Congratulations to Winners of Rising Stars’ 12th Annual Mini Golf Tournament

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Rising Stars 12 (2014-15) participants. Row 1, from left: Justin Ninomiya, Kelsie Nakasone, Mary (Miki) Arlen, Sarah Uyehara, Christie Kika, Kaitlyn Chu; Row 2, from left: Brandon Chung, Tyler Sugimoto, Bradley Nishida, Tiffany Ching, Taryn Manaka, Alyssa Furukawa; Row 3, from left: Benjamin (Ben) Alton, Tai Wissing,  Kendall Kikkawa, Keith Sera, Kevin Boettcher.

Rising Stars 12 (2014-15) participants. Row 1, from left: Justin Ninomiya, Kelsie Nakasone, Mary (Miki) Arlen, Sarah Uyehara, Christie Kika, Kaitlyn Chu; Row 2, from left: Brandon Chung, Tyler Sugimoto, Bradley Nishida, Tiffany Ching, Taryn Manaka, Alyssa Furukawa; Row 3, from left: Benjamin (Ben) Alton, Tai Wissing, Kendall Kikkawa, Keith Sera, Kevin Boettcher.

By BRANDON CHUNG

Many people came to enjoy a fun day in the sun with their families, whether it be out golfing on the green or enjoying delicious pizza to support the Rising Stars Youth Leadership 12th annual Miniature Golf Tournament, held at Camelot Golfland in Anaheim on March 7.

The tournament, which began at 9 a.m., garnered over 100 people, 67 of whom were participants eager to golf (in the case of the adults), or to hit the arcade (in the case of the kids). In addition to having a chance to have fun golfing, attendees purchased raffle tickets at $2 each for a chance to win top prizes. Golfing ended at 12 p.m., and all participants were issued large goodie bags filled with donated items.

The Kikkawa family supports the Rising Stars Miniature Golf Tournament. Kendall, a RS 12 participant, is a sophomore at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada Flintridge.  (Photo by: Kaitlyn Chu)

The Kikkawa family supports the Rising Stars Miniature Golf Tournament. Kendall, a RS 12 participant, is a sophomore at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada Flintridge. (Photo by Kaitlyn Chu)

Lunch consisted of salad and Camelot’s oh-so-good pizza, all you could eat, served to satisfy the golfers’ appetites. After lunch, the winners of the tournament were announced.

From the Kids’ Division, Janelle Miyatake placed third, Mia Miyatake took second, and first place went to Kara Chu. In the Adults’ Division, Phoebe Arlen and Jon Sera tied for second place, with first place going to Chris Chu.

Sera said that he enjoyed the tournament. “It was a lot of fun. It was great to see our youths working and utilizing the skills [they]learned in the program.”

His favorite part, he said, was interacting with the other participants and getting to know the families of other Rising Stars participants better.

Following the announcements of the winners, the raffle began. Various prizes, donated by Fugetsu-Do Confectionery, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, and other donors, were given away, until finally only the top three prizes remained.

Lindsay Miyamoto won the Disneyland tickets; Cecilia Lin won the goPro camera, and the top prize, an iPad Mini, was won by Minerva Avila. Unfortunately, none of them were present to claim their prizes; interestingly, however, all three of the top prize winners purchased their raffle tickets from Rising Stars member Keith Sera.

Rising Stars participant tees up for her shot. (Photo by Kaitlyn Chu)

Rising Stars participant tees up for her shot. (Photo by Kaitlyn Chu)

“I was glad that the people who helped sponsor our program got something from their donations,” said Sera, who also expressed his surprise that the three top winners had all bought their tickets from him.

The Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program has enjoyed another successful tournament, and would like to thank all the attendees, sponsors and donors for their support. We hope to see you at next year’s tournament.

The Nikkei Federation is the program sponsor for Rising Stars. For more information, visit our website at www.Nikkeifederation.org.

The JACCC is our facility sponsor and has provided ongoing support for the Rising Stars program since its inaugural session. For information about the JACCC and its programs, visit their website at www.JACCC.org.

The Rafu Shimpo is the media sponsor and provides media coverage and ad support for the program. Visit www.rafu.com for online coverage of news and events.

Brandon Chung is a sophomore at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra. He is on the Rising Stars Publicity Committee and is pursuing his interest in journalism at school. Kaitlyn Chu is a sophomore at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana. She is also a member of the Rising Stars Publicity Committee.

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