New Year Luncheon 2015

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Happy New Year of the Sheep! Sogetsu Portland branch welcomed 2015 at a well-attended luncheon on February 7 at the Riverside Golf and Country Club. Branch Director Don Davidson welcomed members and guests, including Consul General Hiroshi Furusawa, and thanked the New Year's Luncheon chair Nana Bellerud and Riverside site coordinator Deloah Brady for their fine work. Don also thanked Keiko Kodachi Sensei and her students for the table arrangements and Donna Jean McDaniel for planning the silent auction of donated containers, books, teapots and other wonderful items. The auction is the primary fundraiser for the branch and members and Don encouraged both members and guests to bid high and often!

Don announced the Spring workshop at the Oregon Buddhist Temple on April 11 and the Rose Show exhibition at the Portland Japanese Garden on May 30 to 31. He also thanked Amy Stahl for her work on re-designing the branch newsletter and how they will help us "brand the Sogetsu Portland look" on our website and through other marketing materials. Don announced that the election of Board members for 2015 to 2017 will be done via email and mail and he introduced the slate of candidates. Then members gave Don a standing ovation for the outstanding impact he has made on the Sogetsu branch over the past eight years. For his artistic influence and contributions to the branch, Director Emeritus Kodachi announced that she and Sensei Leslie Dolin have awarded Don the title of Art Director.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Hideko Hearn Sensei awarded the Teacher 4th Grade Certificate to her student, Megan Rothstein, and Dolin Sensei awarded the Teacher 4th Grade certificate to her student, Amy Stahl. After the meeting, guests and visitors admired the elegant, large ikebana, which featured a gold bamboo structure covered with long-stemmed roses suspended from fishing line. They also clustered at the silent auction tables and enjoyed socializing with new members and guests from the Ikebana International branch and representatives from a local club of women promoting the art of wearing kimonos.

Lunch featured Dashi Broth with Shiitake Mushrooms, Cabbage Slaw with Ginger Dressing, Grilled Salmon with Asian BBQ Sauce, and Flourless Chocolate Cake with Green Tea Cream and Candied Kumquats. Members and gifts applauded the efforts of Chef Terry and crew. Taihen oishii deshita! Taiko group Unit Sou Zou entertained luncheon attendees as they enjoyed dessert. The two performance artists, Japanese native Toru Watanabe and Japanese-American yonsei Michelle Fujii, performed with energetic drumming, singing and dancing. The name of their group signifies "creation, imagination and noisy" and it was certainly a joyous and noisy way to welcome in the new year!