2022 Midwest District Council Fall Meeting

The St. Louis Chapter of the JACL was host for the 2022 Midwest District Council (MDC) Fall Meeting from October 7-8. St. Louis was honored to have two excellent speakers: Michelle Li, St. Louis NBC affiliate, KSDK, Morning Anchor and founder of Very Asian Foundation, and Sela Masaki, Ladue Watkins High School student. Eleven out-of-towners attended our conference and the Hamamura’s made beautiful sushi for our reception. JACL chapters in the MDC include: Chicago, Cincinnati, Dayton, Detroit, Hoosier, Houston, Omaha, St. Louis, Twin Cities, Wisconsin

During the Friday Reception, MDC 2nd Vice Governor and St. Louis Chapter Vice President – Finance, Steven Mitori, was awarded the JACL Sapphire Pin from MDC Governor Eric Langowski for over 10 years of service to JACL at national, district, and chapter levels of the organization.

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St. Louis JACL Mourns the Passing of Asako Morioka

Long time St. Louis JACL member Asako Morioka passed away on October 2, 2022 at age 99 at her home in Prospect, KY. Ms. Morioka was a former JACL Board Member, teacher of Ikebana, and contributor to the Nisei Kitchen cookbook. Please send memorial gifts in honor of Asako to Hosparus, 6200 Dutchmans Ln, Louisville, KY 40205.

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2022 Japanese Festival – Missouri Botanical Garden, Labor Day Weekend

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Join the St. Louis Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in participating at the 2022 Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, during September 3-5, 2022. Please visit the JACL Soda Tent near the Cohen Ampitheater and say hello! The St. Louis JACL is a registered sponsor of the Japanese Festival.


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Speaking Nikkei Podcast – JACL YPC

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Young Professionals Caucus (YPC) is posting stories about people doing important work at their jobs and communities on the “Speaking Nikkei” podcast platform. Please join to find out more about these young leaders!


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2022 JACL MDC Fall Meeting, October 7-8

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St. Louis JACL is excited to host delegates from JACL chapters in the Midwest to the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac, 1335 S. Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63131 on October 7-9, 2022 for the Midwest District Council (MDC) Fall Meeting. On October 7 a private reception will be held for MDC attendees. On October 8 the MDC Fall Meeting will be held in the Dauphin Meeting Room from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. On October 9 there will be transportation from St. Louis JACL members to help attendees travel to sightseeing destinations (St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum, Gateway Arch) in St. Louis. Registration is $25 and is due by September 23, 2022. Contact Bum Kim at gbummer@gmail.com or Steve Mitori at stlsamurai@gmail.com for more details.

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2nd Annual Night Market – July 23 at Steinberg

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There will be a Night Market on July 23, 2022 from 6:00pm – 11:00pm at Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park. St. Louis JACL will have an educational booth and will be selling Nisei Kitchen cookbooks. Please stop by our booth and say hi!

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Annual JACL Fourth of July Picnic at Vlasis Park

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The Annual JACL Fourth of July Picnic will be held at Vlasis Park, 300 Park Dr., Ballwin, Missouri 63011 in Pavilion #1 (closest to the rest rooms) at noon on July 4, 2022. The picnic is Pot Luck and cold drinks will be provided until they run out. The scheduled events will be raffle and trivia and some Chapter announcements. JACL members and friends of JACL are invited.

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St. Louis JACL Congratulates 2022 Scholarship Winners!

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Alexander Stamper

Alexander Stamper is a graduate of Lutheran High School of St. Charles County. He participated on the school’s robotics team, where he competed at the Worlds competition and provided computer-aided design and programming. Alexander help modify ride-on toy cars for children with mobility needs. Alexander also has participated in an egg hunt for blind children through the city of St. Charles. For JACL, Alexander has worked at the JACL soda booth at the Japanese Festival and his family is a member of the St. Louis Chapter. Alexander’s essay focused on the inclusion and civil rights of LGBT people. He plans to continue seeking leadership opportunities in school and in the community. This fall, Alexander plans to attend Missouri University of Science and Technology and study computer science.

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Maya Kim

Maya Kim is a graduate of Kirkwood High School. Besides carrying a full course load of advanced classes, Maya was active in National Honor Society and Quill and Scroll, A Plus Program, MiPA-JEA Honor Roll, the Mental Health Awareness Committee and the Kirkwood Call student newspaper, where she held positions in social media, web editing and as an editorial board member. Outside of school, Maya worked as a cashier, barista, food maker and babysitter. Maya also has done service work for multiple organization and she has worked at the JACL soda booth at the Japanese Festival and her family is a member of the St. Louis Chapter. Maya’s essay was about racism and civil rights, and she cited George Floyd’s death, COVID-19 and anti-Asian hate crimes as pivotal events that help find her voice in human and civil rights. Maya wants to be an advocate for a better justice system that is not prejudiced due to race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Maya plans to attend Ball State University in the fall and will study journalism and criminology.

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St. Louis JACL Mourns the Passing of Kimberly Buckland Stefanoni

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A memorial service for Kimberly Buckland Stefanoni, daughter of Bruce Buckland, long-time St. Louis JACL member and former Honorary Consul General of Japan, will be conducted in the sanctuary of Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, 9450 Clayton Road in Ladue, Missouri on Friday, June 10, 2022 at 2:00 pm. A reception with the family will follow the service. Ms. Stefanoni passed away December 5, 2021 in Maple Grove, Minnesota at age 49.

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Rosebush Blooms at Camp Amache (Colorado) 80 Years After Incarceration

NPR article highlights a newly blooming rosebush at Grenada (Colorado) Relocation Center also known as “Amache” where 10,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. Dr. Bonnie Clark of Denver University, who spoke at the Missouri Botanical Garden in 2019, is interviewed in the article.


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