Market Square in downtown Lake Forest will look a little different on Wednesday morning (March 23).

Set up in the grassy area will be a Shelter Box tent and its contents to visually give Lake Forest and Lake Bluff residents an idea of how the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club will be using donations to aid the victims of the Japan tsunami and earthquake from early Wednesday morning collections at four train stations: Lake Forest East, Lake Forest West, Lake Bluff and Fort Sheridan.

Similar to an effort a year ago when the club raised enough money to provide emergency relief for more than 700 victims of the earthquake in Haiti, Wednesday's fund-raising efforts will  focus first on using the money to purchase the Shelter Boxes, which cost $1,000 each. A Shelter Box contains a large tent, bedding, dishes and silverware for 10 people; a water purification system, a stove, cooking utensils, tools and children’s supplies, all contained in an impact resistant plastic shipping crate.

In addition, a portion of the donations will be sent to the Takamatsu South Rotary Club in Takamatsu to use to purchase supplies needed by the victims, according to Rick Lesser, president of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary.

"One of the things we can do in Rotary is reach out internationally and partner with another club," Lesser said. "This is a great example of what Rotary stands for: service before self."

Lesser said the appearance of the Shelter Box tent and its contents in Market Square on Wednesday will show residents "the immediate impact the box will have in Japan."

To assist the Rotary Club's fund-raising efforts, contact Len Dedo, past president of the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club, at (847)498-7801 or

Tax deductible donations may be sent to the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club Foundation, P.O. Box 168, Lake Forest, IL 60045. All of the funds raised are contributed to the purchase of Shelter Boxes and other disaster relief. The foundation is a 501c3 organization and eligible for corporate matching donations.