Tuesday, March 22, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 12 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“The municipality provides the rate payers an excellent cleanup program”
- Myron Thompson  
- Director of   
Operational Services   
 
Several community groups and businesses have taken it upon themselves to raise money for disaster relief work in Japan, following the earthquake and tsunami which devastated the island nation on March 11th.
Phil Cann, director of the Nippon Institute of Technology Intercultural Campus in Blairmore, distributed donation cans to several businesses throughout town last week.
NIT students were concerned for their families and friends after hearing about the tsunami wiping out many coastal cities in Japan, but were relieved to learn that they’re loved ones were safe.
However, the extensive destruction has affected thousands of Japanese citizens, prompting the school to take on fundraising efforts of its own.
“Southern Alberta has been extremely fortunate to have developed many mutually beneficial relationships with communities and organizations in Japan, exemplifying that we are truly one global community,” Cann wrote in the letter which was distributed with the donation cans.
Donations will be collected over the next few weeks before being sent to relief organizations working in affected areas of Japan.
The Coleman Lions club has also made a donation of its own, giving $1,000 to the Lions Club International Foundation to be used for relief work near the epicentre.
The city of Sendai, one of the worst affected by the disaster, has 31 Lions Clubs alone, and there are more than 107,000 clubs throughout the entire country.
The Lions Club International Foundation has pledged more than US$5 million to relief efforts, which will be carried out by Lions members working in affected areas.
 
“We lost a lot of members over there,” said Coleman Lions Club Secretary Cliff Reiling. “Our community has such a close tie to people in Japan and it’s important to help out.”
Reiling and his wife, Wendy, participated in the municipality’s AnPass cultural exchange program in 2005, travelling to town of Anpachi, located in the Gifu Prefecture of central Japan, with local high school students and Japanese exchange students.
While there, the Reilings stayed with a couple named Yoshika and Izumi and their family, and became fast friends.
That July, the couple travelled to Canada to stay with the Reilings, and have done so three times since.
Reiling said when he heard about the destruction in Japan, he was immediately worried for his friends.
Fortunately, he said, he was able to get in touch with them last Tuesday, March 15th, and was informed they were all okay, although Izumi said she did experience an aftershock while on the phone.
Reiling also called to check on other families who had been involved with the exchange in the past.
“We talked to them, and they’re all okay,” he said.
Donations will continue to be collected by the Lions Club International Foundation from now until the end of June, and NIT will be collecting donations throughout the Crowsnest Pass for the next few weeks.
To donate to the disaster relief fund, visit one of the numerous local businesses with donation cans or go to www.redcross.ca and click “Donate Now”, or text REDCROSS to 30333 from your mobile phone, and a $10 donation will be applied to your phone bill.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 12 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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