South Hills Country Club (Photo by Ken Matsui/Ken Matsui Images Photography)

The Rafu Shimpo Foundation has announced that its 2017 Charity Golf Classic will be held at the exclusive South Hills Country Club in West Covina on Monday, April 17, with funds raised to be donated to several community organizations.

The beneficiaries of the tournament include Budokan of Los Angeles, Nisei Week Japanese Festival, Nikkei Games, programs of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and more.

George Sugimoto, founder of KGS Electronics, continues his role as the tournament chairman for this year’s event. Akira Chiba, consul general of Japan in Los Angeles, is the honorary tournament chair.

“I am honored to continue my role as tournament chairman of the Rafu Shimpo Foundation Charity Golf Classic,” Sugimoto stated. “This event raises funds to help deserving community groups, which I fully support. The South Hills Country Club in West Covina is an excellent venue and I anticipate a strong turnout.”

The 18-hole golf course at South Hills Country Club was designed by respected golf course architects Bill Bell Sr. and Jr.

There are three flights: Men’s Handicap, Men’s Callaway, and Ladies’ Callaway. Men’s Handicap is medal play. The Callaway divisions follow a “shamble” format where these golfers may share the best drive from their group. Then, each golfer plays his or her own ball for the rest of hole.

After the golf competition, participants will be welcomed to a golfers’ reception with appetizers and drinks. The reception coincides with the silent auction featuring the opportunity to bid on golf, food and travel packages.

The event concludes with a buffet dinner, the awarding of the golf prizes, and the raffle drawing.

Tournament, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors will receive priority entry to the tournament and will be recognized with signage on the tees or greens. Sponsor recognition will also be included in The Rafu Shimpo’s special golf supplement.

For information on sponsorships or donations, email or leave a message at (213) 500-7217.

The 2017 Golf Committee is composed of George Sugimoto (chair); Leroy Kawai (co-chair), The Pacific Bridge Companies; Michael Komai (co-chair), The Rafu Shimpo; Jim Matsushita (co-chair), FIA Insurance Services; Jesse James, James Real Estate Management; Judd Matsunaga, Elder Law Services of California; Gilbert Nishimura, Seki Nishimura & Watase LLP; Tori Nishinaka Leon, 2014 Nisei Week Queen; Ryan Okita, Get Up 8 Foundation; Henry Ota, Attorney at Law; Carol Tanita, Rafu Bussan; and Bobby Umemoto, Nisei Athletic Union.

About the Recipients

Budokan of Los Angeles: Organized sports has played a vital role, providing the social glue binding many Japanese Americans together in a common experience. The Budokan will play an important role by adding sports to the historic, cultural and spiritual fabric of Little Tokyo. For information, go to

Japanese American Cultural and Community Center: JACCC is a hub for Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture, connecting traditional and contemporary, community participants and creative professionals, and Los Angeles to the world beyond. For information on programs, events and more, visit

Nisei Week Foundation: The Nisei Week Foundation runs the annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo, the longest-running ethnic festival in the United States, which was founded in 1934. This year’s 75th festival promotes Japanese and Japanese American heritage and traditions, while bringing together the diverse communities of Southern California through arts and cultural education. For information, contact the Nisei Week Foundation at or go to

Nikkei Games-Games for the Generations: The Nikkei Games encourages all ages within the Nikkei community to participate in the “Games.” With competition spread over several weeks, most of the events are held at the Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach. The games offer martial arts (judo, kendo and karate), basketball, baseball, bowling, coed softball, golf, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The Nikkei Games follows the tradition of friendly competition, dating back to 1928 and the original Junior Olympics and its successor in 1952, the Nisei Relays. The Orange County Coordinating Council sponsors the Nikkei Games. For information, go to

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