By Wendy Osher
Two months after the March 11 earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, the momentum of Hawaii’s fundraising efforts continue, with donations reaching $6 million via the statewide ALOHA FOR JAPAN campaign. The Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Japan-America Society of Hawaii reported $3 million in collections each.
A May Day collaboration hosted by local celebrity chefs in Honolulu netted more than $200,000 earlier this month. The Lei Day For Japan fundraiser featured a tasting venue with dishes from Morimoto Waikiki, Chai’s Island Bistro, and Alan Wong’s.
Also this month, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. collected a total of $365,000 from its companies, customers and employees.
“This relief effort has exceeded everyone’s most optimistic projections,” said Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, whose office leads the ALOHA FOR JAPAN campaign. “I’m so proud of how everyone worked together. Hawaii has really stepped up for our friends across the Pacific.”
2 Maui Fundraisers Benefit Aloha Initiative
Here on Maui, the Mayor’s “Wear Jeans for Japan Day” takes place today, May 13, 2011. Mayor Alan Arakawa is challenging community members, businesses, non-profit organizations and schools to participate by allowing the use of jeans in exchange for donations. The donations raised from the event will support the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui’s “Aloha Initiative,” which raises funds to bring evacuees from Japan to Maui, by matching them with host families on the Valley Isle.
Mayor Arakawa also donated $50,000 in winnings from a Celebrity Chess Match to the Aloha Initiative project.
Celebrities on Maui Show their Aloha for Japan
Earlier this month on Maui, an Aloha for Japan Celebrity Car Wash at the Ho’ole’a Terrace raised an estimated $4,000 in four hours. The funds raised at the event were donated to the American Red Cross tsunami and earthquake relief efforts in Japan.
An Aloha Iapana concert held on April 16th featured some of Hawaii’s hottest musicians also contributed to the Aloha For Japan effort. On the same day, Pacific Radio Group hosted a Luminary Floating Ceremony that raised thousands of dollars for Japan Relief through the Hawaii Red Cross.
Fundraising efforts Continue:
Donation checks, made payable “ALOHA FOR JAPAN”, are still being accepted for those that want to contribute to the statewide relief effort. They can be mailed to: American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816; or to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii, c/o Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce, 2454 South Beretania Street, Suite 201, Honolulu, Hawaii 96826.