LTSCene – November 2017 – Special Campaign Honors Bill and Ruth Watanabe - Little Tokyo Service Center

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November 2017 Issue

Special Budokan Campaign Honors Bill and Ruth Watanabe

Special Budokan Campaign Honors Bill and Ruth Watanabe

Bill and Ruth Watanabe

In 1979, LTSC’s Board of Directors picked Bill Watanabe to lead the new organization. Over the next 32 years, Bill helped LTSC grow from a center that primarily served limited English speaking Japanese American and Japanese seniors in Little Tokyo to a multi-faceted organization dedicated to positive change in communities throughout Southern California.

A visionary leader, Bill has made a profound impact on LTSC, Little Tokyo and the broader Southern California Nikkei community, as well as many other Los Angeles neighborhoods. Among his numerous efforts, Bill spearheaded LTSC’s drive to bring a multipurpose sports facility and community center to Little Tokyo.

Thus, LTSC has launched a campaign to name the Director’s Office of the new Paul I. Terasaki Budokan after Bill and his wife Ruth—a tribute to Bill’s leadership, spirit and powers of persuasion.

Please click Terasaki Budokan to learn more about the campaign. If you have any questions please contact Chris Aihara at 213-473-1608 or

Residents Association Visits Aquarium of the Pacific

Residents Association Visits Aquarium of the Pacific

Little Tokyo Senior Residents Association members

The Little Tokyo Senior Residents Association (LTSRA) celebrated Seniors Day with a field trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific. The group enjoyed special displays and presentations at the aquarium, as well as the refreshing breeze and views of the ocean. LTSC organizes and supports the LTSRA, which helps represent the interests of senior residents with low incomes in Little Tokyo, while increasing their engagement in relevant issues and civic life.

This year, three senior residents of LTSC’s Casa Heiwa affordable housing complex joined three youth from the organization’s Angelina complex to participate in a community leadership institute hosted by community development and affordable housing organization NeighborWorks.

LTSC’s Angelina Preschoolers Enjoy Pajama Party

LTSC’s Angelina Preschoolers Enjoy Pajama Party

Angelina Preschoolers Enjoy Pajama Party

Students at LTSC’s Angelina Preschool wore their favorite pajamas and Halloween costumes for the school’s annual Halloween pajama party. Students enthusiastically participated in a series of games, arts and craft activities and face painting.

Located in the Temple Beaudry area of Echo Park, two miles west of Downtown Los Angeles, Angelina Preschool provides early care and education services for children ages 3 to 5 years old. The full-day, year-round state preschool program is currently enrolling students and is free for eligible families.

Please click Childcare & Early Childhood Education to learn more about Angelina Preschool.

LTSC Makes Calls to Support Dreamers

LTSC Makes Calls to Support Dreamers

LTSC Makes Calls to Support Dreamers

LTSC staff and volunteers dialed up members of Congress to urge support for undocumented immigrants, currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). These roughly 800,000 immigrants, often referred to as Dreamers, were brought to the U.S. as children and raised alongside U.S. citizens. DACA has allowed them to remain in the country without fear of deportation as long as they have complied with certain requirements.

In September, President Trump decided to let the program expire. LTSC has advocated for legislation that would protect the Dreamers and provide them a path to citizenship.

Bank of America Supports LTSC with Economic Mobility Grant

Bank of America Supports LTSC with Economic Mobility Grant

Grand opening of Larry Itliong Village

LTSC is excited to share it has been awarded a grant from Bank of America to address the pressing need for affordable housing in Los Angeles. With this support, LTSC will continue its work on six affordable housing projects with four partners to build over 500 units of housing. The housing will be developed in the Arts District, Koreatown, Little Tokyo and East Hollywood.

“We’re proud to partner with Little Tokyo Service Center to revitalize communities and bring more affordable housing options to our region’s vibrant communities,” said Raul A. Anaya, Los Angeles Market President, Bank of America. “By working to remove barriers to economic mobility, such as housing costs and basic resources for low income and working families, we can help get people on the path to greater financial stability.”

LTSC’s affordable housing program works with its nonprofit partners to build housing that serves the most vulnerable individuals in Los Angeles including low income families and seniors. Currently, LTSC is working on three projects in its home base of Little Tokyo that will help preserve and celebrate the neighborhood’s rich heritage while providing much needed housing.

LTSC would like to thank the Bank of America for its commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis in Los Angeles.

LTSC Participates in Domestic Violence Awareness Activities

LTSC Participates in Domestic Violence Awareness Activities

LTSC staff and volunteers joined a “Know Your Rights” training.

October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month and LTSC showed a commitment to understanding and helping to end such abusive behavior. LTSC is a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Task Force, which was formed to address domestic violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities by providing outreach, education and advocacy.

This year, the API DV Task Force provided a training for LTSC staff entitled “Know Your Rights.” In addition to participating in the training, LTSC organized other activities to reflect on the topic.

Japanese Ambassador Kohno to Speak at Luncheon

Japanese Ambassador Kohno to Speak at Luncheon

Ambassador Masaharu “Masa” Kohno will make his first public appearance in Southern California since completing his term as Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles in 2003. Ambassador Kohno currently serves as Special Representative of the Government of Japan for the Middle East and Europe and Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for the Middle East Peace. At the event, which is organized by the Japan America Society and the U.S.-Japan Council, Ambassador Kohno will discuss his current work in Tokyo, as well as US-Japan cooperation in international affairs.

Please visit the Japan America Society for more information about the event.

A3M Celebrates 26 Years of Making Miracles

A3M Celebrates 26 Years of Making Miracles

A3M’s Human Spirit Award

Gene Kanamori, recipient of A3M’s Human Spirit Award, addresses the crowd at the Starnight gala

On October 7, Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) celebrated 26 years of bringing hope and creating miracles at their Starnight 2017 Annual Gala. Held at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, the gala allowed 350 attendees to witness the first meeting between Mario, a bone marrow recipient, and his donor, Jennifer. Longtime A3M supporter, Gene Kanamori, received A3M’s Human Spirit Award.

A3M, which is fiscally sponsored by LTSC, improves the health and welfare of patients with blood cancers and blood related diseases through support services and recruitment of potential donors. Since ethnicity is a determining factor in finding a match, A3M works to grow and diversify the Be The Match Registry by focusing on underrepresented ethnic communities.

Please click A3M Starnight Gala  to learn more about the event.

Please Support the APA Toy Drive

18th Annual APA Community Holiday Toy Drive

18th Annual APA Community Holiday Toy Drive

This year’s 18th Annual Asian Pacific American Community Holiday Toy Drive and Reception will be held on Thursday, December 7 at the Japanese American National Museum. LTSC will be one of the beneficiaries of the drive, which means the organization will receive donated toys and distribute them to youth in our affordable housing buildings. We encourage you to attend and support this important event.

Please click APA Toy Drive for more information.

Organizations Serving South Bay Nikkei Convene

Organizations Serving South Bay Nikkei Convene

Participants in the South Bay meeting

In October, LTSC initiated an informal gathering of organizations that serve the Japanese American and Japanese–speaking communities in the South Bay. The meeting, which was hosted by the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, assembled 50 representatives from 17 organizations. It provided attendees a unique opportunity to share information, build relationships and find opportunities to collaborate in serving the South Bay Nikkei community.

Earlier this year, LTSC completed a South Bay Japanese American Community Needs Assessment, funded by a grant from NeighborWorks. The assessment identified a need for cooperative efforts between South Bay organizations as a top priority. The October gathering was intended as a first step toward strengthening coordination between various groups.

South Bay organizations interested in joining future discussions should contact Margaret Shimada at (English) or Hiroko Higuchi at (Japanese).

Green Tip

New recycle icon of Little Tokyo Service Center

Try your local farmers’ market this Thanksgiving for locally grown fresh produce.


Thank you to all our supporters for your contributions last month!

October Donors
Dennis Arguelles
Eagle, Globerman and Kodama Foundation
Noriko Goto
Takahiro Ide
Lloyd Inui
Jessica Kanai
Combined Federal Campaign of Greater SoCal
Gary and June Masada
Robert and Teresa Matsushima
Dave and Terri Mitani Family
Susan Oda Omori
Lloyd Kajikawa and Silvina Rubinstein
Bradley and Allyson Sakai
Carol Sato
Chihoko Seto
Paul and Kay Shishima
Tokiko Sugimoto
Hisami Tahara
Keith Umemoto
Susie Wang
Gerald and Anne Yee
Nolan Young

In Memory of John Nishizu
Duane and Joy Hirayama
Kondo Wealth Advisors

In Memory of Jeannette Kyoko Sanderson
Emily & Dan Weaver

In Memory of Chor Chai Tan
Marie Tan and Gregory Tan

Terasaki Budokan
Akemi Arakaki
Laura Blosser and Chris Argyros
Fong Toji Family
Vernon Chinen
Eagle, Globerman and Kodama Foundation
Sabina Helton
Frank and Betty Hiji
Shinji Inouye
Kenichi Inouye
Scott Ito and Nan Lee
Lance and Wynn Kaneshiro
Kimberly and Damon Wong
Carole Kishi and Craig Mikasa
Jed Miyashiro
Lily Y. Morimoto and Andre Morimoto
Ken and Priscilla Mui
Mike Murase and June Hibino
David and Mary Noguchi
Restaurant Komasa
Lloyd Kajikawa and Silvina Rubinstein
Shinsengumi Foundation, Inc.
Southern California Kendo Federation
Douglas Sugimoto
USJP Business Advisors

Bill and Ruth Watanabe Director’s Office Campaign
Toshie and Syed Ahmed
Don and Lynn Akamine
Eiko and Young Amano
May Arakaki
Douglas G. Erber
Fred Fujioka
Myron Gee and Ann Ogawa Gee
Mabel Fujita Harman
David Chris Hoshimiya
Harry and Yosie Iida
Hillary Jenks
Dr. and Mrs. Iwao Kawakami
Iku Kiriyama
Steve and Akemi Kayleng Knight
Yoshikazu and Aiko Kobayashi
Asao Masumiya
Marcus Mizushima
Richard and Masako Murakami
Mike Murase and June Hibino
Rachel and the Noguchi Family
Susan Oda Omori
Mo and Charlene Ono
Janice Osumi
Bruce Saito
Minako and Robert Ferrante
Lisa Sugino and Jay Rosenthal
Richard and Cathie Tanabe
Wes and Erin Tanaka
Ted Tanaka
Glenn Togawa
Edward and Karen Toguchi
Jill Tsutsui
Ken Wada
Joe and Chizuko Yamagawa
Tad Yoshimura

In Honor of Andy K. and Keiko Fukui
Alex H. Fukui

In Honor of the Ito Family
Lisa Okamoto

In Honor of the Jason and Janice Yamada Family
Margaret and Ken Shimada

In Memory of Judy Nishimoto Ota
Jan Masaoka and Paul Rosenstiel

In Memory of Jane Michiko Nishio
Ted and Joann Louie
Kimi Maru and David Monkawa
Eiko Darlene Takatani

In Memory of Yeiji Gene Kono
Irene Kono

In Memory of Jeff H. Endow
Gary and Noreen Endow

Vehicle Donations
Victor Lazo
Yoko Nakayama
Jonathan Okui
Mary Senzaki

In-kind Donations
Colleen Seto-Gee
Shelter Partnership
Lily Tsurumaki

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