By Laura Stovel
If there ever was doubt that acts of generosity inspire further generous acts, Revelstoke has just seen a good example. Tomo Fujimura deeply appreciated Revelstoke’s support for his family and for Japan during the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He was looking for an opportunity to give back.
When his neighbour, Meghan MacIsaac, the City’s Recreational Facility and Program Coordinator, mentioned that she wanted to help raise funds for Fort McMurray after the fire earlier this year, the two came up with a plan to host an Asian fundraising dinner. Meghan would arrange the space and kitchen facilities at the Community Centre; Fujimura would arrange the chefs.
The original idea was to hold the fundraiser during national Asian month in May but both were so busy that the month swiftly passed. Finally they decided to just do it. “From the Sunday we sat in my back yard planning to the Sunday the dinner happened we put out the posters, arranged ticket sales, got the people involved and it sold out. So we did it in one week. We pulled it off. We were set up to seat for 80 and it was full,” MacIsaac said.
Fujimura brought in two fairly new restaurants in town: Kevin’s Kitchen and Minh Tuyet’s Vietnamese Bistro. Kevin Feng and Lu Si of Kevin’s Kitchen made their famous dumplings and tofu salad; Minh Tuyet’s Vietnamese Bistro provided delicate shrimp and chicken skewers. Fujimura spent the entire day making sushi: 100 rolls at six pieces a roll.
“Everyone hand-made the food,” MacIsaac said. We wanted people to really appreciate the food because it was so fine and delicate and beautiful. The sushi was all hand rolled and the dumplings hand made by Kevin’s Kitchen.
MacIsaac and Fujimura were delighted with the success of the dinner and plan to make this an annual event. “I’m totally happy to see that that many people supported us with only one week’s notice,” Fujimura said. “Hopefully we can do this every May during Asian month. We can talk with the Asian community about how to pull together an NGO so we can start putting money aside for any kind of natural disaster in Canada or on a global scale.”