Gratitude for our Blaine’s Benefit Bazaar!

Gratitude for our Blaine’s Benefit Bazaar!
Pam Ikegami and Donna Sekijima learn how to make manju.

Gratitude for our Blaine’s Benefit Bazaar!

By Lesley Okura, photos by Kai Yamamoto, et. al.

On October 7, 2023 Blaine Memorial UMC resurrected the Benefit Bazaar after a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic! This year’s beneficiary was Maui Recovery and Relief through United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

With the help of those who donated time, talent, and hard-work, we were able to receive donations of plants, get good deals on meat and chicken for curry (as well as rice). Also, because of our volunteers, delicious menu items such as udon, ohagi and other delights were available. It’s these wonderful volunteers who really made this year’s Bazaar a success I hoped it would be.

Rev. Karen Yokota Love catches up with Judy and Bruce Yasutake and Wendall Watanabe.

Thank you, Rev. Karen, for making your first Blaine apple and blueberry pies, and for bringing your pastoral leadership and wisdom to us. Thank you, Rev. Mia, for shepherding our young people (which was kind of like wrangling kittens). Thank you, Yuki Sofronas, for taking care of the many inquiries, the posters, and for facility support. 

Stephanie Nishida, Roberta Yoshioka and Julie Shioshita make pie dough.

Last but not least, I would like to give a big “Thank You” to our Blaine Family, specifically to our the list of volunteers. Listing all of our helpers would take six pages, so I will feature our “headliners” here and when possible, throw out hugs and pats on the backs for jobs well done in every committee. Your time and dedication are always welcome. You are absolutely necessary for success and your hard work is a heartfelt gesture toward UMCOR’s Maui Relief effort.

Leslie Okura and the gang prepare berries for pie-making!

God answered my prayers. Thank you all for a wonderful community-based event that we have welcomed back at Blaine Memorial UMC!

Lesley Okura and Ron Nobuyama served as Co-Chairs for this year’s Benefit Bazaar at Blaine Memorial UMC.

Bazaar 2023 Supporters


  • Jim Okura
  • Dave Hayasaka

Grill Pit Masters

  • Joe Adolfo
  • Jason Lew
  • Tim Ikegami
  • Howard Nakase
  • Steve Sofronas 

BBQ Marinade

  • Steve Sakahara 


  • John Hodge

Poster Design Team

  • Allyson and Steve

Farmers Market

  • Wendy Yates 

Produce Donation Support

  • SK Produce 

Plant Donations

  • Dave Yorozu, T. Yorozu Gardening

Curry Meat & Chicken

  • Red Apple Market

Curry Prep

  • Tina Fujii

Rice & Food Storage

  • Uwajimaya 

Bakery Sales

  • Julie Lock 

Pie and Ohagi Sales

  • Terri Adolfo

Ohagi Makers

  • Donna Sekijima and friends

Pie Masters

  • Ruth Watanabe
  • Tom and Roberta Yoshioka


  • Lynne Onishi and the youth leaders and helpers


  • Kim Furugori

IT Support

  • Susan Lee

Paper Goods Shoppers

  • Ron Nobuyama
  • Barbara Nagaoka


  • Barbara Nagaoka 
  • George Yates

Take-Out Support

  • Dale Watanabe
  • Eugene and Kathy Onishi

Udon Bowl Support

  • Lisa Mar 

Bazaar Committee

  • Lesley Okura
  • Ron Nobuyama
  • Barbara Nagaoka
  • Sally Sekijima
  • Anne Arakaki-Lock

Procurement, Etc.

  • Brian Okura


  • Joel Ing and his dishwashing crew

Pastoral & Staff Support

  • Rev. Karen Yokota Love
  • Rev. Mia MiKyung Park
  • Yuki Sofronas

Visit the Poinsettia page!

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The Beacon is Now Available!

Read the latest issue of The Beacon newsletter, here!

November 2023 Calendar

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