Thursday, April 22, 2010

NAAAP-ing amid the cherry blossoms

This past weekend (April 16-18), twenty NAAAP members swilled unlimited supplies of Seattle's Best Coffee, listened to Taeko drums and watched kites fly, and learned about the intricacies of Japanese culture and history as they volunteered at the Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival at the Seattle Center.

"I worked at the Information booth and helped with the stage and the kite games," said Cody Li. “This event sent a message to people who don't know a lot of Japanese culture: Learn & explore Japanese culture. We should do this more often."

Mayor Mike McGinn and Consul General of Japan Kiyokazu Ota spoke at the Opening ceremony. Bob Hasegawa, Harold Taniguchi, and Sharon Tomika Santos were also in attendance.

The Festival was manned by a corps of dedicated volunteers who brought homemade meals to keep each other energized throughout the three-day affair.

Community Service Chair David Eam said, “Everyone on the committee was so kind, helpful, and very humble. It was great working with them.”

On the last day of the Festival, many NAAAP members came out to visit their friends in volunteer-i-tude.

Tazue Sasaki, the chair of the Festival, acknowledged NAAAP’s service to the event.

"I would like to thank the volunteers, especially NAAAP,” said Sasaki. “You all came through, not just doing what you were asked to do, but going beyond the call of duty. We really appreciate that.”

To find out about NAAAP-Seattle volunteer opportunities and/or become a part of the community service committee, please email

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