The 13-acre Troutdale estate formerly owned by Junki and Linda Yoshida is now in the hands of the Mt. Hood Community College Foundation, which will use the property to raise money for student scholarships and other college-related causes.
The MHCC Foundation Board of Trustees voted Wednesday, July 29, to accept the transfer of the Yoshida Haven Estate from Randall Children's Hospital Foundation. The Yoshidas, who are long-time financial supporters of both the college and the children's hospital, had donated the property to the Randall foundation in 2019 for possible use as a retreat for children and families dealing with cancer, but the hospital recently informed them that it would not be able to use the estate as originally intended. After discussions with the Yoshidas, they agreed to transfer the property to the MHCC Foundation.
"The Randall people were very honorable," Junki Yoshida says. "They could have sold the property, but they made the decision to donate back to another nonprofit. When they asked me, right away I said, 'Mt. Hood.'
"Mt. Hood College is my love," he says. "It's the local college and a jewel for our area. More people need to recognize it."
Dan Corcoran, MHCC foundation president, said the donation was "truly an amazing gift of a beautiful estate that will be of great benefit to the foundation and the college."
"I want to thank Randall Children's Hospital Foundation for their willingness to transfer the property to us, and of course Junki and Linda Yoshida who have been extremely generous in their support of our students," he said.
Rena Whittaker, interim executive director of the Randall Children's Hospital Foundation, also was pleased with the property's transfer. "Randall Children's Hospital Foundation Trustees are very excited that this has come together and this beautiful property is staying in local hands to promote a strong and healthy community," Whittaker said.
Both Junki and Linda Yoshida expressed excitement over the possibilities the estate will provide for MHCC.
In an interview Friday, Junki Yoshida said he envisions fund-raising events both large and small. One idea is to bring back a smaller-scale jazz festival and dedicate the proceeds to the college foundation, which had been a beneficiary of the original Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz in the 1980s and 1990s.
Al Sigala, executive director for development and communications at MHCC, said the gift includes no limitations on use of the property, but it offers a variety of possibilities for fund-raising and even instruction. He said the college is committed to keep the property for at least 10 years. The Yoshida-owned Riverview Restaurant, which is directly across Stark Street from the estate, will be able to rent the property for weddings, which will provide an income stream for the foundation.
Yoshida is the owner of the Yoshida Group and founder of Yoshida Gourmet sauces. He and Linda Yoshida are former community college students. The couple met at Highline College in Washington State after Junki Yoshida came to the U.S. from Japan. He credits the college with providing him an opportunity to integrate into American society, where he has built a successful multi-million dollar, internationally known business revolving around his popular Yoshida Sauce.
The Yoshida estate is on the historic site of the Portland Automobile Club, which a century ago owned the property as well as the five acres where the Riverview Restaurant now sits.
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