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Waimea JROTC gets last-minute push for upcoming tour

WAIMEA — Retired Col. Vincent Freeman, a senior Army instructor with the Waimea High School JROTC, said that the contribution of $10,000 by West Kaua‘i Club 100 was especially meaningful because the club is directly linked to veterans, who were involved inWorld War II in Europe.

The presentation by Rep. Dee and Ken Morikawa, who represented the West Kaua‘i Club 100, took place when the Waimea JROTC hosted its fundraising BINGO night at the historic Waimea Theatre on Saturday, May 18.

“I would like to express our sincere gratitude for your efforts vis-a-vis the second of two $10,000 West Kaua‘i Club 100 donations, which enabled the Waimea JROTC Booster Club to make timely payment in full for all participants’ accounts with a balance,” Freeman said.

“Waimea High School JROTC with 20 cadets participating, is the largest contingent of the six-school, 48-member Hawai‘i JROTC Honor Platoon and doubles the next largest contingent. That entails twice as much personal and financial commitment as any other program in these islands.”

Randy Francisco, of the West Kaua‘i Business and Professional Association, said Saturday was the JROTC’s final fundraising push before the 80th anniversary of D-Day tour,. He added despite the contribution from the Club 100, efforts were a little short of the $30,000 goal.

He said they would probably do another fundraising effort following the group’s return from the tour.

Earlier, the Waimea JROTC was beneficiary of philanthropic aid from the Grove Farm Foundation with Nikki Ige and Braden Kobayashi, a former JROTC alumnus. The Grove Farm Foundation provided a $5,000 award to the Waimea High School JROTC Booster Club in April.

Additionally, Marlene Duarte of the Grove Farm Market said the market is sponsoring a space for the JROTC for fundraising through the end of May. This weekend is the final weekend of that philanthropic offer where Booster Club and JROTC members are offering andagi, a popular Okinawa donut and anda-dog (a variation of corn dog using the andagi batter).

The West Kaua‘i Club 100 was formed by veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion. The “West Kaua‘i” was added because so many of the veterans were from the westside.

Over the years since its formation, Club 100 was known for its active participation in military celebrations, including the Veterans Day Parade and other club exclusive events. Club 100 also hosts its KIA Memorial Day in September when the famed battalion suffered its first killed in action of WW II.

“I showed them a picture of my dad, Mugsy Morikawa, who was a former president of the Club 100,” said Ken Morikawa. “I’m hoping they bring the picture with them when they go to France.”
Source: The Garden Island

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