WHO/WHAT: McKinley Alumni Association presents its annual Alumni Brunch. This year’s honorees, or “Tiger Pride Awardees” are Dr. Franklin Y. Yamamoto, Noel Okimoto and Jacob Roy Kekoaokalani Hoopai.
WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, Jan. 30, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, Manoa Ballroom.
COST: $40 for members, $50 for non-members and $20 for children, ages 4-10. Validated parking is $5. Deadline to register is Monday, Jan. 25. Make checks payable to: McKinley Alumni Association and mail to: McKinley Alumni Association, 1039 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96814. For more information, call Bucky Kaopuiki at (808) 222-2877.
2016 TIGER PRIDE AWARDEES:
Dr. Franklin Y. Yamamoto is a 1960 graduate of McKinley. He was a member of the MHS Band, Key Club, Aztecs Hi-Y, Campus Improvement Committee, ROTC and Rifle Team. Yamamoto received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and master’s degree in bio-chemistry from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He is a graduate of both the John A. Burns School of Medicine and the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Yamamoto also served in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Yamamoto currently is in private practice, specializing in allergy immunology and is active in various aspects of community service.
Noel Okimoto, touted as “the best drummer in Hawai‘i,” was nominated for his “Tiger Pride.” As defined by his nominator, pride is “The feeling deep within that makes you proud of yourself and makes you want to do the best. One who has pride perseveres toward a goal and often succeeds.” In 2004, Okimoto was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease. As his condition worsened, his two options were dialysis or a transplant. Okimoto underwent dialysis for a month before his wife Liane Fukumitsu donated one of her kidneys to him. Given a second chance at life, Okimoto gives back to the community and shares his talents with others. He and wife Liane are examples of what love, compassion and caring is all about. They show that being able to make sacrifices will enable the world to be a better place to live in.
Jacob “Jake” Hoopai spent three years as a student at McKinley and 44 years as a teacher. Hoopai excelled in football, basketball and track and field. He was a captain and company commander for the JROTC, served as president of the Letterman Club and showcased his talents as a member of the Thespian Society and McKinley Theater Group. He displayed the same determination and drive at Boise State College, where he excelled on its football team. Hoopai began his teaching career at McKinley in 1971. He was responsible for two innovative programs for alienated and at-risk students — the Special Motivation Program (SMP) and Comprehensive School Alienation Program (CSAP). These two programs allowed students to meet graduation requirements by completing their assignments with the guidance and assistance of competent and caring teachers. In his spare time, Hoopai is an actor, appearing on TV shows and in commercials, a musician and a weekend disc jockey on local Hawaiian radio stations.