Kawakubo’s Fundraiser for Japan was an immense success

By David F. Rooney

The Kawakubo Restaurant’s Fundraiser for Japan proved to be an immense success Sunday. Not only were all 300 tickets sold out but organizers were confident that the event would surpass their early fundraising estimates.

“When we started talking about this last Friday we thought we might be able to raise $10,000,” said Keith Stevenson, one of the restaurant’s two co-owners.

Well, they earned more than that. Ticket sales alone amounted to $10,500 and the restaurant covered all of the food and liquor costs. As well, there were raffles and silent auction items donated by 65 local businesses and individuals. While the actual amount raised may not be known until Wednesday, it could be double the original estimates.

The people who attended the Sunday evening event, which was treated to music by Maritime Kitchen Party, were more than happy to contribute to relief of Japan, which — as we have all seen in detail on TV — has been devastated by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, an overwhelming tsunami and now a crippled nuclear reactor. The suffering and destruction has been immense and Revelstoke’s reaction has, for such a small town, been huge.

Historically, we have shared suffering and grief with the Japanese through the 1910 Avalanche and have sought to commemorate the Japanese workers who died in that event. Now, we are reaching out once again in friendship to help those who are suffering in Japan today.

Well done, Kawakubo. Well done, Revelstoke.

Here are a few images of the fundraiser that I hope you will enjoy:

This was the scene early in the evening of Kawakubo's Fundraiser for Japan at the Community Centre on Sunday. The event sold out all 300 tickets and, while the final numbers still need to be determined, the amount raised for the Red Cross likely exceeded $15,000. David F. Rooney photo
Volunteer Elena Bishop gives some very spicy soup a stir. David F. Rooney photo
Food — and lots of it — was a hallmark of this event. Kawakubo covered all of the food and liquor costs for the event. David F. Rooney photo
Gabriel Giroux asks Lindsey Randall a question as they prepare sushi. David F. Rooney photo
Octopus balls anyone? Mathieu Denis (left), Chieka Toyamara and Dave Pierlot prepared very delicious, bust highly labour intensive, octopus balls. David F. Rooney photo
Shinji Kawakubo, one of the restaurant's two owners (left), helps Andy Kingissepp with tray of shrimp balls and other delicacies. David F. Rooney photo
King crab legs anyone? David F. Rooney photo
Meghann Hutton (center) was one of the snazzily dressed bar staff serving up beer, wine, sake and other beverages at the fundraiser. David F. Rooney photo
Marlene McQuarrie (left) chats with Jeff Nicholson and Jack Heavenor before the dinner. David F. Rooney photo
Everyone at the fundraiser was encouraged to create origami cranes that would be sent to Japan as a symbol of sympathy. Here, Marcia and John Woods and Mas and Patti Matsushita worked on their table's collection. David F. Rooney photo
They created lots of cranes and Mas, just because he could, also folded an origami turtle and shrimp. David F. Rooney photo
Robert Powadiuk (left) ladles up some food as Emma Kirkland waits her turn. David F. Rooney photo
Emcee Steve Smith "randomly picks" tables to queue for food. Funny thing about that "random selection" — the tables that coughed up cold, hard cash seemed to be selected first. David F. Rooney photo
Keith Stevenson, co-owner of Kawakubo, gives the thumbs up as he tells people how pleased he is with the turnout for the event. David F. Rooney photo
Maritime Kitchen Party's Shannon Sternloff, Trevor Wallach and Steve Smith perform for the people attending the fundraiser. David F. Rooney photo
Mayor David Raven (right) clearly enjoyed himself with friends at the party. David F. Rooney photo
Kawakubo staff and the dozens of volunteers who pitched in to make the fundraiser a success enjoyed an ovation from everyone at the event. David F. Rooney photo