Pickles for BrainUp

Below is a story of a very nice man, Mike, who is a friend of  the BrainUp community and a co-worker of Lori Kresach.  Mike has raised and continues to raise money for BrainUp in their fight against brain cancer.  His story is about making Japanese pickles and selling jars of them to his co-workers.  From his last batch he raised $130 and donated it all to BrainUp. Mike has done this two previous times, always donating everything he raises. Mike has also raised funds by brewing a special blend of coffee and selling cups of the delicious brew to his co-workers raising $1 for each cup or more if the person wants to make an extra donation.    Mike’s efforts just go to show you that there is no one best way to raise money for charity and that the simplest things can add up to significant dollars.   Below is Mike’s story. 

Hi my name is Mike and I am a Canadian of Japanese heritage, so I grew up in a Japanese household in Canada, learning the Japanese way of life and of course, with their foods and traditions. A staple in any Japanese household is what North Americans would consider as pickles or “tsukemono”.  My mother, who was born in Kagoshima, Japan learned to make Denver-zuke and Hawaiian-zuke which are pickled radish recipes from actual families who were detained in internment camps during World War II, so you can guess where Denver-zuke and Hawaiian-zuke originated from. A simple recipe of fresh white radish, vinegar, salt, sugar … and some glass jars is all that is needed.   As immigrants, my parents and their friends made this pickle often as it was inexpensive and lacked any chemicals or preservatives.  We grew-up referring to this pickle as “takuwan” but it is not correct, as this is a “pickled radish” not a “preserved radish”. I really feel Lori Kresach is a sister to me, not just a colleague.  When I was told of the plight of her niece, Olivia Kresach, it made me want to take action to try and assist Lori and her family in some way.  I am not an immediate family member but what Lori, her husband, Joe, her brother and in-laws are doing to assist those working in this field, should be supported by all.Shouldn’t one help their family first, before considering assisting others?  Well I believe this is simple common sense, so to “giveback” in memory of such a wonderful young lady as Olivia is a no brainer.  It is my wish that this regular effort to make and sell “Hawaiian-zuke” (i.e. pickled radish) here at work will keep thisneeded initiative in front of our staff so that BrainUp will be their charity to support.

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BrainUp is an non-profit organization dedicated to bringing awareness to brain cancer – a disease that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.


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  • 815-277-1128
  • info@brainup.ngo
  • P.O. Box 244, Frankfort, IL 60423


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