With several Japanese companies and residents in Dublin, efforts to help those affected by the March 11 earthquake and resulting tsunami have been ongoing throughout the community.

With several Japanese companies and residents in Dublin, efforts to help those affected by the March 11 earthquake and resulting tsunami have been ongoing throughout the community.

A public gathering to honor the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 20 at Dublin Baptist Church's ARC building yielded several ideas to send help to survivors.

"A lot of people have started in many different ways to do something, sometimes at a company level by donating money or through a charity drive," said Isao Shoji, who helped organize the gathering. "Some of us thought that there needs to be a gathering where people can exchange information for a coordinated effort. We don't want 100 different people to do 100 different things."

The gathering drew about 150 people, Shoji said, including many different cultures, ethnicities and religions. After taking time to honor the victims of the earthquake and tsunami, Shoji said, the crowd began by dividing into groups to work on different relief efforts.

Ideas included a series of concerts that would benefit relief efforts, as well as bake sale, origami sales and other fundraising initiatives.

Shoji said one group wants to work with Dublin City Schools and other districts to have students write letters to Japanese students.

"The second project would (be to) work with the schools, certainly Dublin schools and other districts around, to draw pictures and write messages of hope and encouragement to school kids in Japan," he said.

Fundraising activities likely will occur over the next few months.

"We, as organizers, from (Sunday) wanted to leave a lot of room for each group to do what they think is best," Shoji said. "We wanted to provide an opportunity to discuss what will be going forward. We see this as a beginning rather than an ending."

A benefit concert for Japanese earthquake relief, sponsored by Seiko Lee Project, has been slated for 6 p.m. March 27, at the Abbey Theater in the Dublin Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling (614) 527-9686. All proceeds will go to charity

Anyone interested in joining the efforts should contact Shoji at (614) 314-2670.

Other community efforts included a March 17 candlelight vigil at Coffman High School that drew hundreds.

Coffman assistant principal Dustin Miller said the idea came from an English as a Second Language teacher.

"We have a lot of Japanese students (in ESL), and they wanted to do something for them, Miller said. "It's for the entire district."

Worthington City Schools also asked to join in the vigil, Miller said.

At Dublin's Karrer Middle School, money wasn't collected, but students were encouraged to donate money to relief efforts in Japan.

Principal Rick Weininger said students had written their donation amounts on a poster board in the school lobby last week.

"In the morning (on the announcements), we've been doing something like a telethon, but it lasts about 30 seconds," he said. "We encourage people to give, and it's fun stuff. We had a teacher sing and juggle."

The weeklong drive resulted in $1,353 in donations from Karrer students, Weininger said.