City agrees to match dollars with Onagawa fundraising effort
By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
The City will be matching dollar for dollar the money raised in the community for the relief effort that is taking place in the city’s unofficial sister city of Onagawa, Japan.
Mayor John Dooley introduced the surprise motion to help the city — that was heavily damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami — Monday night prior to the adoption of the agenda for the committee of the whole meeting in council chambers.
Since early last week there have been a group of volunteers showing up at City Hall to make paper origami cranes as a show of solidarity with the folks in the ravaged Japanese city of Onagawa, said Mayor Dooley.
The Nelson group has made about 1,200 paper cranes to date. They hope to sell those to raise funds to send to Onagawa.
As well, East Shore musician Jude Davison contacted City Hall and has pledged the funds from his April 1 show at the Capitol Theatre to the relief effort in Onagawa.
In support of the efforts being made by citizens in Nelson, Mayor Dooley said the City will match any funds raised, dollar for dollar, by the Origami Project and other projects up to $10,000 in total.
“That will be a very strong sign of solidarity for them,” he said. ” But I don’t know at this time how they will spend it.”
A fighter pilot raised in Nelson was shot down in the Bay of Onagawa during the battle for Japan during the Second World War.
His bravery was commemorated with a statue in the Japanese city, and an informal relationship with the Heritage city was born — one that has seen several groups of students and visitors coming to the Kootenay region over the years.
People can also make a donation at City Hall to the relief effort coming out of Nelson, as well as the Nelson and District Credit Union.