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Mayor declares May 13 ‘Wear Jeans for Japan Day’

By Staff | May 3, 2011

WAILUKU — Mayor Alan Arakawa proclaimed Friday, May 13, as “Wear Jeans for Japan Day” in Maui County and challenges the community to join in this effort.

The island-wide fundraising event co-sponsored with Carden Academy will culminate at the 11th annual Maui Matsuri on Saturday, May 14, at the University of Hawaii-Maui College.

Arakawa was inspired after hearing about the “Jeans for Japan” fundraising effort by the 118 students of Carden Academy on March 25.

The students paid to wear their jeans to school and raised over $1,000 on just one day. 

“If Carden Academy can raise that much money in one day, think what the County of Maui can do,” said Arakawa. 

“I want to challenge our community, including businesses, nonprofit organizations and schools, to participate in the May 13 fundraiser to support the relief efforts in Japan.”

To participate, visit www.wearjeansforjapan.com and fill out the registration page for Maui.

Carden parent and international recording artist Mishka has offered to contribute to the cause by providing a free download of his song, “One Tree,” for event participants and is scheduled to perform at the Maui Matsuri. 

“Japan and my Japanese fans have shown me so much love and support over the years. It is a place that is very close to my heart,” said Mishka.

“I offer this song from my heart for Japan’s healing.” 

Donations raised from this fundraiser will go to support the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui’s Japan relief effort, “The Aloha Initiative.” 

This program raises funds to bring evacuees from the recent Japanese nuclear disaster to Maui and matches them with families who have volunteered to “open up their hearts and homes.” 

“The true aloha spirit is so evident on Maui. To date, over 130 families have stepped forward to serve as host families to people who have either lost their homes or were forced to evacuate,” said Keith Regan, the project’s co-founder. 

“Despite being thousands of miles away from the disaster, the people of Hawaii have been deeply affected by the tragedy that has occurred throughout Japan,” said Mayor Arakawa.

“We certainly appreciate the manner in which our community has shown concern for the people of Japan as well as action. We encourage everyone to join us in supporting the relief efforts of Japan through the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui, a 501(c)(3) organization serving the community for over 40 years.”

Businesses, groups and schools wanting to accept Arakawa’s challenge are asked to sign up by May 6.

The organization on Maui that generates the most donations per employee, student or member will be recognized by Mayor Arakawa at the Matsuri Festival.