First and foremost on the minds of local delegates to Lake Cowichan’s sister city of Ohtaki/Date City is helping out them out, in light of the recent earthquake and tsunami.
“We’d like, as a group, to help them,” local delegate Justine Carlow, 14, said. “We’d like to fund-raise money for what they need, be it food, shelter, or first aid.”
Recognizing many connections between the Cowichan Lake area and Japan, Carlow said that it’s important those that can help, do so.
“Students in the community have been friends with people from Japan, so it’s important for us to know they’re okay,” she said. “They’re our friends.”
A local delegation of Lake Cowichan Secondary School students and adult chaperones are tentatively scheduled to leave for a visit to Ohtaki/Date City on July 2 of this year. During their visit, Carlow said that local delegates hope to bring as much donated money with them as possible.
Contacts in Ohtaki/Date City would then pass the aid on to whoever most requires it – likely people in the hardest-hit area of Japan; Sendai.
Sendai is where Lake Cowichan Secondary School’s sister school is located.
The first local fund-raiser will be a hot dog sale at the local Country Grocer, Sunday, April 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Country Grocer has very nicely supplied everything for us,” Carlow said.
Next up, local delegates hope to organize a car wash in the near future, as well as look into other fund-raising options.
A bank account will be set up soon for people interested in making donations to Japan.
Although Ohtaki remained safe throughout the recent earthquake/tsunami, Date City is closer to the shore, with about 1,000 people evacuated due to a tsunami.