Welcome, Spencer and Andrew!
This year we have had to say "goodbye" to several retiring performing members and recently to volunteer Tony Salini, who is retiring from the dashi organization. For the past six years, Tony has led the effort to prepare our dashi for the Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden, helping it to remain a favorite attraction year after year.
We're always saddened when someone leaves, but this month we welcome two new volunteers, Spencer Stevens and Andrew Akira Hansen, who have joined us to learn about the dashi and prepare for the upcoming festivities. Several performing members joined Spencer and Andrew one sunny Saturday to give the dashi its annual "tune-up" to make sure it's in good running condition for the festival.
Andrew helps to shield the sun while Spencer airs up the tires. Teamwork!
Performing member Katie pulls the dashi while Andrew and Spencer take turns steering and braking in preparation for the parades through the garden.
After practicing the controls, we give the dashi a full cleaning. Even the roof gets cleaned!
With the help of our new volunteers, supported by Tony's guidance, the dashi is now ready for the upcoming Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden. We offer our sincere gratitude to Tony for all his years of support and hard work to help make the dashi a success; we are humbled by the amazing support we receive from our volunteers! Visit Spencer, Andrew and our performing members at the dashi, outside Spink Pavilion, over the Labor Day weekend (August 31 through September 2) to learn more about taiko and the dashi.
Decked out in rain gear, Cindy helps us set up for the stormy opening ceremony at the 2018 Japanese Fall Festival.
Congratulations to Cindy Jobe, who is retiring this month after more than 30 years with the Springfield Sister Cities Association. As exectutive director, Cindy has been our primary coordinator and friend at the Japanese Fall Festival in Springfield, Missouri. In the years that we've worked with Cindy, we've been amazed by her commitment to bring the cultures of communities from around the world to the Midwest. We wish Cindy the best as she begins retirement and hope to see her again at the upcoming festival!