Consulate General of Japan Hosts Relief Effort Recognition Dinner

I was honored to be part of a special dinner July 12, hosted by my dear friend and esteemed colleague The Honorable George Hisaeda, Consul General of Japan in Chicago. The dinner, held at the Consul General’s residence, was hosted to specially thank those of us who have dedicated resources to help the relief effort in Japan following the devastating earthquake.

While at the dinner we discussed the massive amount of support and the heartwarming stories of those associated with the relief effort over traditional sushi prepared by the Consul General’s amazing executive chef. I have to say it was by far the best sushi I’ve had in Chicago to date!

More importantly, I was deeply touched by one special girl – Ashlyn Neader.  After hearing about their plight, the Lacrosse, Wisconsin fifth grader decided to help the victims of the earthquake. First, Ms. Neader took the $15 she had in savings, and together with donations from her parents and relatives, she started a fundraiser. Through persistent effort going door-to-door around town, and with a little local media exposure, Ms. Neader’s cause was soon known to everyone in the city, and she came to raise $6,671. That money will be forwarded on to Japan through the American Red Cross, and go to relief efforts for the areas affected by the disaster. It’s stories such as these that warm my heart and give us all a sense of humanity.

Russian Pointe Boutique also supported the relief effort through a five percent donation of all sales during the month of April. As an American citizen and friend of Japan and the Consul General, my sincere gratitude goes out to all who have helped support the relief effort. It’s great to see that we’re all doing our part – in small, yet impactful, ways or on large-scale – to help our international neighbors and friends in Japan.