Asian students launch fundraiser for Japan

Cindy Poon participates in the ramen-eating contest Wednesday on the Rock. Adrianne D'Angelo // Photo Editor

As the old Japanese tale goes, it takes a thousand origami cranes to make a wish come true. And that is exactly what the Asian American Student Association (AASA) is attempting to do.

As Japan faces a nuclear disaster, the AASA will be launching their Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in April with their annual origami fundraising event on the Rock, which started March 29. Students and faculty are encouraged to donate $1 to write a message on a paper that will be folded into an origami crane.  Their goal is to fold 1,000 cranes within a week.

“It’s an old myth that if you fold 1,000 cranes, then you have a wish granted,”  said Catherine Wong, the AASA public relations representative. “We got really close last year. We were going to deliver them to a child in the hospital. This year, I am confident we can reach that goal because we started earlier.”

After the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the AASA decided to give their annual monthly celebration a special meaning by using their events to raise money for the American Red Cross’ relief efforts in Japan.

In addition to these fundraising efforts, AASA will be hosting other events that focus on giving exposure to Asian and Pacific Islander traditions. Events will include a sushi-rolling tutorial and a Japanese tea ceremony. A noodle-eating contest was held Wednesday.

“Our point is to spread the Asian culture awareness to students,” Wong said.

The month is not exclusive to Asian students and all are encouraged to participate in the events.

“I was always interested in the Asian culture, which made me participate with the Asian Students Association this year even though I am not Asian,” AASA member Sophie Trautschold said.

More details will be announced during the AASA meeting on Friday.

Omar Dakheel may be contacted at