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May 12th (Sat) O.A. NEWS DIGEST

Toyota Fest

On May 5th, Toyota fans brought in their customized cars with pride to the annual “Toyota Fest” in Long Beach. There over 400 customized Toyota-family cars were assembled. From the luxury car Lexus to the Scion popular to young adults, people showed off their beloved cars while visitors curiously gazed. This is the 17th year of the event and a lot of attention was on the Scion FR-S. This new Scion FR-S is a new model of the AE86 that was overwhelmingly popular in the 80s’. This original AE86 still has many fans. The director of Cusco auto parts talked of its charm. Lots of Toyota cars were lined up all the way to the parking lot. The day really showed how much Toyota was loved in America.

The Japanese American National Museum’s Silent Auction and Gala Dinner

May 5th, The Japanese American National Museum’s silent auction and celebration was held at a hotel in Downtown LA. Every year the museum's fundraising gathers over $1 million dollars. Also this year nearly 1200 people participated. One this day, the first Asian bureaucrat Former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta received a medal of honor from the museum. He experienced the internment at age 10 and after WWII, greatly contributed to the reparation and improvement of status of Japanese Americans. With Japanese American pride, Mineta made many achievements. He passionately spoke of how important it is to maintain the relationship between Japan and the US, and his own life.

Asia America Symphony’s golf and tennis tournament

On April 30th, Asia America Symphony’s fundraising event, a golf and tennis tournament, was held at Rolling Hills Country Club. There the Asia America Symphony’s youth members performed a jazz piece. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Asia America Symphony, which was started as the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra of Los Angeles. Later, with the rise in LA’s Asian population, its name was changed to the current Asia America Symphony. They make a new sound using elements of Eastern and Western music and continue to perform in Southern California. The youth department, musician 18 and under of all different cultures, races, and backgrounds, practices many genres of music, from classic, jazz, movie scores, and originals. Since last year, this group’s concerts have raised $50,000 for musical instruments. It was sent to a school in Ofunato city in Iwate prefecture, which had been devastated by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

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