Community & Clubs: Service clubs respond to earthquake in Japan

March 15, 2011|By Jim DeBoom
  • Harbor Mesa Lions Club President Jennifer Kelder, left, holds the Certificate of Achievement for the club's school box project. It was presented by Lions International President Eberhart Wirfs and his wife, Margit, and Lions District 4L4 Governor Norm MacKenzie, while Harbor Mesa Public Relations Chairwoman Carol Van Holt looks on.
Harbor Mesa Lions Club President Jennifer Kelder, left,… (Courtesy Jim DeBoom )

Following last week's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Eberhard J. Wirfs, chairman of the Lions Club International Foundation, e-mailed this statement to club members:

"Lions, we respond immediately, alongside our fellow Lions of Japan. Within hours of the disaster, Lions Clubs International Foundation committed over $1.25 million [or ¥101.07 million] … for immediate relief for Japan. This includes a major catastrophe grant, six emergency grants and designated donations from Lions worldwide. We also established a designated fund for Lions to directly support this disaster."

Donations can be made to the Lions Relief fund at

Other service clubs are reaching out to Japan, too.

Rotarians are being encouraged to contribute funds to the Rotary Foundation Rotary Japan and Pacific islands 2011 Disaster Recovery Fund, according to Roger McGonegal, past district 5320 governor and Newport Beach resident. Rotarians in affected areas will identify and determine how best to help these communities recover after initial disaster relief efforts are completed.


The contributed funds will not be used for immediate disaster relief but for recovery efforts. Contributions to the fund will be made available to clubs and districts in the affected areas for participation in Rotary Foundation Matching Grants and Global Grants. As with all matching grants and global grant projects, Rotary Japan and Pacific Islands 2011 Disaster Recovery Fund grants will require Rotary clubs or districts in at least two countries (a partner outside of the project country and a partner within the project country) to work together to plan, implement, and complete the project. The projects must involve active personal Rotarian participation. To make a donation to the Rotary Relief efforts, visit

Soroptimist International, which expressed its heartfelt concern for those affected by the disaster that struck Japan, has set up the "Japan Disaster Relief" Fund. Contributions earmarked "Japan Disaster Relief" may be sent to Soroptimist International of the Americas, 1709 Spruce St., Philadelphia, P.A. 19103.


Arbor Day activities

On Saturday, at least 30 members of Rotary Clubs of Newport-Balboa and Costa Mesa titivated (spruced up) more than 2,300 eleocarpus decipiens, more commonly called Japanese blueberry, seedlings in preparation for presenting them to all the public and private schools in Newport-Mesa at a small ceremony this week.

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