Over $75,000 has been raised for victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami today as a result of the Walk for Japan organized by the Steveston Rotary Club, said Rotary Organizer and Richmond City Councillor Bill McNulty after Sunday’s event.
“We were overwhelmed by the turnout and the generosity of our residents with long line-ups of people wanting to donate,” said McNulty. “People have seen the devastation in Japan, know about our city’s longstanding ties to the Japanese people, and they came out in the thousands to show their support.”
The Walk for Japan, hosted by the Steveston Rotary Club, drew an estimated 7,000 people from 10am-4pm on Sunday to participate in a one kilometer stroll starting from Fisherman’s Park at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. The walk, also supported by the Steveston Community Society and Steveston Buddhist Church, was restarted every hour, and hundreds took part in each new walk. The funds raised will go directly to the Steveston Buddhist Church for distribution to Japan, with 100% of funds raised going to support those in need in the small village of Onagawa, Japan, near the heavily damaged city of Sendai.
“The $75,000 raised far surpassed our expectations for this event, and we want to thank everyone who took part and the businesses that supported our Japanese brothers and sisters,” said McNulty. “At the outset we hoped people would throw in a loonie or toonie, but ten, twenty, fifty and even hundred dollar bills were being contributed as well.”
Steveston’s ties with Japan began in 1877 with the arrival of the Asian nation’s first immigrant, and those ties continue to this day.