Revelstoke resident Tomoaki Fujimura has just returned from a trip to Japan, where he visited parts of Miyagi Prefecture ravaged by the March, 2011 tsunami disaster.
Fujimura provided an update on a donation of $1,200 collected from Revelstoke residents at the Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market following the disaster.
Fujimura’s acquaintances in the ski and snowboard industry in Tokyo organized a fundraiser called ‘What Can We Do’ which sold T-shirts and prints to raise money. Including the $1,200 donation from Revelstoke, the event pulled in $40,000. It was donated to three organizations:
— The Ashinaga organization, which provides emotional support to orphans.
— Open Japan, which helps survivors of natural disasters.
— Earth Children, which supports child victims of disaster, helping them overcome the loss of parents.
PHOTO: The skeleton of a public disaster centre building in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. The cranes placed near the building memorialize those lost, and the tale of a young female announcer who manned the public address system during the tsunami, directing residents to flee until she herself was finally engulfed in the wave. Bruno Long photo
In a letter in Japanese, the organizers reached out to Revelstoke residents.
“Thank you very much for all donations and everyone’s contributions to be a part of our charity event,” they wrote. “By selling our photographs and T-shirts, we raised 3,277,621 [Yen].”
While in Miyagi Prefecture, Fujimura and Revelstoke photographer Bruno Long travelled to the tsunami-ravaged town of Ishinomaki.
Fujimura was touched by the story of the students of Okawa elementary school, where 74 out of 108 students died when they were swept away in the raging waters.
Fujimura hopes donations will help young survivors of this and other tragedies.