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Helping in a crisis

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Thom Kaumeyer's ties to Japan run deep.

He coached professional football for two years in Japan, has Japanese ancestry and his wife – Kayoko – is a native of the country with family still there.

When tragedy struck the nation, Kaumeyer wanted to help.

As such, Kaumeyer – entering his fourth season on the Jaguars' coaching staff – is asking for participation in a charity drive led by Circle Japan, a Japanese grocery store near the corner of Beach and Kernan Boulevards.

"We&39;re trying to get a fund together," Kaumeyer said recently. "At the beginning, most of the restaurant owners and vendors, they were just donating whatever they could. They&39;re running out of food, so obviously the government will subsidize a little, but not much. The idea was to try to send money down to that community, and help those communities."

Kaumeyer said the "Earthquake Relief" fund will benefit the Japanese Red Cross and help "send money from our community to help the affected communities."

"We're just trying to create a fund and send it over there so it can be used right away," Kaumeyer said.

*To Help: Checks can be made payable to Circle Japan with "for Earthquake Relief" in the memo line. They can be sent to: 12192 Beach Blvd. No. 1, Jacksonville, FL 32259. For information, phone (904) 710-5193 or (904) 642-7799. *

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