"I heard almost immediately from those friends in Saroma that they had felt the earthquake but that they were not in any particular danger there wasn't any major damage there which I was very thankful for," said Linda Combs. She is the co-organizer of Palmer Saroma Kai, the organization to facilitate the Sister City relationship.
Saroma dodged much of the devastation the island nation endured after the earthquake and tsunami. But some say they worry that Saroma will be impacted as the country works to rebuild.
"Some individuals are concerned that in the weeks and months to come with the rebuilding that is going to have to happen after this sort of devastation that Saroma will be impacted in some ways either through refugees or possibly an important part of the rebuilding," said Combs. "We just want them to know that we support them and we support their country."
Even before the disaster, the Palmer Museum had planned an exhibition of the gifts the city has received from Saroma over the years. The exhibition was meant to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sister City relationship. The event will now also serve as a fundraiser.
"Everyone really came together and said 'What can we do?' and let's turn this into a fundraiser and let's do something important and make this still celebratory but do something to help the people in Japan," said Jenski.
The Saroma Festival and Disaster Relief Benefit will be help Sunday, April 3 at the Palmer Museum. If you cannot attend the event but would like to donate, you can do so at Palmer City Hall http://www.cityofpalmer.org or through the Museum. http://www.palmermuseum.org/