Young golfers at last year’s tournament.
Participants in last year’s tournament keep their eye on the ball.

By RYUTA SHIMOIDA, Special to the Rafu

On Saturday, March 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program will host its 10th annual Miniature Golf Tournament at Camelot Golfland, 3200 Carpenter Ave., Anaheim. Proceeds from the tournament will support the 2013-14 Rising Stars Leadership Program.

It will be a day of family fun, food, and friendly competition. The day starts out with a continental breakfast for all participants. Come and spend a day at Camelot Golfland, which features four golf courses. Registration and pre-tournament continental breakfast start at 9 a.m. and the tournament’s shotgun start is at 10 a.m.

A highlight of the tournament is the raffle organized by the Rising Stars participants. The top prize is an iPad 2. Second prize is a digital camera and third prize is $150 cash.  Winners need not be present to win.

All golfers will receive a goodie bag with donated items gathered by the Rising Stars participants. The top three places for the adult golfer and youth golfer categories will receive awards. First-place prizes for both the adult and youth golfers will be a $15 Starbucks gift card.

Pre-sale tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for youth (age 12 and under), and include golf and lunch. Tickets at the door will be $20 and $15, and for those who just want to enjoy a scrumptious pizza and salad lunch, the cost will be $7.

Any and all support is greatly appreciated – buy raffle tickets, make a financial contribution as a sponsor, or just participate as a golfer in the tournament.

Come support tomorrow’s leaders of the Japanese American community at the golf tournament. All proceeds will go towards funding the next year’s Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program. By keeping the program alive, the Rising Stars will be able to continue to give back to the community and raise future leaders.

The students meet monthly over a five-month period for leadership training sessions, cultural activities, and lectures. With expert training from highly experienced professionals, the students develop skills such as team building, making connections, being assertive, and public speaking.

After participating in the Rising Stars Program I am no longer a boy. I’ve become a man.

For ten years the Rising Stars Program has helped high school students develop their leadership skills, and their confidence. But to keep the program going, funds need to be raised through the tournament so that a new class next year can be sponsored. Help build tomorrow’s leaders today and come show your support for the Rising Stars at the Miniature Golf Tournament.

The Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program is created by the Nikkei Federation for high school students. The program encourages students to become inspired through interactive workshops and cultural education, to learn leadership skills, and to be more active in the Japanese American community.  The tournament is the final project of the program and is organized and run by the Rising Stars participants.

For information and registration, or to become a sponsor or donor, visit the Nikkei Federation online at or contact Glenn Nakatani at (626) 915-5388 or

The Rising Stars Youth Leadership program is sponsored in part by the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center as the venue sponsor and by The Rafu Shimpo as the media sponsor. The Nikkei Federation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law

Ryuta Shimoida, a senior at Irvine High School Irvine, is a participant in the 10th annual Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program and a member of the publicity committee. Twenty members of the 2012-2013 RS10 program have been trained by professionals in workshops including “Working in Groups,” “Assertiveness,” “Networking,” “Speaking to Persuade,” “Cultural Values,” and “Financial Fitness.”

Rising Stars participants learn how to be persuasive (left) and assertive (right).
Rising Stars participants visit the Little Tokyo Koban with Hal Kiemi of the Japanese American National Museum as their guide.


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