Back to listNov 22, 2008

SGI-USA Opens Centers in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and North Dallas, Texas

SGI-USA recently opened two new centers--one in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and the other in North Dallas, Texas.

081026x_maryland_cc.jpg At the opening of the SGI-USA activity center in Gaithersburg, Maryland

On October 26, 2008, more than 250 members gathered to officially open the new SGI-USA activity center in Gaithersburg. In a congratulatory message, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda expressed his hopes that the center would serve as a forum for friendship and dialogue in the community. Miko Stirlen, a pioneer member who has practiced Nichiren Buddhism for 44 years, said, "We waited for so many years to have a place to gather...that wouldn't be an hour away from our homes."

The SGI-USA Dallas members took the adage "everything is bigger in Texas" to heart by celebrating the opening of the North Dallas center with three ribbon-cutting ceremonies on November 22. SGI-USA General Director Danny Nagashima, who attended the opening, reported that the Dallas center was the 90th SGI center in the United States. He and the members laughed together as he commented on a small sign at the center with the popular slogan "Don't Mess with Texas," saying "That's your independent Texas spirit shining through." The members resolved together to make their new center a beacon of prosperity in the community and a venue for promoting peace and culture.

081122x_dallas_north_cc.jpg SGI-USA members and Texas officials Addison Mayor Pro Tempore Roger Mellow and Carrollton Mayor Pro Tempore Pat Malone hold the honors given to SGI President and Mrs. Ikeda to commemorate the opening of the SGI-USA Dallas North Activity Center

[Adapted from articles in the November 7 and December 12, 2008 issues of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; Gaithersburg photo courtesy of Phil Rosenberg and North Dallas photo courtesy of Rego Ghorbani]