Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge announced plans to visit their Sister City, Sendai, Japan which was devastated after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan earlier this year. During his visit, Mayor Loveridge intends to deliver a check for $500,000 to Sendai Mayor Okuyama. The funds will be managed for Sendai by Sendai Social Welfare Council.

Immediately after the devastating earthquake, the community of Riverside joined together to raise funds to provide direct assistance to its long-time Sister City — setting a goal of $500,000.  By Friday afternoon, $510,091.46 had been raised by the community.  

About 4,000 people donated amounts varying from $5 to $10,000.   The City will keep the Sendai Relief Fund open through the end of May and send a supplemental check at the close of the campaign. 

On May 5 and 6, Mayor Loveridge will tour affected areas of the city, visiting with community groups including the Orange Club, the sister city organization that is a counterpart to the International Relations Council of Riverside.  

Riverside Mayor Loveridge said, “I am proud to be a part of this caring community that has joined together to help friends across the globe in a time of desperate need.”  

Accompanying the Mayor to Sendai are Lalit Acharya, International Relations Officer, Riverside Unified School District board member Dr. Chuck Beaty, North High School Assistant Principal Rich Davis, Karla Adams (Chair of the International Relations Council of Riverside Sendai Committee) and Yoko Boucher (Co-Chair).

Contributions are fully tax deductible.  To view the list of donors or to make a donation, visit the website at www.riversideca.gov/sendairelief.  Donations may also be made in person at City Hall in the Mayor’s office, 3900 Main Street, 7th Floor, Riverside, CA 92522.  

Sendai became Riverside’s first Sister City on December 10, 1957, making this relationship the oldest in the nation. Over the past five decades there have been museum, citizen, youth, and governmental exchanges between the two cities. In 2007, on the 50th anniversary of the relationship, Sendai gave Riverside the gift of a Japanese Garden at White Park in Downtown Riverside. Riverside’s gift to Sendai was a giant orange sculpture that commemorates the citrus heritage of Riverside as well as the historic ties between the two cities.