Irene Nakamoto was elected and installed as president of the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation at its general membership meeting on July 18 at the Hawaii Prince Hotel. First lady Dawn Amano-Ige installed the new officers and directors.

Supporting Nakamoto are officers Cathy Iwai, president-elect; Amy Young, vice president; Julie Shimonishi, secretary; Patti Fukada, treasurer; Debbie Huebler, historian and Ann Kobayashi, immediate past president.

The committee directors are Suzette Lau Hee and Hiroko Dewitz, development; Melanie Takahashi, scholarships and grants; Patty Matsuo, programs; Gerri Kaneshiro and Jennifer Chomko, communications; Gwen Ishikawa, membership relations; Jane Au, community service; Janice Tashiro, nominating; and Lori Fujikawa-Casey and Bernice Hirai, by-laws.

During the meeting, JWSF made a presentation of over $12,000 to Kuakini Health System, with the funds earmarked for Kuakini Home. That gift brought JWSF’s total donations to organizations and efforts that focus on geriatric care to more than $1 million.

Following lunch, guests were treated to the beautiful vocal talents of Karen Keawehawai‘i. The afternoon’s featured speaker was Carole Hayashino, president and executive director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, who spoke on the center’s involvement in preserving the World War II Honouliuli Internment Camp in Kunia and on its current status as the Honouliuli National Historic Monument.


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