The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix invites the public to a day-long Open House in suppor of Japan relief efforts and closes the day with a candle-light ceremony in remembrance of the earthquake and tsunami victims.
Waiving its customary admission fees for the day, the Garden invites the public to make donations to various relief agencies with computer assistance provided on site, or cash donations for victim relief efforts, which will be sent to the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles.
Garden visitors will have the opportunity to fold origami paper cranes, a Japanese symbol of hope, or leave a written note on the Garden’s Wish Trees, thereby sending their thoughts and prayers through the wind and across the globe. The Garden welcomes musicians to bring acoustic instruments for brief interludes of music throughout the day.
Starting at 6:00 pm, a Remembrance Service will be conducted honoring the victims through words and music. Banshiki, a ceremonial song to assist the soul on its journey, will be played by Bobby Avstreih on the Japanese Shakuhachi (bamboo flute).
A Toro Nagashi, or floating lantern, will be lit and set adrift while attendees begin a silent candle-light procession around the Garden’s one acre koi pond.
Saturday, March 26: 10:00 am Garden Open House – 6:00 pm Remembrance Ceremony
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, located in Margaret T. Hance Park, 1125 North 3rd Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003 (Third Avenue, ½ block north of W. Portland Street)
[Source: Cathryn Creno, Arizona Republic] — The City of Phoenix now has a Web page where people can search for ways to volunteers at city parks, social service programs, libraries, and more. The site was launched Monday in response from calls from citizens wanting to volunteer time to programs in the wake of the city budget crisis, said Deborah Dillon, the city’s education program director. The opportunities listed include a program to guide visitors at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, a graffiti cleanup program, the Phoenix Police reserves, and the volunteer gardeners at parks, including the Japanese Friendship Garden in downtown Phoenix. Training typically is provided to most city volunteers.
Dillon said the city is still in the process of trimming programs to balance an approximate $270 budget deficit and is not sure where the biggest needs are yet. And, “because we haven’t had a central place for volunteers to register their interest, I don’t know the answers to how many new volunteers have come forward,” she said. “Our first step was to put together a better website so it would be easier for them to find out volunteer opportunities.”