News

Meet our Fabulous Guest Artists at an Evening of Art & Music with MSTERIO (formerly HappyDoll)

Looking forward to seeing you! 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30TH

6:30 PM DOORS OPEN

7:00 - 8:30 PM CONCERT AND COCKTAIL RECEPTION

TENRI CULTURAL INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK

43A WEST 13TH STREET NY NY 10011  

212-645-2800  

RSVP Required. Seats are limited. 

PLEASE VISIT OUR EVENT PAGE TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY!!!

 

MIORI INATA, Photographer

From 1991, Miori was an active photographer in New York. Since witnessing the 2001 terrorist attacks in his hometown of Manhattan, she has visited and photographed Holy Lands of Prayer like Israel, Palestine, Native Indian lands, Mexico, Greece, Ukraine, France, Angkor Wat, as well as the Yunnan and Tibetan temples. From 2005, she began shooting the Ise Grand Shrine and the transitions it underwent every 20 years, which has become her life work. She won Shinto Cultural Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. The photos she has taken of the Holy Land have been on display in museums in Japan, New York, Monaco, Israel, and Europe. She has appeared in all forms of media around the world, and has participated in many lectures as well as published her work. Her first English book will be published in this spring.

https://ja-jp.facebook.com/MioriInata

JULIA MEYNERT, Violinist

Julia Meynert, born in Bochum, Germany, into a German-Japanese family, got her first lessons at the age of 5. Her studies eventually took her to the the Vienna Conservatory (Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität), the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole (Italy), and at the Scuola di Musica di Mantova (Italy).

Julia won 1st prize at the national music competition in Germany, "Jugend Musiziert," in 1998 and in 2001, and 3rd prize at the Luigi Nono Competition in Italy in 2008. Julia has performed all over the world -- in Germany , Austria, France, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine, Switzerland, Slovenia, and the United States in such renowned halls as the Brahms Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, Steinway Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Merkin Hall. Julia Meynert has been invited to judge for the “Olympic Challenge Competition“ at Steinway and Carnegie Halls in New York, and for the Crescendo International Competition, Carnegie Hall. Since Summer 2014, Julia has run her own festival in Italy near Venice. She is a violin instructor at the Palisades School of Music (NJ) and also at the Performing Arts Conservatory of NY.

 

ERI KANG, Pianist

Eri’s tone beauty and compelling musicality has been hailed by audiences throughout the world. As a Japanese-born Korean American pianist, soloist, collaborative pianists and chamber musician, she has appeared frequently at the major concert halls in New York City, Europe, the Far East including Korea and Japan, and throughout the United States. She has received rave reviews from major newspaper, and music magazines such as the Los Angeles Times, Strad Magazine ,and String Magazine. Heard frequently on NPR, WQXR, WNCN, and at numerous music festivals including Aspen Music Festival, she has also performed highly acclaimed Piano Duo Recitals with Akira Eguchi.  Eri has recorded for DC “Dear America” performing Gershwin’s “Fantasy on Porgy and Bess for two pianos” and this CD has been selected as the best new-release CD by Japanese Recording Arts Magazine.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Toho School of Music, and her Master’s degree from the Juilliard School.  Eri frequently serves as an official pianist for violin and other string instrumental competitions in the United States, Sion Valais International Competition (Switzerland), Buenos Aires International Violin Competition, and Johansen International Spring Competition among others. Eri is a faculty member of the City University of New York Brooklyn College.

MARIANNA ROSETT, Composer & Pianist

Born in Transylvania, began her piano and ballet studies at the age of 5 and made her radio and television debut in Bucharest at the age of 10 as the winner of the International Youth Festival. Marianna has studied at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, and New York’s Juilliard, where she became the youngest faculty member in the school’s history, teaching music, drama, and dance.  She has devoted much of her life to teaching, specializing in classical improvisation, which she believes liberates the creative energies and imagination of the performer.  Marianna is working on her first opera called Edwin, about the Shakespearean 19th century actor Edwin Booth.

 

YIMI KUROSAWA, 13 & 20-strings Koto player/Composer/Improviser/ Computer Sound

Yumi was born and raised in Japan, and began studying the 13-stringed-Koto at the age of three with her parents, Kazuo and Chikako Kurosawa. At the age of 15, she began studying the 20-stringed-Koto with Nanae Yoshimura.

Yumi won the first prize at the National Japanese Koto Competition for students in 1989 and 1992, and a scholarship from The Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan in 1998. She began touring internationally when she was 10 years old making her Carnegie Hall debut in 2005. In 2011, she was principal soloist in Daron Hagen's Koto Concerto Genji and in The Memory Stone by Marty Legan at the Houston Grand Opera. She played Takashi Yoshimatsu’s Koto Concerto FUGAKU with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra at their opening gala at Suntory Hall, Tokyo; collaborated with world renowned hip hop dancers, Les Twins, at world heritage temple Kiyomizudera; and performed at the World Economic Forum in China. She has also composed for Ballet, Tsuru commissioned by the Houston Ballet and Asia Society, TEXAS.  

Yumi has been lauded by the NY Times for her graceful musicianship,“drawing on a timbral palette that [ranges] from warm and rounded to bright and metallic.”

www.facebook.com/yumikurok

 

 

HIDEKO COLTON, NY Style Entertainment Cooking Teacher, Author.  Owner of COLTONS NEWYORK

Born and raised in Japan, Hideko moved to New York in 1990 where she worked in the financial industry. After studying at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Hyde Park, NY, Hideko changed her career from finance to food founding COLTONS NEWYORK, a cooking event and lifestyle company in 2009.

Since 2010 Hideko has been developing and teaching a NY-style entertainment class called NY Omotenashi (hospitality in Japanese) cooking class for Japanese women, with more than 1,500 members all over the world. Her class goes beyond cooking by celebrating the total experience of entertaining including cocktails, table top decorations, flower arrangements, pairing with wine, scent and music. Her class has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, and she has a regular TV segment called America’s Kitchen for Fuji TV USA/Fujisankei.

On December 7th, 2015, Kodansha (the largest publishing company in Japan). published Hideko's first cookbook in Japan. The book “NY Omotenashi Recipe” (NY Style Entertainment Recipe) introduces her unique cooking style to the Japanese people.

http://ameblo.jp/coltonsnewyork/

http://www.facebook.com/hideko.colton 

https://instagram.com/hidekocolton/

 

 

 

2016 Year of MONKEY!

As the New Year has arrived, we are reminded once again how appreciative we are for all our wonderful friends.

Last year was an extraordinary one for us and it couldn't have happened without the trust and support you've given us. 

We are now very excited to start our 6th year especially we’ve announced the name change from HappyDoll, Inc. to MSTERIO Inc.. 

As we’ve given over 6,000 dolls to date, we will continue accomplishing our goal and continued connecting children around the world.  

Our work would not be possible without your support, so on behalf of all the children we serve across the world, thank YOU for your support.

SAVE THE DATE for our Spring Gala in the evening of March 30th (Wed) night in NY

Please note that we’ve moved to our office recently to:

315 West 36th Street, NY NY 10018

Once again thank you for being an important part of MSTERIO.

Live in the moment

Let us introduce one of our dedicated volunteers and special friends, BETTY!  She's helping us stuffing dolls and making blank dolls.  When she lost her husband in 2006, she invited her sister to go around the world with her and made so many new friends. Since then she's been keeping in touch with them still. Although she has no children, she has so many people who call her "MOM BETTY".  She smiles all the time, and gives the BEST HUGS. Her philosophy of her life is "LIVE IN THE MOMENT", and "HELPING OTHERS".

Please join for HappyDoll's 4th Annual Holiday Gala on December 13th (Sat) afternoon!

HappyDoll's 4th Annual Holiday Gala

With Two Amazing Special Guests

Jennifer 8. Lee

author of "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles"

Dan Pashman

AUTHOR OF "EAT MORE BETTER"

 Their passion for food (and how it's eaten) is only outdone by their passion for people. Their work connects us all in so many ways. We're honored to have them with us to celebrate our 4th year connecting children in need through traveling dolls -- over 4,000 dolls since inception!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13THfrom 1:00 – 3:00 PMEN Brasserie, 435 Hudson St, New York City

Light Hors d’Oeuvres, Soft Drinks, Auctions and More in a Casual Setting

RSVP BY CLICKING HERE

DONATION LEVELS

$50: Individual includes 1 ticket to the Gala, 1 raffle ticket 1 adopted doll

$100: Silver Sponsor includes 2 tickets to the Gala, 2 raffle tickets 2 adopted dolls

$500: Gold Sponsor includes 5 tickets to the Gala, 10 raffle tickets 10 adopted dolls

$1,000: Platinum Sponsor  includes 10 tickets to the Gala, 20 raffle tickets 20 adopted dolls

The non-tax deductible portion of each ticket is $10.

Help lift the spirits of children in need by donating

11/19 (Wed) Artists Sneak Peak for an Evening of Thanks and Giving

It is a pleasure to announce the number of gifted and esteemed artists that will be performing on the Evening of Thanks and Giving on November 19th (Wed). For a sneak peak, please check out their bios below. RSVP Required.  Seats are limited so please register and reserve your seat TODAY.

Buy ticket clicking HERE

Ticket Price: minimum $40

6:30pm Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres

(Guests will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with performers) 7:15pm - 8:15pm Performance

Location: The National Opera Center America

 330 Seventh Avenue, NY NY 10001

Paulo Coelho, Composer, Vocalist, Instrumentalist

Born in Portugal, Paulo Coelho started his musical studies on the accordion, eventually branching out to the saxophone, cello, guitar, piano and percussion. At the age of 15 he was accepted into the New York High School of Performing Arts for singing and acting. Paulo attended the New Jersey City University as a vocal and music major and additionally has enjoyed studying Italian opera privately for years and while attending William Paterson University, performed as an operatic baritone and soloist. Paulo has traveled the world performing, writing and recording, he has even collaborated and performed with world-renowned artists and musicians.

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Miki Hazui, Piano Miki Hazui has been widely recognized as a pianist, orchestral keyboardist, piano teacher, vocal coach and collaborative pianist. As a solo pianist, she has soared in many international competitions: winning first prize and A. Rubinstein Awards in the Mendelssohn Cup Piano, and second prize in Novyi International Music Concours. Miki has performed in many venues including the Opera Ball at the residence of the ambassador of Japan in Washington D.C., and a sold-out recital at Oji Hall, Tokyo, before Her Imperial Highness The Princess Akishino.

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Pei-Wen Liao, Violin Pei-Wen Liao is a young artist becoming widely recognized for her highly compelling and deeply passionate performances. She has performed as a soloist with more than twenty orchestras in ten countries over three continents and has already played a recital at Carnegie Weill Hall with sold-out tickets. She has toured with the Grenada Symphony Orchestra of Spain, performed concerts in China, and was a soloist with the Jerusalem Conservatory Orchestra in a summer tour in Israel and Italy. She entered the Juilliard School Pre-College Division at the age of 10 where she is currently studying.

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Eru Matsumoto, Cello Eru Matsumoto has been charming international audiences since age 6. Eru has performed in celebrated venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. She has also dazzled audiences on television in Japan and the US on a variety of broadcasts, in addition to being featured in a highly regarded HBO project as a young prodigy at age 12. She has worked with British and Hollywood Academy-Award winners and collaborated with major pop recording artists in both Japan and the US. In Fall 2014, she made her PRC debut as guest soloist with the Shanghai Philharmonic.

unnamed Isaac Pettigrew, Dance Isaac Pettigrew is 16 years old, a dance major in his Junior Year at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. Isaac began dancing with the School of American Ballet at age 8, when he took a part as a toy soldier in the NYCB's "The Nutcracker." Last year, he performed at the City Center in British choreographer Matthew Bourne's project, "The Sleeping Beauty." Isaac has even had the opportunity to attend the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs.

unnamedMarianna Rosett, Piano Marianna made her radio and television debut in Bucharest at the age of 10 as the winner of the International Youth Festival. Marianna has studied at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, and New York’s Julliard, where she became the youngest faculty member in the school’s history, teaching music, drama, and dance. Marianna has composed for television, theater, dance, and currently is working on her first opera called Edwin, about the Shakespearean 19th century actor Edwin Booth.

unnamedNozomi Terao, Piano Nozomi is the Founder and Executive Director of HappyDoll.org. She began taking piano lessons at the age of 4. Though her lessons tapered off by the age of 20, meeting Marianna Rosett has reignited her passion, and Nozomi has again been taking lessons for some time now. She even had an opportunity to play piano at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall.

 

11/19 (Wed) An Evening of Thanks and Giving with wonderful Music from Around the World!

10298703_10152876422694388_3254707562888216251_nAn Evening of Thanks and Givingwith wonderful Music from Around the World!

Please Join Us Wednesday, November 19th

6:30 - 8:30 pm

Come and Enjoy a Taste of music from around the world

Location: The National Opera Center America
330 Seventh Avenue, NY NY 10001
Seats are very limited (max 65 seats theater)
Please reserve your seat TODAY at info@happydoll.org

Or buy ticket clicking HERE

Ticket price: minimum $40
Prior to the performances, which will be from 6:30 PM, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served.  Guests during this time will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the performers.  The performance will begin at 7:15 PM.

 

What's Mine is Yours!

10393807_796728977052009_3557886759446967964_n Beautiful Saturday afternoon the Fall Cleaning Party was a great success.  Thanks to all of you who supported us.  We raised over $2,400.  We could not have achieved this without you. 10411809_796728997052007_935794644289935570_n

Your donation will bring us closer to our goal to expand the program and connect many more children around the world.

Stay tuned as we have TWO exciting events coming up; a music event on November 19th (Wed) night and Holiday Gala on December 13th (Sat) afternoon in NYC.

GET READY ---- It's time for Fall Cleaning Party in NYC!!!!

10649783_778978112160429_223297523004191585_nYEAH~~~~Autumn officially begins TODAY!!! As many of you cleaning party veterans know, this is an event you do NOT want to miss out on!

HappyDoll's Cleaning party in NY is a fun way to get rid of the old and make room for the new, all for a good cause!! We ask that you bring your CLEAN unwanted clothes, shoes, accessories, kitchenware, toys, books, etc. in GOOD CONDITION to exchange with other guests. All items remaining after the event will be donated to respective charities. We also ask that you make a minimum $25 tax-deductible donation (cash, check, or credit) at the door.

Date: October 18 (Sat), 2014

Time: 2:00-5:00 pm

Place: Grand Tier Plaza

1930 Broadway (bet 64th and 65th St.) 3rd Fl Party room, NY NY

$25 tax-deductible donation can be made via cash, credit card, or check

To RSVP click: I Will Attend or I Will Not Attend Walk-ins are welcome!

This time we will once again partner with our good friends at the amazing organization, Labdoo. Labdoo works to use decentralized social networking tools to efficiently bring excess laptops to children in developing communities, without wasting additional Earth resources.

A laptop is a door to education, providing children free access to open source educational tools and electronic books through the internet. Every year, more than a hundred million laptops are replaced by new ones. This number continues to increase, yet most of the children in developing regions of the world still lack access to education.

So please consider bringing an old/unused laptop to donate, we hope to give your laptops (and pack them with many happydolls) to another organization called CIYOTA (COBURWAS International Youth Organization to Transform Africa) in Uganda.

COBURWAS-logo-for-headerCIYOTA founded by Joseph Munyambanza. This school is serving about 350 kindergarten to 6th grade school-aged children, both poor local Ugandan children, orphans and refugees. He founded this school in 2006 when he was only 18 years old. He is a truly an amazing person who has been making a huge difference in the world.

AND more.....We are excited that KOTOMI Jewelry will be showcasing her jewelry. Kotomi Jewelry is a London, England, U.K. based jewellery, designed Kotomi Yamamura, specialized period historical influenced style jewellery, Byzantine, medieval, Russian, Gothic, with polymer clay and semi-precious stones.

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ALSO there will be light food and beverages, catered by Yoshiko Sugimoto who catered last Spring Cleaning party as well as our Holiday party last year. She will be back AGAIN with some healthy and delicious foods for us to try! Read more about Yoshiko’s catering on her blog.

You see!  There are so much going on at our Fall Cleaning, so register TODAY as it is going to be a great party.

 

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HappyDoll in Ecuador

By Kameeka Shirley Our first stop in Ecuador was the little town of Daule.Untitled

Daule is a town about an hour outside of Guayaquil, the beating commercial heart of Ecuador. After a couple of initial unsuccessful attempts to share the dolls, we headed to the town playground, where we saw a Mom with her son and daughter, interestedly staring at my friend and I clutching the dolls. We approached the woman and explained to her that these dolls were from an organization in the US where children decorate the dolls, which then travel to kids around the world. We explained that part of the mission of the organization was to teach generosity and the joy of sharing with other children. We encouraged them to give the doll to another child when they got older, so the dolls could continue to spread joy to others.

The two children stared intently at us holding the dolls, just waiting for acknowledgement from their mother that it would be ok.

“Would you like for them to choose a doll?” we asked the mother.

She glanced down at her children eagerly awaiting permission and then asked us, “How much?”

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When we told her it was free she gladly approved and each of her children joyously selected a doll.

Before we left Daule to continue on our Ecuadorian adventure, we decided to give one last doll to our little host. Christian is my friend’s 8-year-old cousin. He was the perfect gentleman and host during our stay and we thought it was only right that he also receive a gift for his hospitality. He accepted his new friend with open arms and the both of them stood at the corner to say good bye before we continued on our journey.

 

The HappyDolls continued on their journey to the famous Otavalo market, about an hour outside the nation’s capital of Quito. Otavalo is one of the most lively traditional markets in all the Americas where natives would come from the surrounding villages to sell gorgeously colored hand-woven fabrics, ornate wooden carvings and original Panama hats worn ubiquitously by the indigenous people of the region.

Our first HappyDoll in Otavalo went to a young school girl who sat outside eating her lunch while her mother chat with a friend. She shyly accepted her new friend and sat him on her lap as she continued with her meal.

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As her mother chat with a friend, a little boy walked up to the friend’s side and saw the young girl with a HappyDoll. We explained to his mother the mission of HappyDoll as we handed the little boy his new friend. Before the mother and son and continued on their way, the mother pointed across the street to a woman selling strawberries on the corner with her baby strapped to her back in local tradition. She told us that the woman and her baby would really appreciate a doll as well.

 

 

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The woman across the street watched as we approached. We greet her while explaining the mission of HappyDoll and offering one for her son. She nodded in approval and turned slightly so the baby on her back could see us and the dolls. The mother selected a doll for the child and passed it back to him as the baby excitedly grasped the doll from his mother’s hands and held it close.

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By this time, we were becoming pretty popular. As we walked through the market clutching the dolls, the kids weaving in and out of the stalls waiting for their parents to close up shop would give us a quick glance as they darted back away playing little games amongst themselves. We saw a little girl sitting peacefully next to her mother, watching the tourists pass by the various stalls. We stopped and again explained the mission of HappyDoll while handing the little girl the last HappyDoll I had in my purse. She looked at her mother, looked at us, and then back at her mother as her mother nodded in approval. The little girl grabbed the doll with excitement, looking down and beaming. The little girl wouldn’t stop looking at the doll and smiling until her Mom had to remind her about the picture part of the deal.

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We had noticed, giving the last doll, that there were two little boys playing in the stall behind the last little girl. We saw them watch us as we handed out the last doll I had carried with me. We were about to leave the market, having handed out all our dolls, when we were approached by another woman with the same two little boys peering out from behind her. The woman kindly asked if we had another doll for the two boys. I had given out all the dolls I brought with me, but I knew I had three more in the car parked 10 blocks away. We told them that if they could wait for me to come back from the car, we could bring two more dolls for them. I rushed to the car and brought the remaining dolls in my bag and raced back to the market. As I approached, I saw the two boys sitting patiently, cross-legged on the floor where I had left them. When they saw me, they jumped up and waited as I pulled two dolls from my bag. They quickly snatched the dolls and stood ready for their picture before they eagerly ran off to play with their new friends.

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Our very last doll was a US soldier. This doll was particularly special to our group (not only because I had personally stuffed that doll ;) but also because we had a US Army soldier in our group who got special leave to join us on the trip.Untitled6 After Otavalo market, we headed to the small town of Banos, which is most famously known for its local geothermal springs. As we were headed to the springs, we stopped to look at some of the artesanias in one of the stalls. There was a little girl standing at the stall with her Mom, playing with the bracelets and other goods her Mom had for sale. The Army soldier with us suggested we give this last doll to the girl so she could have something to play with as she sat with her Mom throughout the day. After explaining the HappyDoll mission to her mother, the little girl coyly accepted the doll and gave him a kiss on his head.

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The Goings-On at HappyDoll

Summer is here, yay! IMG_1436

We’re halfway through the year and I’m happy to report we’ve been very busy connecting children:

Dolls that have traveled: 600

Countries they visited: 9

States they visited: 25

Blank dolls created by our volunteers: 800

Number of volunteers who have stuffed and sewn: 400

Number of volunteer doll stuffing sessions: 17

New Doll Design

HappyDoll collaborated with the Soft Toy and Doll Design Class of the Toy Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to enhance the doll for more effective interaction with children. Each doll now has longer arms for better hugs, hands with “thumbs up”  for spreading positivity and love, and rounded feet for more playful activity.

Read More>>

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 1.33.25 PMHappyDoll Birthday Kits

Our launch of the HappyDoll Birthday Kits proved to be a big success thanks to our feature in the March issue of Parent’s Magazine.  We were ranked as one of the best Charity Birthday Party ideas for children today. To date, there have been close to 30 birthday parties and about 150 dolls decorated from this venture!  Read More>>

School Exchange Program

We held our first-ever School Exchange Program with the Dominican Academy here in New York City (private girls school), as well as Jan’s Senior Academy in Kisumu County, Kenya. 100 students from each school decorated dolls, which they then exchanged with each other to foster a relationship between the two schools.  Read More>>

Take Your Children To Work Day

We were fortunate enough to continue participating in The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ in NY & NJ annual Take Your Child to Work Day as well as Cowen Group in their NY office. Over 70 children were integrated into the our program.

Major Fundraising events:

This past March, HappyDoll teamed up with InViolet Theater company in NYC, to help promote their wonderful production “Branched: A Comedy with Consequences”.  $10 from every ticket (regularly priced at $18) was donated directly to us.

In April, we again partnered with Miki House and Bloomingdales in Orlando, Florida to host a doll decorating event.

We raised $1,700 from our Spring Cleaning Party, and partnered with Labdoo to collect several used laptops to be sent with the dolls to undeveloped countries.

We look forward to an exciting second half of 2014. We have many volunteer sessions coming as well as many new places for our traveling dolls, and let’s not forget our exciting annual fundraiser.

Please help continue our work and donate. It will bring a smile to a child in need for sure. Enjoy the summer!

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