SAN FRANCISCO — Nihonmachi Little Friends will hold the first annual “Big Steps for Little Friends,” a 5K run and walkathon, on Sunday, Oct. 13, at Golden Gate Park’s Polo Field (Middle Drive West at Metson Road).

Come out and support NLF’s Plant a Seed Campaign while enjoying a run/walk with friends, family and neighbors. Participants can sign up as either runners or walkers. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the run begins at 9:30 a.m. sharp.

Walkers are encouraged to register after 9:15 a.m. The walkathon begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by barbecue lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and an awards ceremony at 1:15 p.m.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, along with sunglasses and a hat or other sun protection. This being San Francisco, you can never tell what kind of weather you will get on an individual day, so you may want to bring rain gear too.

There is limited parking available in the Polo Field parking lots. Additional street parking is available throughout the park from 25th Avenue down to Ocean Beach.

Registration fees: $10 for individual child walkers and runners (under 12 years old), $20 for individual walkers and runners and team walkers and runners. Fee includes hachimaki (headband), goodie bag, and a chance to win an iPad Mini and other prizes.

Don’t forget to ask everyone you meet to support you in your walkathon. Ask them for $10 or $20 — small amounts can make a difference. Ask not only your co-workers, family and friends, but your hairdresser or barber, your mail carrier, your kids’ teachers, your clients, your baker, your favorite store owners and others you interact with regularly.

For more information, visit

Founded with the belief that a bilingual, multicultural preschool was important for children and to the future of San Francisco’s Japantown community, NLF is planting a seed to ensure the future stability and vitality of its preschool programs.

In 2002, NLF was asked to become the owner and steward of the 1830 Sutter St. building, formerly the Japanese YWCA. This new responsibility brought greater stability and potential to NLF and has complemented its educational and community serving activities. Through the Plant a Seed Campaign, NLF is creating a new preschool building addition on the lot adjoining its historic Julia Morgan-designed building, on the site where the Issei women had originally hoped to build their center. NLF is proud to follow in their footsteps by creating this new building to serve the community.

This new preschool building will secure a permanent and vibrant early childhood education facility in the heart of Japantown, strengthening ties between this historic neighborhood and the thriving community of NLF families. It will enable NLF to increase its preschool capacity to 92 children and expand its services to meet the growing demand for its preschool programs.

Spacious new classrooms will feature natural light and an open-space configuration to provide maximum flexibility of use. A rooftop playground and garden will provide space for outdoor play and learning activities. A gracious entryway and elevator in the new building will provide universal access to all levels of both the new preschool addition and the historic 1830 Sutter building. The design of the new building will allow NLF to increase enrollment and improve its preschool facilities while respectfully acknowledging and preserving the original 1830 Sutter building.

For more information on NLF, visit

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