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Central // Central Oahu News
Carol Chang

Wahiawa’s Club Asoka Helps Send Military Kids To Camp

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

The Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission service club donat- ed $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 pres- ident 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 remem- ber, 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This year all that funding was withdrawn, however, and a last-minute scramble ensued to find sponsors, big and small, from local corporations and the com- munity. 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 children 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 thank-you came from the recipients. Broderick shared with his donor angels some com- ments 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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