SAN FRANCISCO — Nominations for the 2019 Takeo and Kay Okamoto Community Award are now being accepted by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California.
Created by their family, the awards honor the memory of Takeo and Kay Okamoto for their dedication to the community.
Those who knew Takeo Okamoto describe him in the most respectful and thoughtful terms. The epitome of a Nisei, complete with stoic veneer and soft center, he worked endless hours to provide for his family while instilling in his daughter, two sons and future generations the values of respect, humility and integrity.
Takeo Okamoto was an effective yet unassuming community leader. He was a founding member of the Japanese Businessmen’s Club of San Francisco, Japanese American Citizens League, JCCCNC, and Kokusei Kai Shigin Group. Further, he was active in the Lions Club, Boy Scout Troop 12 and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California.
With over 50 years of community service to her credit, Kay Okamoto epitomized the word “volunteer.” From a young age, she was active as a superintendent and teacher at the Alameda Buddhist Church Sunday School, president of the Alameda Chapter of JACL and president of the North American Federation of Young Women’s Buddhist Associations. She was devoted to the activities and education of her three children and served as PTA president, Cub Scout volunteer and classroom helper.
In 1956, she assisted in organizing Hamilton Senior Center, becoming its first coordinator. Serving in this position for 30 years, her name became synonymous with Hamilton. In the 1970s, she assisted with the birth of what was to become a new senior service agency called Kimochi Inc. Her gracious and genuinely friendly demeanor made her a valued member to various segments of the community.
Nominations from the community and individuals are welcomed. The family decided to consolidate the Takeo Okamoto Community Leadership Award and the Kay Okamoto Volunteer Award to create the Takeo and Kay Okamoto Community Award, which will honor leaders, volunteers, individuals and organizations as well.
For a nomination form, or for more information, contact the JCCCNC at (415) 567-5505. Nomination forms must be completed and submitted by Monday, Aug. 12, at 5 p.m.