BY LORI MATSUKAWA
Mark your calendars for the 2019 Tomodachi Gala to support the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) and honor All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Budokan Dojo, recipients of the 2019 Tomodachi Award.
The Tomodachi Award is given to an individual or organization who has shown dedication to positive relations between the United States and Japan and demonstrated a love for Japanese culture and heritage.
ANA exemplifies the Tomodachi spirit in many ways. It supports the JCCCW by donating flights as raffle prizes, provides consumers with regular direct service from SeaTac to Japan on Boeing aircraft and celebrates Japanese and U.S. relations by using popular icons ranging from Hello Kitty to Star Wars on its planes.
Budokan Judo Dojo is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of sharing the sport of judo with generations of enthusiasts. The Dojo has also shared the sport with appreciative audiences at the JCCCW and at various community events. Alvin Terada, one of the original board of directors, has been a long time supporter of the JCCCW, and currently, Budokan Judo is run by John Schaedler, Bert Mackey, Steve Shigaya, and Eric Tomita.
This year's Raise the Paddle focus will be for a much-needed elevator at the Cultural Center! The 2019 Tomodachi Gala will be held Saturday April 20 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington in Renton.