BLACKFOOT â€” It's personal why June Cannon is sponsoring a relief concert for Japan.
"I want to help the people of Japan," she said.
Cannon's parents and brother live in Japan.
The relief concert, featuring Cannon and local talent, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, April 5, at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center (BPAC). Admission is free.
A silent auction featuring Japanese items starts at 7 p.m.
All proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross to help people in that nation recover from the earthquake and tsunami hit earlier this month.
Cannon's parents are Tamotsu and Fumiko Kudo. Before retirement, June's father, Tamotsu, was the police chief in the prefecture (state) of Shizuoka. This prefecture is in southern Japan, close to Mount Fuji.
When the earthquake struck, June's brother, Shinobu, was living on the seventh floor of a building in a town north of Tokyo.
"My building really shook," Shinobu told Cannon.
Shinobu is a chemist and has recently moved to Kyoto in southern Japan. He will be working with a Nobel prize-winning chemist, Cannon said.
Yukiko Matsuura is another Blackfoot resident whose parents are in Japan. Matsuura's parents live in the city of Sendai which was close to the center of the earthquake. Her parents are fine. Their home was damaged but it is still livable. The city of Sendai is still outside the evacuation zone.
Bob and June Cannon and their sonsâ€”Bobby, Paul and Jamesâ€”are spearheading this relief effort.
Bobby, a junior at BHS, said, "I think it's a good experience for us. We help out our mom; she helps us out."
Paul, a sophomore at Blackfoot High School (BHS), said he is helping because "I want to share my heritage and I want to help out."
James, age 9 and in the fourth grade, said, "It's fun to help. I want to help people who don't have homes, food or water."
"These are small things we can do from the U.S. without going over there," June said.
June Cannon came to the United States from Japan to study at Brigham Young University (BYU). She received a B.A. in flute performance, a B.S. in pre-med and a masters in molecular biology.
Molecular biology is a "DNA thing," June said.
She met her husband, Bob, when they were both students at BYU. They moved to Blackfoot 16 years ago to help in the family business, Trestlewood. (Bob's father had been killed in a truck accident in California.)
All cash donations will go directly to the Japanese Red Cross. Make checks out to the American Red Cross to avoid check conversion charges.
If people want to donate items or if businesses want to help, contact June by calling 782-0321 or email at June@Trestlewood.com.
If people are unable to come to the concert but would like to donate, make checks to the American Red Cross. Checks can be sent to June Cannon at 941 James St., Blackfoot, Idaho 83221.