Growing Friendship

Alex Hara is a Japanese-born businessman living in Dayton, Ohio. When a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami shook his homeland in 2011, he watched the devastation on television helplessly from thousands of miles away. Though saddened by the events, he was inspired by the rapid response of the American military and the willingness of the American people to donate their money, products, and time to people half a world away.

This was the birth of the Operation 2000 Cherry Tree Project.

The Operation 2000 Cherry Tree Project is dedicated to raising funds to purchase and plant cherry trees in and around Dayton, Ohio. It gives Japanese and Japanese-American people the opportunity to show their appreciation, while at the same time, planting a seed for friendship that will endure for generations.

Each $300 donation covers the expense of the tree, its installation, and maintenance. Currently, trees have been planted at Dayton Art Institute, Dayton’s Carillon Historical Park, the Masonic Temple, and parks and sites throughout the Dayton area. One of our most significant efforts was the addition of 150 cherry trees on the grounds of the National Museum of the US Air Force.

At the most traveled crossroad of America, the Interstate 70/75 interchange, fittingly 70 trees were planted. Dayton citizens can also see 100 cherry trees adorning Edwin C. Moses Blvd and South Patterson Street. The list of sites is growing.

All donations will be accepted by the Dayton Foundation, a regional community foundation that manages donors’ charitable funds, advances charitable giving, and provides leadership to local non-profit organizations. The foundation will disburse the funds only to not-for-profit organizations or municipal governments.

The disbursements will be made based on the recommendation of the Operation 2000 Cherry Tree Project committee. This committee will decide which communities or non-profit organizations will receive the trees and how many will be allotted.

As with any charitable donation, we urge you to give wisely. If you have any question about your donation, please contact us directly or visit our page of frequently asked questions.