Trust in the amount of $38,000 so far.  The Board has decided to apply these funds to our Building Fund.  We are grateful that although they are no longer with us, these individuals had chosen to do something nice for the Betsuin.

I hope when you see those mentioned above, you would thank them for their efforts and remember their generosity. I know that there are many more people working in, and around, and for the Betsuin everyday, so I apologize if I left anyone out and if you remind me I can thank them also.

In Gassho,

Janice Doi