Celebrating our Volunteers!

Seven volunteers contributed 500+ hours of service in 2018. JANM staffer Clement Hanami is pictured with five of them: June Aoki, Bob Moriguchi, Ruthie Kitagawa, Hal Keimi, and Richard Murakami. Not pictured: Janet Maloney and James Tanaka

At JANM, we love our volunteers, and to tell you the truth, this place wouldn’t keep running without them. In 2018, our active, seasonal, and trainee volunteers contributed a total 26,900 hours for events, school programs, tours, and many other activities—all because they are dedicated to telling the story of the Japanese American experience. We even had seven volunteers who each contributed more than 500 hours of service! We try to find small ways to thank them all throughout the year, but on May 11, 2019, we held our annual Volunteer Recognition Awards Event to demonstrate our sincere appreciation for all they do for us. Each year the volunteers themselves and staff of JANM are invited to nominate volunteers who have provided especially outstanding service in several award categories. A selection committee made up of staff and previous awardees painstakingly evaluate the nominations and make the final selections.

The 2018 Miki Tanimura Outstanding Volunteer Award was presented to Tami Hirai by fellow volunteer and last year’s awardee Yae Aihara and JANM President and CEO Ann Burroughs.
Masako Miki, JANM staff, presented the 2018 Administration Award to Teri Lim.

For 2018, Teri Lim received the Administration Award, which recognizes outstanding service and achievement in the administrative/operations capacity. June Berk was given the Community Award for outstanding service and achievement in working with visitors, the public, and in the community on behalf of the museum. Maria Kelly got the Program Award for service and achievement in educating visitors through public and school programs. And Tami Hirai was awarded the Miki Tanimura Outstanding Volunteer Award, named after a passionate volunteer who passed away in 1992.

Clement Hanami presented 30 years of service pins to Mary and Babe Karasawa.

In addition to the awards, we give service pins to those who have stuck with us through the years. Two of our volunteers, Mary Karasawa and Richard “Babe” Karasawa celebrated their 30th anniversary of volunteering, meaning they’ve been giving their time since before we originally opened our doors to the public back in 1992!

JANM Trustee Ken Hamamura presented 25-year service pins to Jane Kim, Mat Uyeno, and Joyce Inouye.
Thomas Gallatin, JANM staff, presented 20-year service pins to Bob Moriguchi and Sande Hashimoto.
JANM Governor Gene Kanamori (far right) presented 15-year service pins to Ken Hamamura, Jo Ann Hamamura, and Hagi Kusunoki. Not present: Yosh Arima and Ken Nakagawa.

Other pins were given out as follows: One Year—John Karasawa, Elizabeth Kato, Janet Morey, Patrice Okabe, Don Tanaka, Blossom Uyeda, and Donna Wakano; Five Years—Ben Furuta and Yas Osako; Ten Years—June Magsaysay, Jeanette Onishi, and Keiko Yokota; Fifteen Years—Yosh Arima, Jo Ann Hamamura, Ken Hamamura, Hagi Kusunoki, and Ken Nakagawa, Twenty Years—Sande Hashimoto, Marie Masumoto, Robert Moriguchi, and Lauren Nakasuji, Twenty-Five Years—Joyce Inouye, Jane Kim, and Matsuko Uyeno.

JANM Trustee Randall Lee presented five-year pins to Ben Furuta and Yas Osako.
Sohayla Pagano from the staff presented one-year volunteer service pins to John Karasawa, Elizabeth Kato, Donna Wakano, and Don Tanaka.

We also want to thank the presenters and those who helped during, before, and after the event: Yae Aihara, Ann Burroughs, John Esaki, Tom Gallatin, Jo Ann Hamamura, Ken Hamamura, Clement Hanami, Kristen Hayashi, Jamie Henricks, Shawn Iwaoka, Gene Kanamori, Hal Keimi, Evan Kodani, Randall Lee, Janet Maloney, Marie Masumoto, Alyctra Matsushita, Masako Miki, Cynthia Mikimoto, Carol Miyahira, Annette Miyamoto, Luis Montanez, Julia Murakami, Yuka Murakami, Vicky Murakami-Tsuda, Irene Nakagawa, Nina Nakao, Yoko Nishimura, Nobuyuki Okada, Sohayla Pagano, Jaime Reyes, Tsuneo Takasugi, Travis Takenouchi, Teri Tanimura, Bob Uragami, Lynn Yamasaki, King’s Hawaiian for the cookie bar, and all the JANM staff members who wrote thank you notes for our volunteers.

Past Miki Tanimura Award recipients who attended the awards event this year. First row (left to right): Julia Murakami, Hal Keimi, Masako Koga Murakami, Bob Moriguchi, Yae Aihara, Bob Uragami. Second row: Lee Hayashi, Roy Sakamoto, Carole Yamakoshi, Nahan Gluck, Bill Shishima. Third row: Ken Hamamura, Richard Murakami, Michael Okamura, Richard “Babe” Karasawa

For information about volunteering with JANM, please visit janm.org/volunteer or contact volunteer@janm.org or 213.830.5645.

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