A3M to Honor Gene Kanamori at Annual Gala

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Gene and Vickie Kanamori

Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) will present this year’s Human Spirit Award to Gene S. Kanamori at its annual Gala Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Hyatt Regency Long Beach, 200 S. Pine Ave. in Long Beach.

Reception and silent auction at 5 p.m.; dinner and program at 6:30 p.m. Denise Dador, ABC 7 Eyewitness News health specialist, will serve as emcee.

A3M’s mission is to improve the health and welfare of patients with leukemia and other blood cancers by educating and recruiting potential bone marrow or blood cell donors.

The Human Spirit Award is presented to individuals, groups or organizations that have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the community through their support of A3M’s mission to help patients searching for their miracle marrow matches. Stories of the human spirit – of hope and courage, families and friendships, generosity and miracles – fuel A3M’s determination to help all patients who are in need of lifesaving marrow transplants.

Kanamori has been a significant part of A3M’s success for almost two decades. His encouragement, support and guidance have meant a second chance for patients in need of matching marrow donors. He has been on A3M’s Starnight Committee for over a decade, most of that time as chairperson. During those years, he has helped A3M raise funds to support donor recruitment activities.

He has been an enthusiastic, steadfast and loyal supporter of A3M and his family has consistently volunteered with many A3M events.

Kanamori currently serves as vice president of Keiro, where he has been for close to 10 years. He was also their director of human resources.

Born in Oxnard, the second son of Shogo and Mae Kanamori, he attended CSU Long Beach. After graduation, he continued his career at UPS, which took him and his family throughout the U.S. After 28 years, the family decided to permanently remain in Southern California and he retired from UPS. Kanamori’s next job was at Pepsi, followed by his current job at Keiro.

His family includes wife Vickie, daughter Traci Murata and her husband Eric, and son Lance. With the support of his family, Kanamori has been on community boards and committees throughout his lifetime, including Urban League of Greater New Orleans, United Way of Greater New Orleans, Volunteer Information Agency of New Orleans, International Examiner of Seattle, Organization of Chinese Americans of Greater Seattle, JACL of Greater Seattle, Asian Counseling and Referral Service of Seattle, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Washington State, Seattle Buddhist Church, Aki Kurose Middle School, and United Way of King County.

Currently, Kanamori serves on the board of Seattle-based Densho and the Board of Governors for the Japanese American National Museum. He is the co-founder of a philanthropic group called Sansei Legacy of Southern California.

Other groups he has been involved with are: Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Go For Broke National Educational Center, Grateful Crane Ensemble, Terasaki Budokan, Asian Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California, Nikkei Games, My Wish List, and Little Tokyo Service Center.

However, there is one organization that Kanamori feels is so important: “When Vickie and I talk about what we can do for our community, only one organization that saves lives came to mind. A3M gives hope to patients by increasing and diversifying the national registry. We need to continue the work so patients in our communities would have a fair opportunity to find that miracle match.”

Individual tickets are $100. Sponsorship levels: A3M Friends (two guests), $500; Table of Ten, $1,000; Community Sponsor (six guests, for nonprofit organizations only), $1,500; Bronze Sponsor (10 guests), $3,000; Silver Sponsor (10 guests), $5,000; Gold Sponsor (10 guests), $7,000; Platinum Sponsor (10 guests), $10,000. For more information, call (213) 625-2802 or visit www.a3mhope.org.

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