Saturday, March 21, 2015 brought more than 160 people to Tonari Gumi to enjoy high quality tea, served in delicate china cups, coupled with delicious, ‘made from scratch’, sandwiches, pastries and cakes. In addition to the wonderful food, the guests were treated to quality entertainment by the Sakura Singers and dancers from the Otowa-Ryu Dance Group. On top of the great food and enjoyable entertainment, some 14 guests were also able to win valuable door prizes, which made the event even more memorable. A number of quality items were also available in the Silent Auction and a number of happy customers were able to take home some “one of kind” exceptional items. Several guests said that after the first High Tea at Tonari Gumi last year, they couldn’t wait for this year’s event. Based on the comments heard this year, it would also appear that this year’s High Tea has garnered even more aficionado’s which bodes well for next year’s event.
The other aspect which made this event so special was the involvement of so many of our Tonari Gumi members and volunteers. Every item served had been made by one of our volunteers and so had that unique ingredient of love and dedication included to add that extra special flavour. Our chief volunteer and key inspiration was Lurana (Kikko) Tasaka and she was ably assisted by an amazing number of hard-working volunteers who baked, made sandwiches, cleaned the dishes, set the tables, served, greeted guests, cleaned up, created the crafts, helped with the silent auction, encouraged their friends and relatives to attend, etc. and without whom it would not have been possible to bring this exceptional event to its fruition. Also essential were a large number of individuals and companies who donated food and items to help put the “high” into this afternoon tea. Among our many donors were the following: Seaborn Co., Yvonne Wakabayashi, Patrick & Tomoko Li, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Chuck Tasaka, the Tonari Gumi Craft Club and Sam Yamamoto.