Maui News

Nisei Veterans Memorial Center’s Inaugural Hero Awards

November 22, 2016, 8:54 AM HST
* Updated November 22, 9:01 AM
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PC: Melanie Agrabante. (L to R) Wes Lo - Philanthropy Award Winner; Shauna Dukes - Courage Award Winner; Dean Yamashita - Leadership Award Winner.

PC: Melanie Agrabante. (L to R) Wes Lo – Philanthropy Award Winner; Shauna Dukes – Courage Award Winner; Dean Yamashita – Leadership Award Winner.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center issued their inaugural HERO Awards to three individuals who reflect the values of Nisei Veterans.

Former Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation Maui Region CEO, Wesley Lo was honored with the Philanthropy Award for his years of service; The Dukes Family of Maui was the recipient of the Courage award for their bravery as they support their son Trucker in his continued battle with neuroblastoma; and Dean Yamashita received the leadership award for his outstanding guidance in mentoring and coaching the Central Maui Little League team to a World Series Championship.

The awards were issued at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center’s annual dinner held on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club.

During his remarks, keynote speaker Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. spoke about the importance of the values of honor and obligation that he learned from his Japanese mother at a young age.

The recipients of the HouseMart Leadership award and the Miyake Concrete Courage award each received a trophy and a check in the amount of $1,000.


The Hero Awards Committee was headed by Ashley Takitani Leahey, Grant Nakama and Royce Fukuroku. The Selection Committee was comprised of Trisha Roy, Lisa Shitamoto, Tim Yamasaki, Trevor Tokishi and Sadene Ota.


“The Hero Awards were created this year to inspire and engage future generations so the Nisei values and stories live on. As a board, we were excited to see this come to fruition, as it’s our first step into our new mission and vision for the Center,” said Ota.

NVMC’s mission is to ignite the potential in people by inspiring them to find the hero in themselves through the legacy of the Nisei Veterans.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center is a non-profit organization which owns and manages an intergenerational campus on Go For Broke Place in Kahului that serves as a home for Kansha Preschool, Maui Adult Day Care Center’s Oceanview facility, the Stanley Izumigawa Pavilion and the NVMC Education Center.

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