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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Personnel from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan bases have donated more than $65,000 to aid victims of hurricane-ravaged parts of the American Southeast.

“This is just an indication of the total amount donated by personnel associated with CNFJ because giving continues and individuals often donate directly to various relief organizations,” Capt. Karl Fung, CNFJ command chaplain, said Thursday.

“Actually, the amount is not so unusual,” he said. Last year, CNFJ personnel donated $133,000 to various relief efforts. “This year has already surpassed that.”

At this point, known donations originating from Yokosuka Naval Base total more than $20,000, with Atsugi Naval Air Facility donating more than $15,000, Sasebo Naval Base more than $25,000 and Diego Garcia donating more than $5,000.

The funds have come from personal donations, organizations and fundraising events. The chaplain’s office will forward the money to the American Red Cross and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

More than $7,000 was donated in Sasebo after an Amphibious Group One seaman suggested and helped orchestrate a Louisiana-themed event at the base’s Harbor View Club.

“When I saw the devastation in New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast, I knew that there was something I had to do to help those people even though I was all the way out here in Japan,” said Seaman Adam Cole. “I sensed that many people of this community had the same inclination … the result was an overwhelming response.”

Fung said the Hotel New Yokosuka, where personnel from the base live, donated $10,000.

Efforts by residents of Japanese host communities continue, he added, including donations collected at Yokosuka-area 7-Eleven stores. In Sasebo, area business leader Takehisa Seki, a founding member of the base’s Navy League Council, is leading a collection drive.

Japanese donations funneled through bases are forwarded to the American Red Cross, Fung said.

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