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Quesnel delegation fundraising for Shiraoi

The group is preparing to travel to Japan in August 2023
Brail Campioni (left) and Chloe Doerksen were helping fundraise at the West Quesnel Night Market on Thursday, Aug. 4. (Rebecca Dyok photo — Quesnel Observer)

Fundraising has commenced for a delegation of students and adults hoping to visit Quesnel’s twin city, Shiraoi, Japan, next year.

The educational trip was initially set to take place in 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were hoping that that particular group would be able to go in 2021, but once again, they decided it was not safe,” said parent liaison for fundraising Sunny Furtado.

“So all the fundraising that had been previously done for 2020 has been able to pay for three days of our trip for 2023. This is very exciting as it has extended our trip by three days.”

The 14-day trip is tentatively scheduled for August 1 - August 14, 2023, and is estimated to cost around $156,000 for the 26 delegates.

The group’s latest fundraiser was a sale of lemonade, popcorn, water, hot chocolate, candy apples and a glowstick necklace or bracelet at the West Quesnel Night Market on Thursday, Aug. 4. Last month, they raised nearly $6,000 by looking after parking, garbage and bottles at the annual Quesnel Rodeo.

Read More: Shiraoi delegation helps celebrate 35th twinning anniversary

On Saturday, Sept. 24, Furtado said they will be hosting a pumpkin patch community fall fest at her property past Walmart on Dale Lake Road where there will be face painting, carnival games, vendors and more.

While Furtado herself won’t be going to Japan, two of her children will be.

“My biological daughter is autistic, and she’s very much into manga and anime, and she really thought Japan would be where she was meant to go if she was to go anywhere in the world,” Furtado said. “So she’s very excited, and she got invited to go the information session, and then we told our other 14-year-old about it, my stepson, and he’s like I want to go Japan too.”

The information session was by the Quesnel Shiraoi Twinning Society, which according to its Facebook page, exists to promote the twinning relationship between Quesnel and Shiraoi. The cities have been twinned since 1981.

Furtado said the Quesnel group hopes to continue fundraising efforts into December with babysitting services to provide parents a night out and complete some Christmas shopping.

Read More: Quesnel’s Shiraoi exchange student is settling in

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