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Japan Club of Guam accepting donations

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - With travel and departures in to and out of Japan still up in the air, on Guam many families with loved ones in the island nation are holding on to hope and praying for their loved ones. Likewise, the Japan Club of Guam is pulling together to help friends and family back home.

A somber mood filled the Nikko Hotel ballroom at the 13th Annual Japan Club of Guam's Arts and Crafts Fair. "We are very, very sad about what happened yesterday, says club member Keiko Nishida, who added that last-minute changes were made to today's event because of Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

"The theme of this year's arts and crafts fair is ‘Festival in Japanese.' Originally we had a plans of a very festive performances and but this time we had to think about whether to hold this event because of what's happening in Japan is very tragic and we are not in the mood to celebrate," Nishida added.

Minus the festive performances, today's arts and crafts fair went on as scheduled, perhaps even just for a moment providing a distraction from the tragedy at home. Nishida said, "I heard its been very difficult to even call them, so some people don't even know whether their relatives or families are safe or not, its been very stressful who lives here who has family in Japan."

According to Japan Club of Guam president Toyohito Yonehama, there are many local residents who are actually from Ground Zero.  "Sendai - a lot of people family here and friends here," Yonehama said.

The Japan Club of Guam is collecting donations for the victims and is hoping the island community will help. "We really appreciate all the support and help that we can get from all community members on Guam and either through the today's event or Japan Club of Guam, we accept any support or monetary assistance," said Nishida, with Yonehama adding, "We'd like to ask everybody donate to Japan; please, anybody help with a donation."

Nishida added, "The Japan Club of Guam has its office in the ITC Building, 2nd Floor, that's very one of the best place to drop off anything if you can all of the support is greatly appreciated."

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