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Sakura Walk for Japan Relief | Community Spirit

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Sakura Walk for Japan Relief
Sakura Walk for Japan Relief

The Buffalo State College Japan Relief group, along the Japanese Group of Buffalo and the Japanese Student Association at SUNY Buffalo, are hosting Sakura Walk, Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m., in Delaware Park, with all proceeds to benefit the American Red Cross. Registration is $10.

The walk, which has purposes of raising money for the Japanese tsunami victims, increasing awareness of the disaster and promoting the health of the community, will start at the Japanese Garden along the ring road of Delaware Park, near Colvin Avenue and Amherst Street.  The short walk consists of one round and the long walk is two times around the ring.

The walk is named “sakura,” meaning cherry blossom in Japanese, which is the national flower of Japan. These flowers often vitalize the Japanese during the spring and due to the shortness of their bloom, are representative of how fleeting life can be.

Sakura Sato - quick to reassure that the walk was not named after her – is the health and wellness senior who has organized the walk and several other fundraising events for the Japan Relief Fund, has family and friends that live only 50 miles or less from the coast of Japan most affected by the tsunami.

“It’s better than sitting at home, watching the news and being sad,” Sato said. “This way, we’re doing something to help.”

In addition to the walk, there will be t-shirts and wristbands for sale, origami crane demonstrations, a Japanese calligraphy station, a raffle drawing and health screenings (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose) provided by the Catholic Health System.

Sato and the group are also creating a board/banner with the Japanese flag and the Japanese symbol for bonding or connection in the middle of it. Participants will be asked to place their origami crane with their name on it or write a note on the board, which will serve as a centerpiece for the event.

The registration fee for the walk is $10 and registration begins at 1 p.m. For more information, visit http://actionforjapannewyork.net or look for the event on Facebook.

Other contributors to the Japan Relief Fund from the Buffalo State community include Jozef Bajus, associate professor in the design department, who created and sold three pieces of artwork with the proceeds to benefit Japan.

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