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NVC Foundation President's Column

by Geri Lynne Egeler
August 2022, Volume 73, Issue 7

After taking a break in July, we are back to work, and there is a flurry of activity.

First, the Foundation would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Tokunaga Family for the recent passing of Tosh Tokunaga.  He was among the few Nisei veterans left and was always an influential supporter of the Nisei Vets organization.

I remember working on a Minidoka video project at the hall, centered around telling Tosh’s story.  In researching his life, we were amazed at his wartime experience and heroism.  One interesting story that Dolly shared was that Tosh volunteered for a work crew to help get a camp ready, which turned out to be Minidoka.  At 17 years old, Tosh was the youngest in the group.  The crew lived in Block 2 and worked with transportation and set up.  They frequently ate Japanese food at the No Delay Café and went to the Covey Motor Inn at Twin Falls.  So, Tosh got an early preview of Minidoka, where his community would later be in incarcerated.

More accounts of Tosh’s heroism are outlined in the separate bio we put together for the video project. 

When I first became involved with the NVC and Foundation, I remember something Tosh told us, “To me a description of a Hero is not the guys that came back with a chest full of medals, but the ones that made the supreme sacrifice for you, me, and for our Great Country.”  Tosh Tokunaga, you are our Hero, and our organizations will always be grateful to you, Dolly, and your Family.

NVC/NVC Foundation has been resuming some of our regular activities and events.  We will be giving a presentation and have an education booth set up at Japan Week at Bellevue College Sept 24th. Please join us for a fun day filled with activities and educational programs for all. 

The Japanese American Museum of Oregon has loaned us an interactive Minidoka Trunk Exhibit Kiosk, and it will be on display at the hall until October 1st for your viewing. Come down and take a look!

Also, it has been a long time coming, but you will see that major progress has been made in the building of a fence to secure our property, parking lot, and building.  For the safety of our membership and visitors, this was a necessary step we had to take.  Please have patience as we work through the construction process.

Otherwise, remember to check out our website calendar for more upcoming events and postings, including our next meeting on Friday, August 26 at the hall.