the Community Center at (818) 899-1989 for information on the
Cultural Classes, Dance,Golf
Club, Fishing Club, Cooking Class, Bonsai, JACL, VFW Post 4140,
Japanese Language School, Youth Athletic Basketball, Golf,
and Baseball, and computer access.
in the world is the San Fernando Valley Japanese-American Community
Center (SFVJACC)? Some say it is in farmland country. Others say
it is near Magic Mountain. Both answers are correct. An easy way
to find the valley is to look over the hills just north of UCLA.
Here's how it all started. Just after World
War II, the Issei and Nisei felt the need to maintain their Japanese
heritage of culture and language in their children.
To meet the needs of the growing Japanese American
community in the Valley, the SFVJACC was incorporated in 1951.
Then in 1953, the SFVJACC raised $30,000 through various fund
drives, personal donations and pledges to purchase 4 1/2 acres
of property with hopes to build a permanent center. Thus a permanent
location was established in Pacoima.
The members of the Japanese American community
supported the dream of a community center through generous monetary
contributions. By 1958, the land debt was completely paid off
due to large pledges and donations. In 1959, the SFVJACC treasury
reported an excess of $20,000.
A building committee was formed to plan the
creation of a $150,000 community center through a joint venture
of the community center board, the Japanese school, and the Judo
dojo. The structures on this property also included a gymnasium,
a commercial size kitchen and meeting rooms.
A unique effort to expand the facilities was
made possible through a donation by the Lockheed Corporation.
Lockheed's 7,000 square foot cafeteria was moved to the grounds
of the SFVJACC. The building was then modified to include a social
hall capable of seating 400 people, a lobby for the Human Services
staff, and a large conference room.
This community center now serves 18 organizations
and more than 1,000 families. It also provides a meeting place
for the small groups with a focus on golf, dance, fishing, Japanese
calligraphy, the JACL, youth athletics, senior citizens, landscape
gardeners, aikido, karate, credit union, VFW, Taiko, and many
more. The vision of promoting the Japanese heritage is now involving
the Sansei. By working together and enjoying ourselves at the
same time, the SFVJACC is truly an important place. So the next
time you are on your way to UCLA or Magic Mountain, stop by and
check us out.