Virtual guests interact online during the Little Tokyo Service Center’s first-ever “Sake on the Couch” fundraiser on July 17.

Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) hosted its first-ever virtual Sake on the Couch fundraiser on July 17.

The event took place on a custom-built open world platform, where guests interacted with one another while exploring a virtual Little Tokyo (featuring iconic buildings and landmarks), Terasaki Budokan and a Japanese garden. 

Guests joined live interactive booths with sake tasting experts, hula dancers and a caricature artist. Video performances from talented artists and musicians provided a wide variety of original entertainment. LTSC client and community partner testimonial videos showed how LTSC helps the community.

The event attracted over 240 unique visitors and raised over $260,000 through generous sponsorships, donations, event registrations and silent auction bids.

“We are very grateful to our supporters, board members and staff for making this unique event a huge success! Their support enables us to continue our work in creating positive change within our community, while also promoting the equitable development of other communities of color within Los Angeles,” said Erich Nakano, executive director of LTSC.

LTSC honored Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León, Stop AAPI Hate (represented by Manjusha Kulkarni) and Kansha Fund (represented by Chris Inouye) — three individuals and organizations who have made great contributions to LTSC and the greater AAPI community.

Despite being a virtual event, “Sake on the Couch” managed to emulate many characteristics of its in-person predecessor, “Sake on the Rocks,” providing a fun night centered around community, giving, and delicious sake curated especially for the event by sake experts from Mutual Trading Company (MTC). Guests also enjoyed delectable bentos from Sake Dojo, which included dessert from Fugetsu-Do, both prominent businesses in the Little Tokyo community.

A YouTube playlist of content from the event, including a recorded livestream, are available to watch. Visit www.LTSC.org/Sake to find the YouTube link along with opportunities to support LTSC with a gift.

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