Monday, May 12, 2014

Kona Classical Musicians United to Support Children from Fukushima

Wrote an article (press release) below to submit some of the local media in the Big Island. Please share this post to your connection, which is a big support.  Mahalo!

Kailua-Kona, May 12, 2014 -----Urusula Vieltze, a violinist and Annu Shionoya, a pianist, both resident in Kona have been rehearsing their favorite pieces such as Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi for ALOHA-KEIKI Ensemble Premier Concert from 3:00pm on May 25, 2014 at Hawaiian Queen Coffee Garden. Joining the concert are Motter Snell, a harpist from Seattle, who is a part time resident of Kailua-Kona and Yumi Kikuchi, a flutist and co-founder of Fukushima Kids Hawaii, who moved to Kona after the earthquake and nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011 in Japan.

Living and raising children in the still highly radioactive areas of Fukushima is a challenge especially for those parents with babies and young children because they are aware that the younger they are the more susceptible to radiation. Those classical musicians decided to do something with their musical talent to help the children.

There is a disturbing report that 30 children have had their thyroid removed from cancer and 35.8% children have developed thyroid cysts in Fukushima out of about 300,000 children living there today.

Hiromi Suzuki, a mother of two children, Karin, 5-year-old girl and Shuntaro, 3-year-old boy, came to Kona by an invitation of Fukushima Kids Hawaii on March 23, 2014 to be away from radioactive environment as her children have developed thyroid cysts after the disaster. The children saw off their father today at the Keahole International Airport who was visiting them. Mother and children are staying until June 11, 2014. Fukushima Kids Hawaii provides a free shelter for mothers and young children for up to 3 month.

I am just so grateful to be able to let my children play outside without worry. Coming here has given me a new and broader perspective about Fukushima”, Suzuki says.
Ms. Suzuki (left) and her two children and Yumi (right) with Bill Kenoy, the mayor of Hawaii

Annu Shionoya has been playing the piano in many musical scenes on Big Island. Visiting Fukushima and Tohoku area to cheer up people with music after the disaster, she knows seriousness of the problem.  “I want to contribute to the wellbeing of Fukushima children with music. Music is my passion and it can heal and unite people’s heart, too”.

Fukushima Kids Hawaii is a project of ALOHA-KEIKI, 501(c)(3) registered in Honolulu, and run by donations and volunteers. The fund raised by the concert goes to the summer program 2014 of Fukushima Kids Hawaii, inviting 10 children with 2 chaperons for a month from July 20 to Aug 20, 2014. They have been trying to raise money through various community charity events such as ZUMBATHON, garage sale, educational talks and concerts, but haven’t been able to reach the goal of $30,000.  There will be a silent auction with pupus and organic wine at the concert.

Classic music concerts are rare in Kona.  I hope we will be able to entertain the community and attract enough concerned people to join the concert.  We hope to be able to raise awareness of the community and sufficient fund as a result”, Yumi says.

The program includes famous classical music pieces by Faure, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Sain-Saens and Mozart. Admission is $15 for an adult with a ticket, $20 at the door, free for a child with an adult. 5 tickets are $60 ($12 each) and 10 tickets are $100 and valid for future Aloha Keiki Ensemble Concerts performed quarterly at the same venue.

For tickets, call 334-9616 (Morita)

Fukushima Kids Hawaii (FKH) was established in 2013 by Yumi & Gen Morita, Marian Morigushi (Hawaiian born living in Fukushima) and Mayumi Oda (Goddess artist) to help Fukushima children after the nuclear disaster to give them a break from the radiation exposure. 

More information can be also found here:

Fukushima Kids Hawaii is a project of 
ALOHA KEIKI, 501(c)(3) based in Honolulu
sub-account of Henk and Akemi Rogers Foundation

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