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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Bendites Did Right By Japan

Dinner to raise money for Japan fed 300 people and raised $14,000.

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A week ago Sunday, a small group of Japanese ladies living in Bend met at the Common Table to discuss the possibility of hosting a dinner to raise funds for earthquake and tsunami stricken Japan. By Tuesday morning of last week they had not only secured sufficient donations to host, but also to cover the cost for food for the event. A press release was organized and all of the responsibilities were delegated for the purchase and preparation of food.

The team at the Common Table was activated and the excitement level was high. A target was set to feed 100 people and to raise $2,000 to donate to the Red Cross and the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance funds, directed to the relief effort in Japan. This past Saturday night a group of volunteers met to prepare the meal, working until 2 a.m. Sunday morning. They were back at work by Sunday afternoon at the restaurant, putting the finishing touches on the Japanese dinner menu.

Students from Summit High School, members oft the Japanese American Society of Central Oregon, and volunteers from the Common Table decorated the dining room as the entertainers set their equipment. At 5 p.m. Sunday evening people began to arrive. By 5:30 there was a line extending down the block of Oregon Street and upon hearing this there were tears in the kitchen. People braved spring weather in Bend standing in line for over an hour to enjoy the fine meal and show their compassion for the people of Japan.

Space does not allow us to list all of the amazing donors, both commercial and individual, that contributed to this event. At the end of the evening 300 people had been fed and $14,000.00 had been raised for Japan’s relief effort. One of the Japanese ladies commented, “We are so lucky to live in a place where people are willing to show their support for the suffering in Japan.”

We should all be proud of our community and the show of compassion. Donations are continuing to be accepted at the Common Table.

– Domo Arigato Gozaimasu,

Some Japanese Ladies Living in Bend

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