Members donated more than 750 face masks in the recent charity drive organized by Connections (formerly known as the Women's Group).
The masks were provided to Sanyukai, a homeless men's shelter in Tokyo. The nonprofit has been supported by the Club for a number of years.
"We didn’t expect to collect so many masks through the Club," says Tomomi Fujita of Connections' charities committee. "These masks can help slow the spread of coronavirus, save lives and, ultimately, help our communities and the economy recover quicker."
The drive was launched in April and wrapped up on June 30.
The work of Sanyukai was featured in the November 2013 issue of the Club's INTOUCH magazine.
Photo (Donna Beeman): Tomomi Fujita and Grace Lee of Connections' charities committee
Following the Japanese government's lifting of the state of emergency for Tokyo, the Club will reopen on June 1.
The Board of Governors decided to temporarily close the facility on April 7 in line with the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“While we managed to keep some services running while the Club was temporarily closed, the reopening of our facility will allow Members to once again enjoy our vibrant community and a fuller range of Club services at our Azabudai home," says Michael Alfant, the Club's representative governor.
Just as the Club established various health and safety measures before its short-term shuttering, it will introduce similar preventive measures when facility doors open to Members on Monday.
In the meantime, Members can continue to access the Club's selection of My Club at Home services.
During the Club's temporary closure, the maintenance teams have been busy deep cleaning, upgrading and repairing various areas of the facility.
The extensive list of completed projects runs from Guest Studio tiling and flooring fixes and locker room improvements to ventilation system repairs and corridor wall makeovers (pictured).
“During the closure, the staff took the opportunity to undertake some major maintenance and repair work,” says Toby Lauer, the Club’s facilities director, “with the aim of ensuring the Club is ready to open as soon as we get the green light.”
Information related to the Club's short-term closure can be found on the dedicated FAQ page.
Connections has unveiled its new board of directors after online voting closed on May 11.
Formerly known as the Women's Group, Connections introduced electronic voting after the annual general meeting was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.
The following slate of directors received a 95 percent vote of approval and will serve a one-year term from June 1:
- Vice President: Olivia Smith
- Director of Finance: Debra Wetherell
- Director of Charities: Ryungson (Grace) Lee
- Director of Communications: Donna Beeman
- Director of Community Events: Jennifer Warren
- Director of Social Programs: Gabriele Kirschner
- Director of Programs for Tours: Rohini Verma
- Director of Programs for Enrichment Programs: Mizarai Greene
- Director of Programs for Fundraising (International Bazaar & Décor): Kristina Wright
- Director of Membership: Lori Arnet
- Director at Large: Vanessa Thomas
- Director of Administration: Rusty Yuson
Heidi Regent will serve the remaining year of her two-year term as Connections president.
Meanwhile, board members Kazuko Morio, Tomomi Fujita and Amber Morse will step down.
"I would like to thank all three for their dedication and service to Connections and the wider Club community," Regent says.
The Club is now offering papers straws at all of its dining outlets.
The durable paper straws are part of a strategy to reduce plastic waste at the Club.
Nathan Baggs, the Club’s beverage director, says "lobbying" by many younger Members led to the move.
“This is a very important move as we are always trying to reduce our environmental footprint,” Baggs says. “Currently, I am searching for proper paper products to replace all plastics used for our takeout items throughout the Club.”
Members can offer their feedback or suggestions on any area of the Club through the Tell TAC system of comment cards.