On March 18th, the NVC celebrated the 72nd Annual Installation Banquet with its members and the community at the Rainier Golf and Country Club. In traditional fashion and with a few jokes, Bob Kiga returned again as the Master of Ceremonies. The program featured honored guest, Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos, scholarship awards to four deserving students and the installation of new officers for 2017.
We were honored to have Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos as our guest speaker. A community activist for more than 35 years and Washington State Representative since 1998, she also continues to be a loyal and devoted supporter for the Nisei Veterans Committee and NVC Foundation. Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos emphasized the importance of community, passing on the Nikkei and Nisei stories to the next generations, as well as maintaining connections to the cultural values of exercising gratitude and obligation (Japanese terms: On and Giri).
This year, the NVC awarded scholarships to four outstanding individuals who have demonstrated high academic achievement and a strong commitment to the community. Kate Guion received the NVC/WAC Scholarship. Emi Nakashima, Aaron Ramos and Danielle Hirano are recipients of the NVCF Shiro Kashino Memorial Scholarship. These students are not only impacted by the significance of the Nikkei experience of the past, but they carry these stories with them to advocate and educate on behalf of those who are targeted and threatened today. As the generations come and go, these scholarships are strong examples of the Nisei Veterans Committee and NVC Foundation continuing to fulfill their mission by honoring the past and educating our future generations.
Tom Kometani announced the new life memberships and Tosh Okamoto followed with the installation of new officers. Rick Takeuchi, the 2016 NVC Commander, warmly welcomed incoming 2017 Commander and brother, Bryan Takeuchi. Ted Tomita, the 2016 NVCF President, welcomed Warren Higa as the incoming NVCF President for this year. Both Bryan and Warren shared their vision and longtime commitment to the organization. This is a year full of strong leadership, motivation and direction. With Bryan and Warren leading the way, 2017 will certainly be another productive year for the NVC and NVC Foundation.
Special thanks to Shina and Sarrah Kashino for leading and organizing the event. Much appreciation also goes to Pastor Kerry Kaino for the invocation and benediction and Doug Tsujii for the sound system. Lastly, thanks to Bob Kiga, Rick Takeuchi, Ted Tomita, Warren Higa, Bryan Takeuchi, Louise Kashino-Takisaki, Allen Nakamoto, June Nakamoto, Bev Kashino, Frank Tsuboi and Lilly Tokita for their invaluable help. Sincere gratitude goes to all those involved for the time and effort put forth to help this year’s installation run smoothly.