By Dr. Craig D. Reid
On a day that the press is lambasting one of Hollywoods biggest film stars of all time for cheating on his wife earning him the new nickname “The Sperminator,” it’s refreshing to know that a returning Hollywood/Japanese star is doing something not for personal gain, glory or money but for the sake of righteously helping others….it is Shin Koyamada who can rightfully tell a nation under duress, “Kaette kimasu”…”I’ll be back!”
Thus, in response to the physical, spirit and land devastating Earthquake and the subsequent home and life destroying Tsunami that struck the Tohoku region of Japan on March 11, 2011, Koyamada’s SKF (The Shin Koyamada Foundation) non-profit organization has established the Japan Emergency Relief Fund of America (JERFA) to bring hope and help to the victims.
As part of their ongoing efforts to bring relief to the areas hit hard by these natural disasters, JERFA has partnered with Preco and EM & Co to present the JERFA Fashion Show.
Hollywood actors, fashion designers and models will unite Friday, May 20, 2011, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at EM & Co (7940 W. 3rd St, LA, CA 90048) to raise funds so JERFA can continue to ship 20 foot containers of emergency medical supplies, daily non-food living items (diapers, shoes, school supplies, etc.) and toys for children to get them through these difficult times.
“Regardless of where we live, we’re all at the mercy of mother nature, but we can choose to work with her as our spirits can unite for the benefit of good and brotherhood,” Koyamada positively shares.
“I was moved when the world press reported that there were no reports of looting in the areas affected by the quake and tsunami. Also, in these times of economic strife, California having the highest unemployment rate in the United States, I am inspired and impressed as to how much the American people have stepped forward to help. How can I not be proud to be a Japanese man living in the United States?”
The Fashion Show will also feature Japanese guests dressed in kimono and Japanese traditional outfits, five authentically garbed Shaolin kung fu monks, and Japanese children modeling t-shirts created by the kids to help Japan.
Thus far, confirmed celebrities coming out to support the event include Olympic Boxing Champion Wayne “Pocket Rocket” McCullough, Am Radio’s lead singer Kevin Ridel, White Power Ranger Jessica Rey, TV stars Brendan Robinson from Pretty Little Liars and Isabella Cascarano (Flash Forward; Our Vows; Memorias de un soldado; 30,000 League Under the Sea), Cole and Dylan Sprouse from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody; the martial arts coordinator for Nickelodeon’s Avatar series Kisu, model/guitarist Frankie Clarke, Frankie B. creator/designer Daniella Clarke, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke.
Apart from accepting donations through the SKF website (www.koyamada.org), five local schools in the Los Angeles area have begun collecting donations for JERFA, with currently 32 more schools nationwide from Oregon to Florida, offering to help with the fund raising efforts.
Determined that 100% of all donations will be delivered to the quake/tsunami victims, SKF is in direct contact with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Government of Japan, in which SKF has their assurances that all non-monetary donations and collected monetary funds will be equally distributed among the disaster areas
At the end of May, SKF/JERFA will ship their first 20-foot container to Japan that will deliver much needed diapers, 950 quilts, stationary goods, clothing, letters and messages, and bicycles, which at the moment are the most useful mode of transportation throughout the land torn areas.
Apart from being a 6-time national martial arts champion, Koyamada became an international sensation and a new Hollywood rising celebrity after co-starring with Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. His star power was further cemented with his starring role in the Disney Channel original movie Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, one of the Disney Channel’s top rated original movies ever.
Through philanthropic work with the youth empowerment Kickstart program of the Boys and Girls Club of America in 2004, Koyamada met Chuck Norris and former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, in which they used the program to impact children in their other charity programs.
Inspired by Norris and President Bush, Koyamada became further committed to helping others, which led him in 2008 to co-find the Shin Koyamada Foundation (SKF). In 2010, Koyamada was named the International Goodwill Ambassador of the Okayama Prefectural Government in Japan and continues to help other charitable events of other
US nonprofit charitable events including the 2010 Japan-America Societies of Houston and Washington DC where he worked alongside US Ambassadors John R. Malott and Rust Deming, as well as with Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki.
Founded by Shin Koyamada and Nia Lyte in March 2008, the SKF is a United States nonprofit organization that offers youth scholarships to foster the importance of respect, honor, courtesy, value and manners through martial arts and active participation in global environmental issues.
The current SKF president is the honorable Shoichi Nakagiri. The SKF also raises money to provide education for underprivileged individuals and families as well as to implement international cultural exchange projects. The SKF is all geared toward empowering youth to achieve their goals and dreams and promote an Earth-friendly lifestyle.
For more information please visit www.koyamada.org.