The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Chubu1Thanks to the generous support of many corporations and individuals, the 25th Anniversary Walkathon was an incredible success! The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and Nagoya International School (NIS) communities joined together with many, many others on Sunday, May 22, for an amazing blend of great music, food, and fun in the park. And it was all for a great cause—supporting those in need in our community.

The corporate sponsors, led by Shop Japan and Oak Lawn Marketing, provided the backbone needed to pull off this event in such a big way. By the end of the day, through corporate pledges as well as the sale of food and tickets, the 2016 Walkathon had raised just over ¥27 million for 28 local charitable causes in Chubu.

Funds also support a new initiative—the Chubu Children’s Fund—which aims to support local orphanages through scholarships and help give them better access to technology.

It was our biggest event ever, with park estimates of 4,000 in attendance. Some no doubt came to “dancercize” with SAM from TRF, who got the crowd up and moving at the start of the event!

Just as important as the funds raised, this year there were a record number of volunteers—as well people from several local universities and schools—to ensure that the day went smoothly. Many Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and NIS students also worked tirelessly.

It was especially humbling for me, having been involved in each Walkathon since the fourth, to see so many people come together on the day (and throughout the year) to support the event and the work that the ACCJ and NIS are doing in our community. That was the original intent when the Walkathon was established 25 years ago as a way to share ideas, for corporations to give back to the community that we all call home, and to hopefully nurture an understanding of the need to help others regardless of our backgrounds.

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Thanks, everyone, for supporting the 2016 ACCJ / NIS Chubu Walkathon. We look forward to sharing how the funds were used by the charitable organizations, and we will see you next summer for our 26th year!

Erik Olson-Kikuchi is director of admissions and development at Nagoya International School. He was also co-chair of the 25th anniversary Chubu Walkathon Committee, helping a team of volunteers make this the biggest and best Walkathon ever.
The 2016 Walkathon raised just over ¥27 million.