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News Release

Media Contact:
Nicole Brown, Communications Manager
Lions Clubs International Foundation
Nicole.Brown@lionsclubs.org

Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth
Donates US$100,000 for Japan Relief

US$100,000 donation to Lions Clubs International Foundation
will aid city of Sendai

June 6, 2011, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, USA — The Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth (JASDFW) has donated US$100,000 to Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to assist ongoing disaster relief efforts in Sendai, Japan.

Immediately following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, JASDFW and its 470 members initiated grassroots fundraising efforts and began accepting donations for Sendai, Dallas’s International Friendship City and the largest city hit by the disaster.  The US$100,000 donation to LCIF will help support Sendai Lions clubs’ immediate, medium- and long-term relief projects.

Sendai has a population of approximately 1 million people and is the capital of Miyagi prefecture, which sits along Japan’s northeastern coast. The 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami killed 673 people and destroyed 6,900 homes in Sendai alone.  Rice fields, industrial facilities, utility plants, and transportation infrastructure suffered extensive damage.  Sendai officials estimate the cost at US$7.9 billion.

JASDFW Board President David Schnetzer says, “The Dallas/Fort Worth community has enjoyed a long friendship with the people of Sendai, and we are committed to supporting them through the recovery. This $100,000 check represents more than 500 gifts from individuals and community organizations and is truly a grassroots effort. Our Board of Directors chose LCIF as the recipient because of the solid work of Lions clubs worldwide, their efficient use of funds, and their ability to respond quickly to needs at the local level.” 

LCIF is the foundation of Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest voluntary service club organization, with 1.35 million members in 206 countries. LCIF provides grants to Lions clubs to assist in humanitarian service projects, including disaster relief. There are more than 100,000 Lions club members across Japan, including 1400 Lions members in Sendai.

To date, LCIF and Lions clubs worldwide have mobilized more than US$12 million to help communities affected by the March 11 disaster. Of these funds, LCIF has already distributed more than US$5 million in grants for immediate needs of families that have been displaced by the tsunami. This includes providing 100 relief tents to shelter aid workers who have delivered 30 tons of food and other goods, creation of a special victim’s assistance fund and establishing Lions’ command and operation centers.

Like all donations to LCIF, 100 percent of JASDFW’s donation will be used to meet humanitarian needs. The donation to LCIF is the first of several donations resulting from JASDFW’s Japan earthquake and tsunami fundraising efforts and just one of many efforts to build stronger ties to Japan.

JASDFW is a member of the National Association of Japan-America Societies, a network of 37 local organizations promoting U.S.-Japan relations throughout the U.S. Cumulatively to date, Japan-America Societies have raised more than US$16 million for relief efforts in Japan.

“Friends must help each other, especially during times of great need. Lions clubs around the globe share the sentiment of Dallas and Sendai in encouraging friendship and a giving a helping hand to the people of Sendai. This is an area that will have great needs for a long time to come. We are happy to join with JASDFW in this effort to help even more people in Sendai and we thank JASDFW for their dedication,” said Eberhard J. Wirfs, Chairperson, LCIF.

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About Lions Clubs International Foundation
Lions Clubs International Foundation is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world with 1.35 million members in 206 geographic areas and countries. Over the last 10 years, LCIF has provided US$50 million for disaster relief worldwide. LCIF has been named the #1 NGO according to a Financial Times study. Learn more about LCIF online at www.lcif.org.

About Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth
For more than 40 years, JASDFW’s mission has been to contribute to mutual understanding between the United States and Japan by educating the Dallas/Fort Worth community about Japan and the U.S.-Japan relationship, provide opportunities for friendship and meaningful interaction between Japanese and Americans, as well as facilitating dialogue between Japanese and American businesses and professionals. The Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth is a member of the National Association of Japan-America Societies, headquartered in Washington, D.C., which links more than 37 local Japan-America societies. NAJAS is the only national non-profit network in the United States dedicated to public education about Japan.

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