David Ikeda, JSS President

Happy New Year to all of you and warmest wishes from all of us at JSS. Spring is still a long time off, but we have been quite busy here and I have both positive and not so positive news to report.
Regarding the latter, it is with a heavy heart that I have to report the departure of Haruo Sato from the Board of Directors and our e-newsletter editor in chief.  Although he was quite new to the job I think you all can agree he did a fabulous job putting out JSS Online.  Unfortunately for us he is leaving Canada and returning to Japan this spring for a new job posting.   Although it is an opportunity for him personally we will miss his presence on the board, the newsletter, and also his organizing of the Joy of Christmas Concert, the latter being a great fundraising event for JSS.
Luckily for us we have a new board member, Meaghan Tanaka, who has taken over the role as editor and all around organizer of the e-newsletter.  We thank and congratulate her on her new post and again express our deep thanks to Haruo for all of his work for this organization and making the transition so smooth.
On other fronts we completed our annual Holiday Drive.  Thanks to the generosity of our community as well as our faith-based institutions and community partners, we were able to brighten the holidays with toys clothes and Japanese food items to 32 families including 36 children.  I would especially like to thank our volunteer coordinators Kyoko Bezkool, Ayami Kim, and Maki Mori who organized the Drive as well as the many volunteers who helped divide and distribute the donated items.
I also have to thank Mrs. Yamamoto who no doubt would like to thank all of you who contributed to our big fundraising event, the Scotia Waterfront Marathon.  Thanks to her great organizing efforts JSS raised a record amount of money. We are all so grateful to her and to you for your continued support.
We will do our best to keep you informed of our activities and developments.  With Meaghan at the helm we will be putting out more regular and informative news items.  Once again from all of us here at JSS, best wishes for a safe and prosperous New Year.