Gerald Yoshitomi

The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center will present its Virtual Annual Gala on Saturday, June 12, at 6 p.m.

Everyone is invited to view the program on JACCC’s YouTube channel or GiveSmart page.

This year’s theme, selected by JACCC’s Master Artist in Residence Hirokazu Kosaka, is “Shoshin (Beginner’s Mind)” and will celebrate the founding of JACCC in 1971. Today, JACCC is one of the largest ethnic centers in the U.S. and is a gathering place where arts, culture, and community come alive and flourish for future generations.

The Virtual Gala will highlight the recipients of the 2021 Chairman’s Award, JACCC’s highest award, Gerald D. (Jerry) Yoshitomi and HOSHIZAKI, a leading manufacturer of commercial equipment for food and beverage services.

The Chairman’s Award recognizes and honors individuals and organizations that serve as exemplary role modes through their philanthropic, social and cultural activities befitting the community-at-large.

Margaret Abo

Yoshitomi served as JACCC’s first executive director from 1981 to 1998. Under his leadership, JACCC presented numerous performing and visual arts by Japanese artists that included traditional and contemporary practices. In 1988, The Los Angeles Times selected Yoshitomi as one of the “88 in 88” young leaders making a difference in enriching cultural life in Los Angeles.

HOSHIZAKI, founded in Nagoya in 1947, provides equipment that relates to food and beverage service, such as ice machines, commercial refrigeration, beverage dispensers, and dishwashers. Starting in 2017, HOSHIZAKI has contributed to the JACCC mission by donating equipment to the Toshizo Watanabe Culinary Cultural Center, Aratani Theatre, and JACCC building.

Carrie Furuya Morita

The event will also acknowledge the recipients of the 2021 Community Spirit Award. The CSA was created to shine a spotlight on the unsung heroes who have made a significant impact in the community through arts, activism, social services, or business. This year’s recipients are Margaret Abo (posthumously), Carrie Furuya Morita, and Don Tahara.

Featured as part of the virtual celebration and programming, the online event includes an exciting Silent Auction. Everyone is invited to register and participate.

Don Tahara

Free registration for the virtual Silent Auction is available at

“JACCC’s Virtual Annual Gala promises to be an unforgettable event where we applaud our distinguished honorees and celebrate the arts, culture, and community,” said Virtual Annual Gala Committee Chair David Yamahata. “We look forward to celebrating with you virtually on June 12.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *