suffering from the devastation of natural disasters.
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake rocked Japan known as the Great East Japan earthquake. The undersea megathrust created a tsunami with 30 ft. waves that destroyed the Tohoku coastline, took the lives of almost 16,000 people, injured 6,000, left 2,500 missing and displaced 340,000. It also initiated the meltdown and release of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant leading to the evacuation of 100,000+ residents .
Like others across the world, Farmer Tanaka watched the images of the earthquake/tsunami devastate Japan on television. One of the first images that he saw was that of farmland being engulfed with debris. Immediately his thought of providing aid to those farmers raced through his mind. Three months later, the Orange Coast Optimist Club and Tanaka Farms sponsored the first annual "Walk the Farm" fundraiser, a one and one half mile walk around Tanaka Farms sampling fresh fruits and vegetables on the way to food, deserts and entertainment.
The inaugural event was met with warmth and enthusiasm as 1,700 walkers and 350 volunteers rallied to show their support and send the message of "kibou" to the farmers in Japan. The event has grown to 2,500 walkers and 650 volunteers and now also send support to local farmers that suffer from the effects of natural disasters.