By Derek Iwanaka
Thanks to all the bowlers and supporters who came out to participate at our February 22nd JCCA Community Bowl-a-thon Fundraiser. This first-of-a-kind Japanese Canadian community fundraiser was completely sold out and it was all in support of the following organizations: the GVJCCA, Nikkei Place, Tonari Gumi, Powell Street Festival Society, Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall, and the Vancouver Buddhist Temple. In total, a little over a 120 bowlers and an untold number of fans crammed into little old Grandview Lanes for a tourney that saw some of Vancouver’s best Nikkei all-stars bowlers throw down. The top male 5-Pin bowler was Jun Yoshisa who had a single game high-score of 311. The top female 5-Pin bowler, Cathy Nishikawa rolled a 231 point game. Honours for the top male 10-Pin bowler was none other than our own Bowl-a-thon committee member and President of Vancouver’s Nisei league, Perry Nishihata who bowled a 130 point game. The top female 10-pin bowler, Susan Nishi, matched Perry’s effort with a score of 130 herself. Perhaps we may need to see a male vs. female showdown next year. Congratulations to all our bowling winners and I hope you will be back next year to defend your crowns.
This was a fun event for all ages and a wonderful fundraiser for our community. Thanks to all of our amazing sponsors, donors, and volunteers for making February 22, 2015 an afternoon to remember. And special thanks to the entire JCCA Bowl-a-thon Committee for coming out to all those late night meetings and helping to ensure everything went just right. Please take a bow and a seat, you deserve it!
Congratulations to all the bowlers who collected lots of pledges. Together we raised over $8,500 net of costs for our community. Of special note, Ken Yada collected the most pledges this year. Congratulations Ken! I look forward to reading your upcoming article in The Bulletin/Geppo. Please have a look at page 12 for some candid photos from the event alog with a full listing of all the event sponsors and pledge collectors. I hope everyone had as much fun as we did and I thank you all so much!
With the Bowl-a-thon hailed as a success, we can now look forward to our upcoming March 14th, JCCA Annual General Meeting, which will be held in Nikkei Place at 2pm. This year’s AGM will be a bittersweet occasion for me as I will be stepping down as President and Director of GVJCCA to rejoin my family at home. The past two years on the Board have simply been incredible. The whole experience has opened my eyes to a great many things, including the importance of human rights, but nothing was more inspiring than seeing the remarkable power of cooperation and collaboration amongst our Board and the community. Together there is so much that we can all achieve and celebrate as a cohesive community. We, as Japanese Canadians and Canadians of all ethnic backgrounds alike have so many achievements to rejoice, including the Redress of 1988.
It has been a tremendous honour and opportunity for me to serve with the 2013 to 2015 GVJCCA Board of Directors. During my time as a Director I have had the pleasure of working with the legendary Bulletin/Geppo editor John Endo Greenaway and our talented Japanese editorial duo, Kazuho Yamamoto and Kaori Kasai. It has been so delightful to play a small part in your team.
You have all taught me so much and I look forward to staying connected with each of you in the future. Special thanks to Kathy Shimizu and her friends for stepping up last year, and helping us keep the JCCA from the brink of dissolution. Now that you saved us, you are responsible for keeping the ship in the right direction…indefinitely. Just kidding Kathy! Of course, I must also thank long-time Directors, April Shimizu and May Hamanishi for literally organizing all of our JCCA events. These two have taken care of so many vital tasks throughout the year and they have been doing it for years, always with a smile on their faces. And finally, I want to thank Lorene Oikawa for taking over from Judy Hanazawa as Chair of the Human Rights Committee last year. Both Judy and Lorene have done a tremendous job of connecting this fundamental committee with the rest of our organization and more recently Lorene has taken on an even greater role with her in assistance to our Board. Thanks to you all!
Although it is time for me to take a break from active JC community work, all of you will be missed and certainly not forgotten. I’m sure to be back at some point but for now I am looking forward to a nice break. I am thankful that the majority of our Directors will be staying on the Board going forward and together with our talented publication staff I can leave knowing that the organization will be in good hands.
And last but not least, thanks to all our members and readers for your kind support.