Fund Drive — 11/01 issue


by Jon Itomura (Young Okinawans of Hawaii, Chatan-Kadena Sonjin Kai)

Chair, Fund Development Subcommittee

For many fellow Americans and members of our Uchinanchu family, life as we knew it before September 11, 2001, will never be the same. While the September 11th tragedy has created many doubts and fears, the Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA) stands as a shining example of “Yui Nu Kukuru — Uchinanchu Spirit with Hearts Together” and what can be accomplished when individuals work together to overcome adversity. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those impacted by the events surrounding the nation’s new challenge.

Fifty years ago, the Hawaii United Okinawa Association set forth ON its mission to perpetuate the Okinawan cultural heritage in Hawaii. The efforts of countless volunteers and the contributions of generous donors turned the dream of a home to honor the sacrifices and triumphs of our Issei generation into reality with the opening of the Hawaii Okinawa Center in Waipio 11 years ago in June of 1990. And three years ago, the HUOA launched its annual sustaining fund drive program, “Preserving Our Legacy” to ensure that the Okinawan cultural heritage will live on for generations to come.

Like so many cultural organizations, the HUOA faces a daunting challenge in ensuring that the efforts of past and present volunteers continue to benefit future generations through our numerous cultural programs. In order to accomplish this feat, it is imperative that we continue to maintain the facilities that make up our Hawaii Okinawa Center: the Teruya Pavilion, the Higa Building, and the Takakura and Issei gardens.

The Hawaii Okinawa Center has hosted many local and international cultural performances as well as the Autumn Dance Festival, community Storytelling Festival, cultural workshops and classes, the immensely popular seasonal craft fairs, and the week-long Okinawan Cultural Camp for Kids. This year, with great enthusiasm and dedication, the HUOA celebrated the 50th anniversary of its establishment, and last year, the centennial of Okinawan Immigration to Hawaii. Many of the events and activities held as part of these celebrations would not have been possible without your participation in our “Preserving Our Legacy” family.

We humbly request your continued assistance as a member of our “Preserving Our Legacy” family. Please encourage other family members and friends to join our “Preserving Our Legacy” family. In the previous two fund drives, an average of 9 percent of those who received our request responded positively with generous donations which have enabled HUOA volunteers to continue the perpetuation and promotion of Okinawan cultural programs for our community. We hope that this percentage increases with the continued success of the HUOA and its programs.

This year HUOA has prepared a synopsis of its activities in a “Report to the Community” which was mailed to you. We plan to follow up on this next year with our inaugural in-depth annual report.

The Hawaii United Okinawa Association and our home, the Hawaii Okinawa Center, are symbols of the Uchinanchu community in Hawaii. Each individual effort, sacrifice and contribution represents the best of the Uchinanchu spirit. Please help foster this spirit and ensure that our mission to perpetuate and promote Okinawan culture in Hawaii is sustained well into the new millennium.

Ippei Nihwee Debiru — thank you very much — for your commitment to building a stronger Okinawan community here in Hawaii.



HUOA volunteers stuff appeal materials for the “Preserving Our Legacy” campaign.