67th Chrysanthemum festival contestants: Alexis Camara, Emma Mika Endo, Cassidy Hanano, Lauren Mitra, Kokoro Yamazaki

Five Valley Isle high school juniors will vie for the title of 67th Chrysanthemum Festival queen. The festival is a Japanese cultural event that raises funds for scholarships and for the historical preservation programs of its sponsor, Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans.

The Chrysanthemum Festival will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Kïhei Community Center. Exhibits and entertainment will begin at 4:30 p.m., dinner is at 6 and the program will start at 7. Admission to the festival is free — however, tickets for the dinner are $15 each.

The contestant who raises the most money through ticket sales will be crowned the festival queen. This year’s contestants are:

• Alexis Camara, 16, of Makawao, a junior at King Kekaulike High School. She is the daughter of Ginger and August Camara.

• Emma Mika Endo, 16, of Wailuku, a junior at Henry Perrine Baldwin High School and the daughter of Randall and Patti Endo.

• Cassidy Hanano, 16, of Wailuku. Hanano is a junior at Kamehameha Schools Maui and the daughter Peter and Trudy Hanano.

• Lauren Mitra, 16, of Kahului, a junior at Maui High School and the daughter of Michele and Ramon Mitra.

• Kokoro Yamazaki, 16, of Lahaina, a junior at Lahainaluna High School. Yamazaki is the daughter of Ai and Megumi Hironaka.

For ticket or event information, or to contribute to a contestant’s efforts, call Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans president Leonard Oka at (808) 249-2163 or (808) 385-7670. Oka is co-chair of the event with Gary Nakama, a past president of the group.

Proceeds from the festival will support the Sons and Daughters’ historical preservation projects for the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, as well as annual scholarships. This year, 10 graduates of high schools on Maui were each awarded $1,000 scholarships from funds raised at the Chrysanthemum Festival. (Contestant photos courtesy Nagamine Photo Studio)


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