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Tuscarawas News Detail

Kent State Trumbull Fundraiser Benefits Japanese Tsunami Orphan Assistance Fund

Posted May. 6, 2013
enter photo description
Volunteers prepare a table featuring authentic Japanese foods
and items for sale during a fundraiser at Kent State University
at Trumbull to benefit the Japanese Tsunami Orphan Assistance

Members of the Kent State University at Trumbull community came together to raise funds to benefit the Japanese Tsunami Orphan Assistance program.

Kent State Trumbull Associate Professor of English Michael Lynch and his wife Kimi Itagaki-Lynch, a graduate student, hosted the fundraising event for the second year to help support victims who lost family members and belongings to the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake.

“I am especially concerned about those children who lost their parents in the tsunami and others whose parents lost their jobs and assets,” says Itagaki-Lynch. “I don't want those children to lose educational opportunities due to economic reasons. They have experienced enough grief by losing their parents and their homes.”

The event featured authentic Japanese foods and items for sale, including Onigiri, Japanese sticky rice balls, miso soup, baked snacks and raffle baskets with Japanese items. All items sold were donated from members of the Kent State Trumbull community, as well as the Lynch family. Itagaki-Lynch collected gift cards from Arby’s, Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Last year, the Tsunami Orphan Assistance event raised $400 to send to orphans in Japan. This year, the community was able to raise more funds for the program.

Itagaki-Lynch says eventually she and her husband hope to do something to help boost the devastated economy in Japan. She says she would like to help victims live independently, as fully as before, and also provide enough educational opportunities to their children.

“I hope to hold the fundraiser annually, but it depends on the situation,” says Itagaki-Lynch. “Even if I could not hold the fundraiser in the future, my husband and I will continue to support this cause. People forget easily such a tragedy as time goes by, but I cannot forget the victims’ grief and struggle.”