Full Report: 2013 SJC/SJIS Mega-Reunion in Los Angeles
The 2013 SJC/SJIS Mega-Reunion in Los Angeles took place successfully at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, on March 16, 2013. Classes of 1952 through 1988 were represented, with a total of 114 attendees, including 55 alumni from SJC, 18 St. Maur, 8 Sancta Maria, and more from YIS, Futaba, St. Mary’s, Sacred Heart & Seisen. Fr. James Mueller, Bro. Robert Maruyama, Mr. Francis Iwasawa & Mr. George Okuhara-Caswell represented the SJC/SJIS Faculty.
We had 3 generations of alumni in the same ballroom, on March 16, Saturday evening, and it was such a magical moment. We were free to go around and mingle with anyone, like Luke Schneider (SJC ’54) did. And we had such a great time, getting to know each other. The MC for the evening Tim Ryan (SJC ’65) made everybody feel at home. And our specially prepared buffet dinner “Wine Country meets the Far East” was crafted by the hotel’s chef, to meet the tastes of all guests. Specially designed SJC T-Shirts were available for sale at our registration desk. We had a successful Raffle with gorgeous prizes such as 2 nights stay at Marriott Waikiki Beach, Kitano Arms Tokyo, and Hyatt Regency Irvine. Towards the end of the evening, we had a live performance by a cover band called “Reality Check”, playing music from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s, and people danced late into the night.
The following morning, on March 17, some attended Sunday morning mass celebrated by Fr. Mueller, at a specially reserved room within the hotel. Those who were still at the hotel afterwards, had brunch at The Cafe, downstairs at the hotel. There were other private get-togethers by Classes of ’53, ’81, ’82, etc., throughout the weekend.
The organizing committee for the 2013 Mega-Reunion in L.A. consisted of George De Couto (SJC ’52), Ken Suzuki (SJC ’53), Tom Haar (SJC ’60), Elizabeth Sauter Haugen (Sancta Maria ’75), Harumi Chen Yoshiike (St. Maur ’63), and myself Thomas Maadie (SJC ’82). There were others who helped with the reception desk, raffle, T-shirts, planning & donations. This was the 3rd in a series of Mega-Reunions in Los Angeles organized by the USA Chapter of SJIS Alumni Association, after those held in years 2000 and 2007. The basic style and traditions from the original Mega-Reunion in 2000, organized by the late Jack Nakano (SJC ’51), had been passed on successfully to this event. The Classes of 80’s (80 thru 89) represented roughly one-third of all attendees this time around, so the event was passed on to the “younger generation” as well. We would like to continue this tradition in future through similar events, and continue to pass on these traditions to younger alumni, family & friends. At this time, we are looking for volunteers, suggestions, feedback, and support, to start planning for our next event. Preferably for our next event, we would like to see more Class Reunions and private get-togethers planned during the same weekend.
Reported by Thomas Maadie, ’82