The dream of a group of Nisei Alumni who were determined to leave a lasting legacy to honor Japanese American students who attended the University of California has been realized with the planting of of a grove of cherry trees at the west entrance of UC Berkeley. This Cherry Tree Project (CTP) was accomplished through a team effort and the dedication of many individuals. A heartfelt thank you is extended to all:

To George Matsumoto and the late Bill Fujita for spearheading this project, and all members of the "lunchers" who have supported the CTP from the very beginning. 

To the California Japanese American Alumni Association (CJAAA), its president, Jesse Ante, and Board Members for supporting the project. 

To the  Japanese American Women Alumni of UC Berkeley (JAWAUCB) its co-president  Irene Tekawa and Vera  Kawamura,  and Mary Tomita, and Board Members for supporting the project and providing its membership mailing list.

Harold Kobayashi for preparing Conceptual drawings of the project and conceptual cost estimates.

Tara McIntire, landscape architect, with the firm of Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abey (RHAA) for preparing Preliminary Landscape drawings.

Jim Horner and Asa Hanamoto for presenting the Preliminary drawings to the UC Design Review Committee.

Andy Fukutome of Fukutome Design for the preparation of donation form and packet and Asa Hanamoto for drafting the donation cover letter.

Mark Abey for providing 700 mailing labels of CJAAA members

Jean Abey for hosting the donation form stuffing "party" in December with over 1,000 mailings.

Mary Tomita for hosting the donation form stuffing "party" in February to all JAWAUCB members with over 400 mailing.

To Melanie Keilholtz, Gift Planning Officer, University of California Berkeley, University Relations and staff for receiving and acknowledgement of all donations and providing periodic reports of donations.

Emiko Yamada of CJAAA for accounting of seed money and payment of donation form design and printing, postage and other misc. expenses.

To Cordy Hill and Partners of RHAA for donating landscape architectural services to "kick-start" the CTP. 

Tara McIntire for research and tree procurement to guarantee availability at time of planting.

Jim Horner and Kaz Abey for "tagging" 40 field grown trees at EF Nursery in Forest Grove, Oregon.

To members of RHAA staff for the preparation of construction plans and specifications and Jim Horner for providing plan review and time schedule for design, review, bidding and construction

To Harold Kobayashi, Asa Hanamoto and Kaz Abey for selecting the stone for plaque mounting. 

To the plaque wording committee, George Matsumoto, Chizu Iiyama, Jesse Ante, Frank Inami, Ted Ono, Asa Hanamoto, Sara Ishikawa, Mas Riusaki and Kaz Abey  for submittals, review and acceptance of the plaque wording, and Jim Horner for submitting the wording to the University for approval

Jim Horner, Campus Landscape Architect, and Office of UC Capital Projects for pre-qualifying contractors, advertising for bids and award of contract.

To Gardner's Guild Inc., Landscape Contractor, for submitting a favorable bid and completing the project in a timely manner through adverse stormy and wet conditions, and Jim Horner for overseeing the construction and 2 years maintenance period.

Barbara Saito for preparing an acknowledgement and project up-date letter and dedication schedule and Melanie Keilholtz for mailing letter to all donors.

To the dedication committee, Barbara Saito, chairperson, Asa Hanamoto, Sara Ishikawa, Mas Riusaki, Jesse Ante and Kaz Abey, in planning the dedication ceremony.

To Maya Goehring-Harris with UC External Relations & Office of Protocol for all the details of the dedication ceremony, including the design of the letter of invitation, design of banners and program.

To Jim Horner for contracting the fabrication and installation of banners and contracting the casting and installation of the plaque.

To all participants of the dedication ceremony, Vice Chancellor Edward Denton, Michael Omi, Pete Domoto, Erica Kato, San Jose Taiko, Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto and faculty members and students of UCB Asian Studies for helping at the ceremony.

Ron Riusaki, Rodrigo Branco Matsumoto, and Ron Zaragoza for the design and ongoing maintenance of the UC Cherry Tree Project website and Catherine Yoshi for working on the CJAAA link with the UC-CTP website.

To Melanie Keilholtz for submitting list of donors for inclusion in the website.

Barbara Saito for editing the CTP history for inclusion in the website.

To all other supporters, friends and donors.

And finally, to Mas Riusaki for his support and encouragement to keep the ball rolling and Asa Hanamoto for his input during the entire planning, fundraising, implementation and dedication phases of the project and attendance at endless numbers of meetings.

Thank you everyone!

Kaz Abey

Cherry Tree Project Supporter