Two ladies from countries across the world from each other have come together as cochairwomen for this year's Cherry Blossom Charity Ball. The ball with its featured raffle is a major fundraising event organized each year by the International Ladies Benevolent Society. Money raised is donated directly to approved institutions in Japan and overseas, and to deserving non-Japanese.

"I have been a member of the board of ILBS on and off during the last nine years," Mrs. Muazaz Kasrawi said. She is the wife of the ambassador of Jordan. "I felt very proud and happy when asked to chair the ball this year, but because I was very busy with our king and queen's state visit I asked if we could have a cochair, and make this year's ball a special millennium celebration."

"I've had the honor of being patroness to ILBS for the past four years," said Mrs. Maria Edileuza Reis. She is the wife of the ambassador of Brazil. "When asked to be cochairperson of the Millennium Ball, I stepped forward without hesitation and with great enthusiasm. I am giving the best of my energies toward making the ball a very successful fundraising event."