Outdoor services at St. Francis Xavier Chapel Japanese Catholic Center in Little Tokyo.

St. Francis Xavier Chapel Japanese Catholic Center/Maryknoll, in partnership with Little Tokyo merchants, will present Spirit of Aloha, an online concert, on Sunday, April 18, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Aloha Band features Brian Yamamoto, Kenny Arima, Geoff Yamamoto, Lindsay Miyamoto, Patrick Yoshinaga and Dave Honjio.

The concert is free, but donations are welcome. Go to: https://www.youtube.com/StFrancisXavierChapelJapaneseCatholicCenter

As a special bonus, Ross Yamamoto (www.hamakuamusicalinstruments.com), who builds hand-crafted, high-quality ukuleles, has offered a Hamakua tenor ukulele and a soft-sided gig bag to be auctioned off during the event. To get this great sound, great tone and great resonance, you’d expect to pay over $1,200, but you will have an opportunity to start bidding from $600.

For this fundraiser, SFXCJCC/Maryknoll has partnered with such Little Tokyo merchants as Sake Dojo/Far Bar (Don Tahara) and Fugetsu Do (Brian Kito) as well as the Manzanar Fishing Club (Cory Shiozaki), plus many volunteers from the Japanese American community who are not directly associated with the church but have graciously shared their skills and talents. (Unfortunately, bento sales for the event are now closed.)

Local businesses, entertainment industry specialists and talented musicians have joined forces to support SFXCJCC/Maryknoll, a long-time Little Tokyo icon and the nation’s last remaining Japanese Catholic center, whose history goes back more than a century. Located at 222 S. Hewitt St., Maryknoll continues to serve the community in a variety of ways; parish ministries and groups include Auxiliary, Maryknoll Ladies Guild, Xavier Kai, Thursday Group, Boy Scouts, Maryknoll Karate Club, Maryknoll of Los Angeles Federal Credit Union, and Young Adult Group.

“After a COVID year off, we invite you to join in a very special event, the Spirit of Aloha,” said Geoffrey Yamamoto, Parish Pastoral Council president and Big Kahuna. “Due to COVID this event will not be dakine … We will also be presenting a virtual, Hawaiian-style concert featuring the Maryknoll Aloha house band. No kidding, braddahs and sistahs, it will be a great time! This has become one of our major annual fundraisers, and we are hoping this pandemic format will defray some of our expenses.

“The closure of all except one of our weekly services has drastically diminished our usual contributions. Due to COVID restrictions, we currently have one sparsely attended outdoor Mass on Sundays that can be attended in person or watched via live-stream. Despite many generous donations, we continue to pay for operational expenses, creating a significant deficit. We need help!

“So, let’s all show that Maryknoll/SFXCJCC/SJ spirit! JOIN IN DA FUN!! … Enjoy some really great music and, possibly, some guest performers on YouTube! … Your monetary support is always welcomed with gratitude and joy. Thank you so much!”

For more information, call (213) 626-2279 or visit https://sfxcjcc.org/.

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