As restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic recede, the DMI Foundation is hosting a summer concert featuring local musical favorites Elemental Funk in a fundraising event on Saturday, July 10, at Tanaka Farms in Irvine.
Dedicated to the fight against pediatric cancer through a variety of research programs throughout the Southland, the DMI Foundation was established in 2010 in memory of Dale Makoto Inouye (DMI) of Torrance, who passed away from leukemia in 2008 at the tender age of nine years old.
A budding athlete, Dale’s dying wish was not to be forgotten, and his coaches and family set up the DMI Foundation to raise funds to carry on effort to defeat pediatric cancer. Through the years, the foundation has hosted a youth basketball tournament and a luau to celebrate the life of Dale as the centerpiece of its fundraising for its mission causes. Sadly, the strict pandemic protocols followed in California caused the cancellation of all of the foundation’s plans through 2020-2021.
Elemental Funk volunteered to fill the void. A big favorite coming out of the Southern California JA community for years now, the band’s old-school funk and R&B is familiar all around the circuit, and lead singer Brian Yamamoto is one of the top talents with an instantly recognizable voice and style. Adding a distinctive punch is the exciting horn section.
And there is even a personal connection at play — Dale’s father, Wade Inouye, is one of the lead vocalists and plays trumpet as well.
The live concert will be presented on the hilltop at Tanaka Farms, located at 5380 ¾ University Drive in Irvine. Tickets for the event are $65 per person, which includes a boxed dinner. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and the music will be performed from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Information and ticket sales can be found on the DMI website: dmifoundation.org. COVID-19 protocols will be followed.
The concert will also be live-streamed on YouTube, where online donations will also be accepted. Go to https://youtube.com/bsyama to access the livestream, which is scheduled to run from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The livestream will be directed by filmmaker Cory Shiozaki and crew, whose recent works include the award-winning documentary film “Manzanar Fishing Club,” NBC’s “Undateable” and livestream events for the Go For Broke unveiling of the U.S. postage stamp featuring the Nisei veterans at the Japanese American National Museum and the Spirit of Aloha concert for Maryknoll Church.
Farmer Glenn Tanaka has generously donated his venue as the site of the DMI Summer Concert. His farm, which has been in his family for four generations since 1940, produces over 60 different fruits and vegetables throughout the year, as well as providing agritourism and support for cultural events for the community. His organic corn on the cob (donated, of course) is a perrennial favorite at Southern California ondos and matsuris. For more on Tanaka Farms’ many charitable endeavors, see tanakafarms.com.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DMI Foundation had to postpone its 2020 and 2021 youth basketball tournaments, as well as the 2020 and 2021 luaus,” said DMI President Randy Kiehm. “The foundation is grateful for the members of Elemental Funk to step up to provide a fundraising event to keep the momentum going, with the support of Tanaka Farms, Cory’s crew and all the DMI volunteers. As always, the success of all DMI events depends on the generosity of supporters. We hope to see you at the summer concert and future events. Thank you for your continued support throughout the years.”
Ticket information and info on future events can be found at: dmifoundation.org