Yoshida’s Sand in the City is gone but the spirit lives on
February 20, 2016
Portland, OR – After 20 years of fun and fundraising, the organizers of Yoshida’s Sand in the City
announced today that the annual family-friendly event at Pioneer Courthouse Square will not return in
2016. The event, which became a Portland institution, transformed Pioneer Square into a giant sandbox
each July, with corporate teams competing to see who could make the most creative and impressive sand
sculptures. In 2015, the 20th anniversary of the event, Sand in the City donated nearly $100,000, of
proceeds to five local children’s charities.
Now, after two decades of helping programs that serve local children and their families, organizers and
key sponsors have decided the time is right to refocus the positive energy created by this unique event. In
addition to the more than $3.5 million dollars raised by Sand in the City and the over 1 million children
lives they positively impacted, organizers are especially proud of the strong relationships the event helped
to forge over the years, bringing together businesses, community groups, service organizations, and non-
profits. They hope Sand in the City’s all-volunteer structure will serve as a model for other events and
organizations to maximize benefits to the community.
About Sand in the City
Yoshida’s Sand in the City began in 1996 with 13 corporate teams working together to raise money in
support of The Kids on the Block Awareness Program, a non-profit children’s program using puppets to
help educate children to be more accepting of others with disabilities and differences. From the beginning
Junki Yoshida and Hoffman Construction Company teamed up to support the event. The Yoshida Group
was the presenting sponsors of the event for all 20 years. Hoffman Construction participated as a major
sponsor from the beginning, coordinating the arrival and removal of more than 150 tons of sand, materials
and support for each event. Each year, corporate teams were matched with the design expertise of local
architectural firms as they prepared for the annual July sand castle competition.
The event was originally organized by Kids on the Block volunteers, and in 2013 Sand in the City
returned to its roots as an all-volunteer event, allowing 100% of the proceeds to go directly to the
community. Yoshida’s Sand in the City was a success in many ways but most importantly to us, it
demonstrates the collective power of dedicated team members, sponsors, donors, and volunteers.
THANK YOU to EVERYONE that was a part of the greatest beach party in the country!
Past President, Yoshida’s Sand in the City
805 SW Broadway, Suite 2100