June 2023

Yomitan Uchinanchu of the Year: Lori Toyama & Lea Ann Kakimoto

Uchinanchu of the Year honorees Lori Toyama and Lea Ann Kakimoto; are #3 Okuhara cousins and are descendants of Issei Soyei and Kama Okuhara. Lori Toyama passed away recently in the fall of 2023, and we are honoring her in Memorium. She was a sansei, worked at State DOT and was the mother of two daughters, Shelbie and Shayna, and grandmother to Bryxton. She was always eager to assist and recently, came to help with making Andamiso for the 2023 Okinawan Festival. Lori was instrumental in devising our club’s table reservation and seating chart for our Shinnenkai party, which is still in use today. Lori will always be in our hearts. 

Lea Ann Kakimoto is Yonsei, our current Vice President*, and has come from a long line of past presidents: mother Carol, Aunty Linda, and grandpa Hiroshi. Lea Ann has taken additional leadership roles to include Country Store club co-chair & chairperson of our Annual Shinnenkai. Lea Ann is currently a second-grade schoolteacher at Iliahi Elementary. She attributes her achievements to the support of her family, Jon and son Shane.

*This article was written before the 2023 Yomitan board voting. Lee Ann is now the Yomitan Board President.

Announcing 2024 Yomitan Board

We are pleased to announce our new lineup of club officers for the 2024-2025 term. Our new president is Lea Ann Kakimoto, and our vice president is Mel Horimoto, who will both serve as our HUOA representatives. Supporting them is a mostly intact officer team, with one timely addition. Our treasurer is Roxanne Yoshida, the recording secretary is Laura Ajimine, and the corresponding secretary is Warren Furuya. We will reassign Lauren Furuya, our digital services manager from Seattle, to assistant corresponding secretary. She will spearhead, along with many local members, the development of Yomitan Club’s digital communications, the club website, and social media presence! She will coordinate and help to update databases (lists) of dues, members, and postal-mail alongside our officers.

Pay Dues by Jan 31st for your Shinnenkai Member Rate!

It’s time for Yomitan annual membership dues. These fees have not changed for 2024: 

Remember to send payment by January 31st to get your special member rate for Shinnenkai. Members in good standing pay a Shinnenkai admission of $25 per person; otherwise, admission is $45 per person. Please send in your dues by the deadline to benefit from this member discount.

This newsletter includes your 2024 membership dues form. Fill out the enclosed form and mail your dues payment to Earlene Nakachi; 95-799 Maio St.; Mililani HI 96789. New members must also fill out the New Member Sign-Up Form.

97th Shinnenkai Saturday, April 6th at 5 PM

Our club’s 97th Annual Shinnenkai will be a dinner this year. Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 6th at 5:00 PM; at the Hawaii Okinawa Center Ballroom. Be on the lookout for an upcoming Yomitan Shinnenkai Newsletter which will include your RSVP, Payment & Table Reservation forms.

Save the Date! Yomitan Picnic, Sunday, July 14th

Please make plans to attend our club picnic this coming summer, on Sunday, July 14th, at our usual spot, at Ala Moana Beach Park. Yomitan families from M–Z, are tasked to staff and manage the various picnic activities. Please let us know if you can help out.