Pictured at the Rafu Shimpo Foundation’s 2019 Charity Golf Classic are Mickey Komai, Chris Komai, Naru Murai and Naoto Murai. (Terasaki Budokan)

The Rafu Shimpo Foundation announced that its 2023 Charity Golf Classic will be held at the South Hills Country Club in West Covina on Monday, March 27.

Funds raised by the tournament will be donated to community organizations, including but not limited to the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, Nikkei Games: Games for the Generations, the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute Senior Bento program, Kizuna and Little Tokyo Senior Nutrition Services.

Because of the COVID pandemic, the tournament was not played in 2020 and 2021. The Charity Golf Classic returned in August 2022 and funds raised supported Get Up 8, My Wish List Foundation, Lumbini Child Development Center at Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, the Rising Stars Youth Leadership program, the Nisei Athletic Union, Nikkei Games and Nisei Week.

George Sugimoto, founder of KGS Electronics, continues his role as the tournament chairman for this year’s event. He and his family are the tournament sponsors. Other major donors include Elder Law Services, James Real Estate Management, the Tetsu Tanimoto family and the Komai family.

The 18-hole golf course at South Hills Country Club was designed by the respected golf course architects Bill Bell Sr. and Jr. The Charity Golf Classic utilizes a scramble format with a shotgun start set for 11 a.m.

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 special golf supplement.

For information on sponsorships or donations, contact the Rafu Shimpo via email at rafugolf@earthlink.net, or leave a message at (213) 500-7217.


The Nisei Week Foundation runs the annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo, the longest-running ethnic festival in the U.S., which was founded in 1934. Each festival promotes Japanese and Japanese American heritage and traditions, while bringing together the diverse communities of Southern California through arts and cultural education. For more information, contact the Nisei Week Foundation at info@niseiweek.org or go to: www.niseiweek.org

Nikkei Games: Games for the Generations 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: www.nikkeigames.org

Little Tokyo Senior Nutrition Services (Koreisha Chushoku Kai), founded in 1976, has been able to serve over 100 subsidized meals a day five times a week (Monday through Friday) at a discount for local seniors. Its social services, information, and referrals are rendered though a social service coordinator, and its site manager and other volunteers frequently provide rides for participants to nearby doctors and health specialists. For more information, go to: https://ltsns.wordpress.com/about/

Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization foundedover 70 years ago whose mission is toengage, share, and embrace the Nikkei experience and culture. Its annual programs serve seniors, youth, young adults and the Japanese-speaking community. Members of its Tomo no Kai senior program are eligible for the Senior Bento Program as well as a wide variety of exercise, wellness, arts and crafts, dance, and music classes. For more information, go to: https://www.jci-gardena.org

Kizuna is a community-based nonprofitorganiztion in Little Tokyo that provides cultural programs to educate,empower, and engage the nextgeneration of community leaders.Founded in 2011, Kizuna educates itsparticipants from age seven throughadulthood to learn and connect withthe community on Japanese Americanculture and heritage through itsProgram Pipeline.For more information, go to:https://gokizuna.org/about

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