On October 15th, the annual ACCJ Kansai Walkathon was held at Canadian Academy. The ACCJ, short for The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan is an organization that furthers the development of commerce between the USA and Japan, promotes the interests of U.S. companies and members, and improves the international business environment in Japan. The theme of this year’s event was “Better Workplace, Better Life for working mothers in need”, and the objective of the walkathon was to raise awareness of the many organizations, working to support women in the workforce. This year, I was given the honor of MCing the event alongside Mr. Nathan Bryan.
The event started off with Nathan and I briefly explaining the background and purpose of the event. I thought I would be a bit nervous but strangely, I felt very confident and excited and I believe this was partially because Nathan was such an outgoing and kind person, making me feel reassured and just very happy in general. Next was the opening ceremony in which key individuals, representatives for sponsoring companies, ACCJ BOG members and guests said a few words. There was a brief photo session and I was surprised and honored to find myself standing next to Mr. Schatzky amongst the VIPs, despite being merely the assistant MC.
After a brief explanation of the raffles tickets, prizes and food tickets, we did a warm-up prior to the walk/ run called the Baby Run. BabyRun is Japan’s first and only exercise program using a stroller and they offer lessons with free rental of strollers and outfits. It is such an innovative idea and it was such a cool experience stretching to the two ladies exercising with the strollers.
While the parctipants walked or ran the course, there were a wide variety of stage events including dance, orchestral, jump rope and choral performances. They were all very entertaining and impressive, and the dance performances were especially eye-catching. There were many food booths with a wide variety of dishes and the prizes for the raffles and silent auctions were quite impressive. The closing ceremony consisted of a few speeches and thank-yous.
It was a very hectic day and it was a bit tiring I must say, but I had a lot of fun. Through helping out at this event, I believe I was able to contribute to the community by helping out at the walkathon, in hopes of raising awareness of the many organizations, working to support working mothers in need. I believe I developed two MYP Service Learning Outcomes throughout this event; Become more aware of our strengths and areas for growth, and Work Collaboratively with others. I believe I demonstrated the qualities “Evaluate own strengths and weaknesses” and “Embrace personal limitations and external obstacles as opportunities for meaningful learning”. Throughout the event, there were many unscheduled changes of the order of events, forcing me to adjust to the situation quickly and improvise on my speech/ announcements instead of following and reading the script which I’m afraid I’m not too good at. I am a perfectionist and sometimes, unexpected changes make me feel unsettled and unsure so at times, Nathan had to cover for me which I was very grateful but apologize for. I was impressed by Nathan’s skill to adjust accordingly with speed and improvise with confidence, and I wish to work on overcoming my inner perfectionist and get used to being more carefree and spontaneous. I think I also developed the MYP service learning outcome of working collaboratively with others through demonstrating the quality “Take responsibility for own actions as part of the group and offers support for others”. Nathan being the MC and I being assistant MC, teamwork was essential in order to make the event flow smoothly and whenever I had doubts or anything that I was unsure of, I made sure to check with Nathan and communicate clearly so there were no possible misunderstandings between us. I believe teamwork was key because it was very important for Nathan and I to be responsible and ensure that the event flowed smoothly as we were the MCs. As well as taking responsibility and doing my job as well as I could, I tried to support him as the assistant MC although it was more of him making sure I felt confident and at ease, which was very thoughtful of him and making it less pressuring and more enjoyable. It was a great honor for me to be able to contribute in supporting such a wonderful cause and a great opportunity to contribute to the community but this would not have been a reality if I had not received help from Nathan, Dan, and Ms. Nishizawa so I would like to thank them. Additionally, thank you to all who contributed in making this event a success including the stage crew. Finally, I worked from 9:00am~5:00pm, so I believe I deserve 8 service points.