The NVL’s annual fundraiser, “Beyond the Battlefield: The Next Generation,” was an exciting celebration of the accomplishments of Hawaii’s Nisei soldiers that left guests beaming with pride by the end of the evening. It was NVL’s first in-person fundraising event since 2017.
The event at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii on July 28 put a spotlight on the values of the issei and nisei — the glue that holds multiple generations together.
NVL served as a bridge connecting the past to the present and future. Paul Yonamine, executive chairman of Central Pacific Bank and chairman and CEO of Central Pacific Financial Corp., the event’s keynote speaker, shared about his parents and their unwavering courage that allowed them to succeed in sports and business, and how their values have influenced him and shaped who he is today.
Steve Uyehara, of Hawaii News Now, served as emcee and interviewed a panel of distinguished next-generation leaders: Marisa Fujimoto, Kalani High School student who participated in the Nisei Impact Youth Journalism program, sponsored by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Report for America and the NVL; Jayna Omaye, culture and arts reporter with Hawai‘i Public Radio, who led the Nisei Impact Youth Journalism program while serving as the Honolulu Star-Advertiser culture and arts reporter; and Micah Benavitz, Mililani High School teacher who is developing a new curriculum based on the Nisei soldiers of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion for a modern Hawaiian history class.
The generosity of the sponsors and those who participated in the live auction will allow NVL to develop more educational programs to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of the Nisei soldiers and veterans. Mahalo to all those who supported our annual fundraiser!
Here is a gallery of photos from the event, courtesy of Jerome Osurman of iHi Photography.