PORT HARDY – In the spirit of sisterhood, the Port Hardy Twinning Society raised $3,500 for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Walk for Japan was held Saturday.
An enthusiastic group of volunteers and concerned residents took part in the Walk for Japan held Saturday in downtown Port Hardy. The funds raised will be donated via the Red Cross for relief efforts. A fundraiser at the Port Hardy Secondary School also raised more than $1,000.
When they heard the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Twinning members hurriedly sent e-mails and Facebook messages to friends in Numata, Port Hardy’s sister town. Concern turned to relief to when it was learned that Numata, located in the centre of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido had not suffered any damage or loss of life, although they did feel the quake.
Over the years firm friendships have grown between the people in the twinned towns, with exchange visits alternating between Canada and Japan every year. It was to be Port Hardy’s turn to visit Numata this summer. Reluctantly it has been decided that the trip should be postponed due to the uncertainty of the situation. While safety for the Port Hardy group, several of them high school students, was an obvious consideration, it was also felt that it wouldn’t be fair to expect Numata to host visitors this year when their own country was in such turmoil.
Rather than simply cancel the trip and wait until it could be reshceduled, the Twinning Society quickly organized the Walk for Japan fundraiser. With a police escort, the marchers began at the Thunderbird Mall and made their way down to Carrot Park where they enjoyed the opportunity to have their photo taken in a kimono, learned to fold origami paper cranes, or made a donation in exchange for one of the many Japanese treasures donated by Society members. Further fundraisers will be organized throughout the coming months.