Japan Society of Fairfield County
Annual Meeting 2011

Sunday October 23, 2011

Ambassador Hiroki     The Annual Meeting of the Society took place at Bush Holley House in Greenwich. Our meeting began with a champagne toast led by vice president Yumi McDonald.  President Harry Sakamaki began the meeting with some brief comments about Bush Holley House and its connections with Japan.  He noted that Genjiro Yeto, who studied art at Bush Holley House, is now on Wikipedia Japan and will soon be appearing in English.  We enjoyed a delicious luncheon buffet provided by Kujaku Restaurant in Stamford. After lunch, our society's very successful relief effort for the Japanese Earthquake was discussed.  We raised over $47,000 of which $42,000 has been sent to the Japan Red Cross.  The relief account will be closed at year end and the balance sent to the Japan Red Cross. We were very fortunate to have Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York and Consul Masakazu Kigure, cultural attache attend our event.  Ambassador Hiroki spoke briefly about conditions in Japan after the earthquake as well as his own experiences in the United States. Chairman, Harry Sakamaki, presented the 2011 officers and directors, noted that 17 new members / families joined in 2011, and especially thanked our patrons (2) and benefactors (17). He announced Volunteer Awards for 2011. The award winners are Alice and Yumi McDonald who helped organize the Westport bake sale for earthquake relief, Dr. Tom Hedberg who helped organize medical relief in Japan after the earthquake, and Chikae Potterf who organized fund raising at Trumbull Library, Hammond Museum, and the MacKenzie Pharmacy. Tom made a presentation on the challenges faced by medical providers after the earthquake and methods to accelerate the recovery. 
Officers and Directors     New officers and directors were elected to serve one year terms in 2012 and are listed on the organization page. Two changes in leadership were made: Vernon Beck was elected to replace outgoing president Harry Sakamaki and Yoko Kawai was newly elected to the board.  We created the position of Associate Director and welcome Mithat Mardin, Mayumi Kleinman, and Naomi Manning to the leadership of the Japan Society of Fairfield County.
Professor Nakanishi and Beck Violinist Sumiko Tajihi A program of entertainment followed which began which a lecture by Columbia University Centennial Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Koji Nakanishi on "Biologically Active Compounds from Nature". The compounds he discussed ranged from the extraordinarily toxic Brevetoxin associated with the fishery destroying red tide to the extract of Ginkgo Biloba which enhances memory.
    Violinist Sumiko Tajihi and keyboardist Rikako Asanuma superbly performed Karatachi no Hana, Nocturne, and Tango. Director Atsuko Giampaoli closed our program. 
    We welcome volunteers to help run our society and serve as future directors and officers. Involvement now trains one for future leadership.

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