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Taste of Japan recaps


A highly successful Taste of Japan Annual Fundraiser was held February 27 at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington Hotel.

Guests browsed the silent auction, visited booths, and enjoyed light music by Metro Retro while being served vegetarian sushi and tuna roll hors d’oeuvres.  A Japanese themed dinner was served including edamame salad served in martini glasses, chicken teriyaki with sticky rice and bok choy followed by a dessert of red bean ice cream. Saki and plum wine were also provided.

Star Supporter Awards were presented to Donaldson Company and Jim Urie, Manager of the Bloomington Center for the Arts and the Spirit Award was presented to Larry Lee, City of Bloomington Community Development  Director for their continued support of the mission of the BSCO.

Janet Tollund was the lucky raffle drawing winner of the plasma television generously donated by Best Buy. Alex Bolton won Chanhassen Dinner Theatre tickets and Renee Corneille was the winner of a McCormick & Schmicks gift card. Guests enjoyed playing the “Heads or Tails” game and a Japanese Candy Jar guessing game.

Following an energetic performance by St. Olaf Taiko, the night ended with opening the dance floor with the sounds of Metro Retro.

Bloomington Sister City Organization would like to thank everyone who supported the fundraiser.  More detail, including pictures, is available in the April-June 2011 Sister City Newsletter


Guests enjoyed another successful Annual Dinner and Fundraiser for the Bloomington Sister City Organization (BSCO).  The dinner event was held at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington and featured a silent auction, raffle and authentic Japanese dinner.  Japanese entertainment was provided by Mikaharu-Kai Japanese dance troupe and Kogen Taiko drummers.  In addition, CODA provided music for event guests during the silent auction and dinner.


Several awards were presented.  Highlights include:

Star Supporter Award – Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau

    The Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau (BCVB) has been a strong supporter of Bloomington Sister City Organization (BSCO) since its inception providing everything from meeting space to planning activities for visiting delegations.  Bonnie Carlson, President of BCVB and her staff provided assistance in planning for the 2008 Izumi City Mayoral visit.  With the many relationships the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau has with Bloomington hotels and popular tourist attractions the delegation was able to stay here at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington hotel and enjoyed visits to the Minnesota Zoo, Mall of America and Underwater Adventures all of which included “behind the scenes” tours.  They also helped in the planning of a special business luncheon that included a presentation by Donaldson Company President, Bill Cook.

     The BCVB has also provided significant financial contributions to pay for luxury motor coaches used for transporting Mayoral delegates to activities during their visits in 2008 and 2010. Pictured with BSCO President Doug Langefels is Jan Kroells, Vice President of Marketing.



Star Supporter Award – Bloomington Historical Society

The Bloomington Historical Society has been a strong supporter of Bloomington Sister City Organization.  Vonda Kelly, President and Executive Director of the Bloomington Historical Society and member Larry Granger have been welcoming delegates from Izumi for several years to Bloomington’s historic sites.


Vonda and Larry have provided personal guided tours for the high school college delegations which included stops at several locations around Bloomington, such as the Pond House , Old Town Hall and Indian Burial Grounds.  They have also provided tours for the visiting marathon runners.  They are always very flexible in providing tours that accommodate the busy itineraries of the delegates. 


In addition to historic tours, the Bloomington Historical Society has been extremely generous in providing gift items for BSCO including afghans, historical timelines and 150th merchandise items.   Pictured are Vonda Kelly and Larry Granger



Spirit Award – Dan and Denise Royer

Dan and Denise Royer have been actively involved with the Bloomington Sister City Organization for several years.  Dan Royer joined the board of directors in September, 2005 and serves as webmaster for the organization. 


 In addition to serving on the board, Dan and Denise have hosted many student delegates in their home and have made lasting relationships with these students.  BSCO can have a difficult time finding host family placements for visiting student delegations and the Royers are consistently willing to open their home.  They have even taken in more than one student when asked. Dan and Denise also traveled as part of a Bloomington adult delegation in 2006 to Izumi City and were able to meet the family of a student they had previously hosted. 


The Royers provide countless hours of volunteer time to BSCO.  They have assisted each year with the set-up and take down of the Taste of Japan and Kite Day events, both of which rely heavily on volunteers to be successful.  They have also volunteered numerous times at the BSCO information booth at community events including; Lantern Lighting, Diversity Day and Summer Fete.   Bloomington Sister City is fortunate to have the Royers as members of its organization.   Pictured are the Royers, Denise and Dan.

Cultural Entertainment Sponsors

Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd. and Bloomington Human Rights Commission

 Additional thank you to the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington Hotel