Drive a Ball to Help Our Seniors!

20140622_TG_Golf-55Ordinarily driving a golf ball would not be considered an important charitable act. However, on Sunday, June 14th, Tonari Gumi and the Greater Vancouver JCCA will be holding their 3rd Annual Joint Golf Tournament at Meadow Gardens Golf Club. Not only will the golfers be trying to lower their scores, they will also be scoring for the hundreds of seniors and their care-givers who depend on Tonari Gumi for wholesome activities and for respite from the daily challenges of caring for our elders. Through Tonari Gumi’s many programs, and in particular, from its Iki Iki (lively, lively) programs for the frail and those in the early stages of dementia, caregivers are given 20140622_TG_Golf-100a break as they can leave their seniors at Tonari Gumi where they know they will be safe, enjoy social inter-action and receive a tasty and healthy Japanese meal. For the seniors, themselves, they get to receive the undivided attention of cheerful and attentive volunteers and staff, to have the chance to meet with and chat with their friends, and to learn new things. Seniors also get the chance to help each other and to feel that they are valued and useful.

This golf tournament is a major fund-raiser which will help to maintain all of these essential programs and to ensure that the new Tonari Gumi remains in top shape so that our seniors can be safe and enjoy their activities in a clean and homey atmosphere.20140622_TG_Golf-91 Driving, chipping and putting the ball this coming Sunday will definitely help in “Making It A Home” for our seniors. Dozens of businesses and individuals are also contributing to this event by sponsoring and providing support for this event. You don’t have to get a great score to be a winner at this tournament.

However, if you do get a great score, you will have a chance to win some wonderful prizes.20140622_TG_Golf-70 Also for the first time, thanks to the support from the Investors Group, there is a $5,000 prize for a hole in one and everyone participating in this tournament will be entered in the Investors Group’s prize draw for a free trip for two to the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Florida. Wow, what an exciting opportunity. If you are interested in having a great time, while contributing to our seniors, please click here.





Photo-Artists Emerge at Tonari Gumi!

IMG_0895Over the past three months, Tonari Gumi partnered with Emiko Morita in her “PhotoVoice” project which consisted of some 10 workshops held at Tonari Gumi, where our seniors developed skills in photography and storytelling. The camera (whether a small hand-held camera, a tablet camera or a cell phone camera) became a tool, empowering the seniors so they could express themselves and share their stories and perspectives. Tonari Gumi is excited that it was able to partner with Emiko Morita in carrying out this project to help our seniors to connect in yet another way with their friends and relatives._9740429 Some of the photos created by the group are displayed at Tonari Gumi and the display is open to the public.


Tonari Gumi Coffee House – First Friday Forum Benefit Concert – Friday, March 6th

IMG_0664On Friday, March 6th, the Tonari Gumi Coffee House and the First Friday Forum together organized a benefit concert, featuring a number of excellent community-based musicians. The concert was intended to raise funds for singer-songwriter Janet Noade, a long-time performer at both venues. Over 50 people came to the concert and all net proceeds will be given to Janet for specialized medical treatments.
All of the musical performances were inspired and featured several musical genres. Performers, in order of appearance, included Tat Fukuda, Sharon McIntee-Birrell, Sean Gunn, Chika Buston and Martin Kobayakawa, Cary Heuchert and Ikuko May. IMG_0617The performers were backed by an excellent house band made up of Wayne Soon (drums), Tae Maeda (piano), Kenn Nakamine (stand-up bass) and Toshi Seito (bass guitar). While Janet Noade and her musical partner, Cary Grigg were not able to be at the event, they sent in a video performance that they recorded from their Nova Scotia home, which was shown at the concert.
Many people in the audience commented on how the concert had the feel and warmth of an old-time community event. IMG_0619By bringing together the talents of the Tonari Gumi Coffee House and the First Friday Forum, the event was able to attract a larger and more diverse audience than before, and points the way for more community-wide collaborations of this type in the future.IMG_0642IMG_0651

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