“The foundation of a future is laid in the past (I ka wa mamua, ka wa ma hope)” is the theme of a unique program that marks an all-new direction for Go For Broke National Education Center’s (GFBNEC) 12th annual Evening of Aloha on Saturday, Oct. 12, beginning at 5 p.m., at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles.

In lieu of a traditional keynote speaker, this year’s program features an original production by the Grateful Crane Ensemble as well as participation by young student winners of a GFBNEC-sponsored essay contest — both components emblematic of the evening’s fresh approach to honoring the Nisei veterans. 

Chefs Roy Yamaguchi, Akira Hirose

“The future of our organization depends on the Yonsei, Gosei, and those who follow, to embrace the life-changing foundation that was laid by the Nisei generation,” explains GFBNEC Board Chair Bill Seki, in speaking about the new approach to this year’s gala event.

The multimedia presentation by the Grateful Crane Ensemble, best known for “The Camp Dance: The Music and the Memories” and “Nihonmachi: The Place to Be,” is an all-new musical drama that fuses stories and images from the past with live re-enactments in the present to inspire a whole new generation of young people regarding the heroic actions of members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry.

Culled from the archives of the GFBNEC’s Hanashi Oral History Program, excerpts from interviews with Nisei veterans capture the sacrifices made by these men who were recently awarded the nation’s prestigious Congressional Gold Medal.

On hand will be 50 winners of a GFBNEC-sponsored essay contest for local high school and college students, who are being asked to submit a 250- to 500-word essay on the Nisei veterans by Sept. 12. The dinner provides a rare opportunity for these young people to meet face-to-face with the subjects of their essays. Sponsors were asked to underwrite the cost of these student winners to attend. Essays are being sought via email, and contest themes and rules are available at www.goforbroke.org. Winners will be announced on Sept. 25.

The organization’s largest fundraising event of the year will once again feature the highly regarded cuisine of Chef Roy Yamaguchi (Roy’s Restaurants) and Chef Akira Hirose (Maison Hirose). In addition, King’s Hawaiian Bakery will provide dessert.

To mark this year’s gala, American Honda Motor Co. has generously donated a 2013 Honda Accord V6 touring sedan, to be given to the lucky winner of a drawing that evening. Drawing tickets are now available through peggy@goforbroke.org or may be purchased on the evening of the event. The winner need not be present, according to Evening of Aloha’s honorary dinner chair, Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president of American Honda Motors Co. Inc.

In addition to a live auction featuring such items as a Caribbean vacation at the Windjammer Villa Beach Resort, extensive silent auction items ranging from Hawaiian vacations to Japanese screen paintings are included in the evening’s offerings.

Tickets are now available through the Go For Broke National Education Center, with discounts being offered to veterans of all wars as well as community organizations. Individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit www.goforbroke.org or call (818) 242-9108, ext. 204. 

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