Best Buddies in California Newsletter: May 2022 May 20, 2022 | California News | Message Preview versión en español May 2022 In honor of Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, State Ambassador and Best Buddies CA State Operations & Programs Coordinator Tsukasa Richard Nakai (pictured above) details what this month means to him and how he plans to pay homage to his family and culture. "Dear Reader, Thank you for your time. My name is Tsukasa Richard Nakai, or simply Richard and I am a Nisei or Second Generation Japanese American. For me, this month means learning from the past while looking toward the future. How so? Many of you have seen the photograph above, but this person, Sumiko Shigematsu, later married my maternal grandfather Hajimu Murakami’s brother Tadawo Murakami and became my great aunt. She was interned in Manazar, an internment camp for the Japanese Americans, because our own US government feared that they were conspiring with Japan during the war! This is what part of learning from the past means! The experience embittered her to the day she died, and she only talked to me about it. My own father grew up in Tokyo during the Second World War and dealt with its aftereffects. I celebrate this month by thinking of those who had come before us, like my great aunt and maternal grandfather, and their generation's sacrifices. While at the same time, trying to educate this current generation so that the mistakes of the past won’t be repeated and people like me who are Asian American and disabled aren’t feared or shunned by society because of the “Yellow Peril” phobia. Thank you for reading this." Friendship Walk Success! We are thrilled with what you helped us accomplish during the 2022 Friendship Walk season! It was incredible to celebrate inclusion in person for the first time since 2019. In California, we raised over $342,000 to support our programs. This money will go towards growing our friendship, jobs, and leadership programs all over the golden state! Thank you for joining us to #WalkForChange! Los Angeles Friendship Walk Raised over $125,000! San Francisco Friendship Walk Raised over $139,000! Sacramento Friendship Walk Raised over $35,000! San Diego Friendship Walk Raised over $43,000! Volunteer Spotlight Meet Meg, Chapter advisor from Westview High School in San Diego Meg has been involved with Best Buddies for 20 years! She is beloved by her students and won Advisor of the Year at the 2022 San Diego Friendship Walk! "Mrs. HB is the heart and soul of Best Buddies at Westview. Her smile and enthusiasm create special bonds between each and every single person within the club. Her passion never goes unnoticed, and we all owe her very much gratitude. She puts in all of her resources and extra time into this club and its members to make sure we make our dues, creates new events, and make amazing connections and friendships." – Westview High School Chapter Leader. Ambassador of the Month Meet Michelle Yoshimine Michelle was nominated to be the Best Buddies CA May 2022 Ambassador of the Month for her creativity and ability to think outside the box. To fundraise for the SF Friendship Walk, she raffled off a print she made to those who donated $100 or more! Get Involved with Best Buddies Do you want to learn more about Best Buddies and how to get involved? Join our June orientation! In just 30 minutes, you will learn about our mission, programs, and local volunteer opportunities. Plus, you'll get to meet other awesome individuals interested in making an impact! June Volunteer Orientation June 15th from 5:00pm-5:30pm SIGN UP NOW Should you have any questions, contact RichardNakai@bestbuddies.org. May Events Calendar VIEW EVENTS To receive the latest Best Buddies news and announcements, click here. Tags: California News 6 Share You also might be interested in Best Buddies in California Newsletter: February 2021 Feb 4, 2021 Celebrations are in order! Best Buddies in California Newsletter: November 2021 Nov 3, 2021 Thankful for YOU! Best Buddies in California Newsletter: January 2022 Jan 20, 2022 Let's make 2022 our BEST year yet!