Members of the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation, their guests and residents of Kuakini Home gathered at Hale Pulama Mau on May 19 for JWSF’s 18th annual “Adopt-A-Mom” program. The event is normally held on the Sunday after Mother’s Day, allowing residents who do not have any children or who do not have any children living nearby to still have a Mother’s Day celebration.
The day’s events began with JWSF members getting acquainted with their “mom” or “dad” for the day before introducing them to the rest of the group. Lunch was a meal of homemade Japanese dishes prepared by JWSF members.
For the law few years, event organizer Lillian Yajima has been lobbying both state and city leaders to make Adopt-A-Mom Day a recognized state holiday. This year, Gov. Abercrombie announced that beginning in 2016, the third Sunday of May would be designated as “Adopt-A-Mom” Day on the official state calendar. Proclamations from the offices of the governor and the mayor of Honolulu also designated May 19, 2014, as Adopt-A-Mom Day in Hawai‘i.
Special guests included Gary Kajiwara, president and CEO of Kuakini Health System; Michiko Shigeeda, wife of Japanese Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and honorary member of the JWSF; Consul Roberto Bernardo, Philippine Deputy Consul General, and his wife Janora; Soulee Stroub, president of the Association of the Hawaiian Civic Clubs; Mona Choy-Beddow, vice president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce; Louise Alina, reigning May Day Queen, representing the Polynesian community; and Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Sarah Kamida and her court.
Multicultural entertainment included Tahitian dancing by Halau O ‘Iolani, taiko drumming by the Cherry Blossom Festival court and Chizuko Endo, hula by the JWS Hula Aloha Ladies, a Chinese lion dance by the Yeung Dak Lion Dancing Association and a Filipino song by the Juta Montadena dance group.