The funds will support and expand public education on Nisei WWII veterans’ legacy.
LOS ANGELES — Go for Broke National Education Center announced Jan. 22 the awarding of two grants from the Aratani Foundation and Keiro that will support the nonprofit center’s national efforts to preserve and expand the legacy of Japanese American World War II veterans.
The substantial grant from the Aratani Foundation will support GFBNEC’s “Defining Courage” educational exhibit in Little Tokyo by underwriting complimentary admission for teachers and students, as well as families, on designated dates in 2018. The grant will also help GFBNEC launch a new national exhibition that is currently under development, as well as further support the organization’s annual Evening of Aloha gala fundraiser.
The Aratani Foundation was launched in 1994 by Nisei entrepreneur and philanthropist George Aratani and his wife, Sakaye. Following his incarceration at the Gila River concentration camp during WWII, George Aratani served as a bilingual instructor at the Military Intelligence Service language school at Camp Savage, Minn.
“The Aratani family has supported GFBNEC since its inception in 1989, and we’re extremely grateful for their generosity in helping us to educate the public about our Nisei veterans’ values of duty, sacrifice, humility and honor,” said GFBNEC President and CEO Mitchell T. Maki. “Today, the Aratani Foundation is helping us to reach a broader spectrum of Americans, both regionally and nationally, at a time when patriotism and social justice are more relevant than ever.”
Separately, Keiro has awarded GFBNEC a grant of $16,900 to provide transportation and support that will enable Nisei veterans to participate in the organization’s regular meetings, special events and educational programs. Founded in 1961, Keiro is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of senior life in the Japanese American community.
“Keiro’s support makes it possible for many of our Nisei veterans, who are in their 90s or even older, to attend GFBNEC’s regular meetings and help to direct the organization’s future,” Maki said. “It’s such a privilege to have our senior veterans share their experience and wisdom with schools, community groups and the public — they’re part of our living history. The Keiro grant helps ensure that our vets can participate in a wonderful range of activities, from educational events and multigenerational social activities to our annual Evening of Aloha gala.”