April 01, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

Japanese Relief Surpasses $40,000 While SSCA Efforts Continue

The Springfield Sister Cities Association and Nakato Japanese Steakhouse raised approximately $34,000 from this past Monday's initiative to support the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan.

"Through the generosity of those customers who came out for dinner, an extremely generous donation from the Nakato family, and additional donations by management and staff, we were blown away by the support of our community," said Sister City Coordinator Cindy Jobe. "The Nakato family made sure all of our expectations for the evening were surpassed. In addition, contributions were made by some who just stopped by the restaurant with money and checks, along with those who purchased 'You Are Not Alone' T-shirts, especially designed for the support of our friends in Japan."

SSCA will combine the proceeds with funds raised previously at its Annual Membership meeting, a donation from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, a bake sale by Kickapoo High School Japanese Club and all funds received in the mail since announcing this effort.

The "first installment" of $40,000 will be sent to Springfield's sister city of Isesaki, Japan at the end of this week to use as they best see fit in the areas with the most immediate needs.

Ongoing efforts continue by students from Missouri State and Drury Universities and Kickapoo and Branson High School Japanese Clubs, who are all raising funds through the end of April.

SSCA will continue its efforts with a musical showcase event beginning at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 13 at Lindberg's, 318 W. Commercial St. Bands that have traveled to Isesaki in the past, including M-Dock, Queen City Cats and others will perform. All proceeds from the event will go to the relief effort. There will be no cover charge, but donations are encouraged.

"We can't say it enough," said Jobe. "Thank you, thank you, thank you for opening your hearts and wallets to our friends in need at this difficult time. Those involved in Springfield Sister Cities are proud to be a part of this community."

To learn more about SSCA or to order a "You Are Not Alone" T-shirt, visit online at www.PeaceThroughPeople.org or call 417-864-1191.

For more information, media contact: Cindy Jobe, Sister Cities Coordinator, 417-864-1341 or 417-353-6424.