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Kabuki Sushi employees raise funeral funds for late boss

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 23:08:08-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Employees at Kabuki Sushi are coming together to do one last job for their boss who passed away in December.

Ted Hamada owned two Kabuki Sushi locations in Kansas City. Because his employees haven't been able to find his family, they worry he won't get a proper funeral.

Aiko Kelley, who has known and worked for Hamada for years, decided to take matters into her own hands. She started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his funeral services.

"He had a really big heart, and he took care of people really well," Kelley said. "I wanted to support him because he took care of me."

Kelley said Hamada didn't show up to work one day and spent a few days in the hospital. She said he was in great spirits when he got out but passed away unexpectedly the next week.

Kelley said Hamada didn't speak about his family much and no one has been able to find them.

"No one knows, even his best friend who knew him for more than 30, 40 years, they don't know," Kelley said.

As of Wednesday evening, the GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $4,000. Another employee has taken on raising money, too, and together the pair has collected about $7,000.

"Japanese people and the Japanese community in Kansas City are so supportive," Kelley said.

She said the support gives her peace of mind because she knows Hamada will be honored and remembered.

"I'm trying to find his family, but if we cannot, I think it's best to do a funeral with friends and family," Kelley said. "This is the last job for him."