Wahi­awa’s Club Asoka Helps Send Mil­i­tary Kids To Camp

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Central Oahu Islander - By CAROL CHANG

In its own hum­ble way, Wahi­awa’s Club Asoka has bright­ened the sum­mer for dozens of mil­i­tary kids.

The Wahi­awa Hong­wanji Mis­sion ser­vice club do­nated $1,000 in May to Club Pur­ple, giv­ing it the funds needed, com­bined with other donors, to run its one- week camp at the YMCA’s Camp Erd­man once again.

“Thanks to you,” wrote YMCA of Honolulu pres­i­dent and CEO Michael Brod­er­ick, “we were able to in­vite 130 kids to Op­er­a­tion Pur­ple.”

The camp gives chil­dren of de­ployed troops a place to re­lax and stop wor­ry­ing about their dad and/or mom, a chance to have fun with oth­ers who also have anx­i­ety about their par­ents and the tur­moil in their lives — and it’s all free. Last year the Mokuleia camp gave 319 keiki a week to re­mem­ber, bol­stered by $143,000 from the non­profit Na­tional Mil­i­tary Fam­ily As­so­ci­a­tion.

This year all that fund­ing was with­drawn, how­ever, and a last-minute scram­ble en­sued to find spon­sors, big and small, from lo­cal cor­po­ra­tions and the community. It seemed a nat­u­ral for Club Asoka, which has been send­ing care pack­ages and phone cards to our Hawaii Na­tional Guard and Re­serve folks over­seas since 2003; it’s also helped Schofield fam­i­lies. A fund drive to help mil­i­tary chil- dren via the North Shore camp ex­pe­ri­ence is just the club’s lat­est ex­tended help­ing hand.

“We would not have been as suc­cess­ful in these en­deav­ors if not for the gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tions and mone­tary do­na­tions from the com­mu­ni­ties of Wahi­awa, Whit­more Vil­lage, Ku­nia and Mililani,” stated club pres­i­dent Aki Kakazu, a re­tired Army of­fi­cer.

Per­haps the best thankyou came from the re­cip­i­ents. Brod­er­ick shared with his donor an­gels some com­ments from the happy campers, in­clud­ing young Christo­pher: “I’d like to thank them so I could en­joy this camp. It was the most awe­somest camp ever!”

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