Supporting the community service goals of the JWSF has required a remarkable commitment of members’ time and energy. The organizations’ earliest fund raisers were a series of bazaars held between 1956 and 1968. Committee members solicited merchandise from markets and shops, while produce from the neighbor islands were donated by supporters. Materials were collected many months prior to the bazaar, and members spent countless hours making zabutons, embroidery, crocheted articles, aprons, pot holders, children’s wear and aloha attire. It was not unusual to work through the night before the event making sushi and other Japanese dishes to accompany the pies, cakes and cookies presented for sale.
During the years 1962 to 1975 a series of Japanese films, many of them historical epics, were shown as benefit fund raisers. These fund raisers usually involved advance ticket sales, and culminated in movie nights complete with kickoff cocktail parties. Particularly relevant to the goals of the organization was the 1973 showing of “The Ecstatic One”, a film dealing with care for the aged based on the novel by well-known author Sawako Ariyoshi.
Other activities that both raised funds and helped to publicize the care home project were innovative muumuu and poi luncheons, sales of books, both rare and new, and participation in contests sponsored by a local Japanese-language television station.
In 1976, a new tradition for fund-raising was launched with the first annual fashion show, “Many Faces of Summer”, featuring Carol and Mary fashions. Since then members have worked tirelessly to produce a new and memorable show each year. Designs featured have included those of Liberty House, St. John, Escada, Takeo, Jeffrey Barr, Ann Namba, Montsuki, Amos Kotomori, Ellen Hamada of Fashion Center, Jayne Miho of Style Center. The work of renowned Japanese designers such as Masao Mizuno, Jun Ashida and Hanae Mori also have been showcased. Often attracting over one thousand guests, the annual JWSF Fashion Show continues to be one of the major spring fund-raising traditions in the community.
The JWSF is grateful for the unstinting support its fund-raising efforts have received over the years from numerous individuals, community organizations and businesses in Hawaii, Japan, and the mainland.