The Nakagawa family demonstrates a Japanese dance

Japanese dinner raises funds for relief work

A dinner at Holy Child Catholic Church Hall has raised money for assistance in the Philippines.

Francis Nakagawa let her children and grandchildren know that when they came home for the holidays she would need their help in throwing a “little party.”

Wondering what their mom was up to this time, they were not surprised to find out that she was planning on serving a Japanese dinner, complete with entertainment, in order to raise disaster relief funds for people in the Philippines.

“I thought it was a good idea to raise money for the Philippines and I thought we could have a Japanese dinner. We made sukiyaki and sushi. I got my family to help me, so it was all possible thanks to my kids. They came home for the holidays but they worked making sushi,” said Nakagawa.

The dinner was held at the Holy Child Catholic Church Hall, with members of the Catholic Women’s League assisting the family in hosting the event and Susie Gay of Studio 2 promoting it.

Money was also raised through the sale of raffle tickets for gift baskets that had been donated.

A silent auction was held for promotional items that Mary Nakagawa-Marti had brought with her from Los Angeles, donated by her clients, Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers.

A total of $2,670 was raised. The money was then given to John Mott with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

Mott told the crowd how the organization works with helping folks around the world in emergency situations, delivering food and essentials to the families.

He thanked the Nakagawa family and the guests for their generous donations.

“You know you are making a wonderful contribution to our brothers and sisters,” he said.

Emcee for the evening was Mirjana Komljenovic. She also expressed appreciation for the generosity shown, and the gifts given. Introducing and thanking Nakagawa she said,

“I want to bring up our matron, Mother Francis. We are here because of this lady right here. This woman loves to party! She loves to celebrate. She loves to make and organize parties and she does it. She is doing God’s work.”

Nakagawa and her family closed the evening with a traditional Japanese dance, inviting everyone to join in.

If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.


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