Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and four-star Gen. David A. Bramlett (retired) headline the 11th annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner.
ABC7 anchor David Ono returns as the evening’s master of ceremonies, with entertainment being provided by multiple Grammy-award winning songwriter and producer Daniel Ho, renowned taiko group Taikoproject, and Los Angeles hula group Halau Keali’i O Nalani.
This year’s dinner, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 13, at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles, marks the first public gathering of Los Angeles-area veterans since the widely attended Los Angeles Regional Congressional Gold Medal celebration held in Little Tokyo in June. Following that event, GFBNEC President Don Nose noted, “I heard it said over and over again that it was the first time in decades so many veterans were gathered together in one place. We’d like to renew that experience at our Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner.”
“We know that the ticket price for fundraising events is very steep nowadays,” continued Nose. “We’ve arranged special pricing of $25 for Nisei veterans of World War II. Generous patrons are stepping up to assist us in covering the cost of these tickets. We invite all Nisei veterans to join us — and be a part of our community’s celebration of their legacy.”
In addition, Carelife Inc., a local caregiving and educational service for seniors, has generously offered to provide door-to-door transportation services for Nisei veterans and their spouses to and from the event.
This year’s keynote speaker, Vice Adm. Harris, holds one of the nation’s highest military posts. He has distinguished himself in every geographic combatant command, having logged 4,400 flight hours in operations that included Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. Born in Japan and raised in Tennessee and Florida, he has received personal decorations that include the Distinguished Service Medal (2) Defense Superior Service Medal (3), Legion of Merit (3), Bronze Star (2), and Air Medal (strike/flight).
Also on the program is longtime GFBNEC supporter Gen. Bramlett, who commanded the U.S. Army Forces Command from 1996 to 1998, after having previously served as the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. “I am honored to attend the Evening of Aloha and to continue my pilgrimage of deepest respect and admiration for the Nisei veteran,” he said. “It has become far more meaningful over the past 20 years through my personal friendships with so many of these gallant men. Their stories of extraordinary service and sacrifice, all reflected with a profound humility, are guideposts for the nation.”
As the major annual event of the Go For Broke National Education Center, the gala provides necessary funds to help share the life stories of Nisei soldiers, notes Evening of Aloha honorary chairperson Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president for corporate community relations at American Honda Motor Company. “We need to inspire our nation’s youth by showing them by example that through tenacity and hard work you can make an indelible mark in our nation’s march towards equality and justice for all.”
American Honda Motor Co. has generously donated a 2013 Acura TL with Technology Package to be given to the lucky winner of a drawing to be held that evening. The front-wheel drive luxury sedan features a 280 horsepower 3.5L, V-6 engine, premium audio system with 10 speakers and Dolby sound, and the Technology Package includes the Acura Navigation System with voice recognition, real-time traffic information, traffic re-routing and weather alerts, and a rearview camera.
The drawing is open to the public and the winner need not be present. To purchase tickets or to request tickets to sell, contact Peggy Renke at [email protected] or (310) 222-5709. Opportunity Draw tickets may also be purchased at the dinner.
Known for creating an outstanding dinner menu, renowned chefs Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s Restaurants Worldwide and Akira Hirose of Maison Akira Restaurant return this year to prepare yet another sumptuous meal, which has become one of the hallmarks of the Evening of Aloha.
In addition, a generous donor has offered a supply of 3-inch Nisei Soldiers of World War II Congressional Gold Medal bronze replicas available for sale for $39.95, plus shipping and handling. (The U.S. Mint recently decreased the price of the CGM replica from its original $44.95 level.) Deluxe black velvet presentation cases are also available.
Individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now being offered. For more information, visit www.goforbroke.org/eveningofaloha or call Ellen Robinson at (818) 242-9108, ext. 204.