Our 50th anniversary Annual Dinner was our most successful fundraising dinner yet. We sold out our capacity quickly thanks to corporate table sponsorships by CSI Leasing, Nidec, and Novus and the tremendous support of our general members.
Seventy-four people gathered to enjoy a huge spread of Japanese dishes and sushi and to meet and enjoy one another’s company. The event was a great success filled with many surprises. Mayor Lyda Krewson proclaimed November 7th, 2017, as “Dr. Chikako Usui Day” in St. Louis in honor of her retirement as president of the Japan America Society of St. Louis for the past 10 years. Dr. Usui was also surprised by many wonderful gifts presented to her. She said she “will use her new vases at the ikebana demonstration at our festival next year.”
We also presented a $3000 donation to the St. Louis Japanese Language School, a Friendship Award to Ms. Hiromi Ishida for her dedication and support of the St. Louis Ishinomaki Friendship Program of the previous four years, and a Distinguished Service Award to retiring president Dr. Usui for her incredible achievements of the past 10 years..
To draw a successful evening to a close, we held our annual live auction. Several generous donors provided a varied array of 20 items, including Japanese sake, traditional Japanese lacquerware and other crafts, sports memorabilia, event tickets, high-end electronics, small-batch local food, and fashion articles. The centerpiece of the auction was a one-of-a-kind, hand-embroidered, silk uchikake (formal wedding kimono).