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ONTO CHICAGO –WHOA, WHAT A TRIP!
by Stan ‘Da Crusher’ Fichtman
With the third largest state delegation at this year’s national convention in Chicago, IL, the Hawaii contingent arrived met by limousines and drivers to be whisked to the Windham Lisle hotel located about 30 miles outside of Metro Chicago. With a night to prep for the first events – that of competitions – the competitors and contingent rose early on Wednesday ready to support the competitors.
Being led by Onto-Chicago Co-Chairs Kathy Carreira of Hawaii Kai and Eve Epitome of the Rising Phoenix Jaycees, competitors girded up and support staff was on hand to watch the competitions on the first full day in Chicago. Our competitors for this year were:
DEBATE: Kekoa McClellan (Captian), Anthony Higa and Makana Shook from the Rising Phoenix Jaycees
MASTERS SPEAK UP: Ryan Ng, Honolulu Chinese Jaycees
DURWARD HOWES SPEAK-UP: Joshua Javier, Honolulu Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce
JEOPARDY: Jeremy Yamamoto, Rising Phoenix Jaycees
ARMBRUSTER: Anthony Higa, Rising Phoenix Jaycees
BROWNFIELD: Rachel Cabanizas
The final tally on our competitors showed what Hawaii was made of!
MASTERS SPEAK UP: Second Place, Ryan Ng
DURWARD HOWES SPEAK UP: Second Place, Joshua Javier
JEOPARDY: Jeremy Yamamoto, Third Place
Congratulations to all the competitors, your state and your chapters are proud of your achievements at the national level! Thank you’s also to the support staff and other Hawaii delegates that were there for the competitors. Other states were impressed that in every competition, Hawaii delegates were there on hand to watch and support.
On day 2, national awards were given out in two ceremonies. Among the accolades that Hawaii received during the daytime awards:
- FINAL PARADE OF STATES RANKING: 8th Place.
- STATEWIDE PROJECT OF THE YEAR, 1ST PLACE: Adopt A School Day, Hawaii Jaycees
- MEMBERSHIP DOUBLE-UP AWARD: Hilo Jaycees
- MEMBERSHIP PROJECT AWARD: Honolulu Filipino for their Membership recruitment event.
- OVERALL CHAPTER AWARD, ANNUAL REPORT: Honolulu Chinese
The evening awards brought even more recognition to the Hawaii Jaycees for 2010 efforts. These individuals received these coveted awards:
· R. Bradley Trafton Memorial Award, recognizing outstanding State Board Members that are not Vice Presidents: Mike Nitta, 2010 HIJC Treasurer
· Dennis Hamilton Memorial Award, recognizing outstanding State Vice Presidents – Annette Kim, 2010 HIJC Executive Vice President
· Steve Little Memorial Award, recognizing outstanding State Membership Vice Presidents – Eve Epitome, 2010 Membership Vice President (the ONLY recipient of this award for 2010)
· Allen Whitfiled Memorial Award, recognizing outstanding State Presidents – Stan Fichtman, 67th President, HIJC 2010
Other highlights of the trip include:
TEN OUTSTANDING YOUNG AMERICANS
The Hawaii Jaycees was also present when Maui Boy Shane Victorino and Lucas Boyce both received the Ten Outstanding Young Americans award for 2011 atChicago. Nominated in Hawaii in January, Shane and Lucas were named to the top 10, in which Lucas appeared in person and Shane’s wife was there to receive her husband’s award. Shane Victorino was nominated by Eve Epitome. Lucas Boyce, nominated by Roger Gummerman (both RPJ members).
SCHMOOZING WITH THE BIGWIGS
The delegation was able to meet some high-powered members of the United States Jaycees and Junior Chamber International. Among them were:
· 2011 JCI World President Kentaro Harada of Japan
· Former JCI World President Scott Greenley of Michigan
· Former USJC Presidents Denise O’Neil, John Weber and Mike Faller
· And United States Junior Chamber Foundation President Raj Nakarni
NATIONAL ELECTIONS – HAWAII AGAIN REPRESENTS!
In the area of national office elections – Stan Fichtman, 67th President, was elected on a vote of acclimation as a National Vice President of the United States Junior Chamber in 2012. Our own Eve Epitome addressed the convention delegation on behalf of Stan’s nomination. Travis Ahlquist of the Minnesota Jaycees was elected the 92nd National President of the U.S. Jaycees. All Vice Presidents and the President will take their oath at the US Jaycees Leadership Academy in January, 2012.
TAKING ON CHICAGO’S LEGENDARY FOODS AND SITES
Hawaii State delegation dinner hosted by Presidents Stan and Yvette was held at Gino’s Pizzaria and at $10.99 per person for pizza and salad, it was a steal! Except, that we didn’t know the pizza’s were full sized 15″ rounds and so after the delegation dinner outing we still ended up with 15 full pizza’s in Yvette’s room!
Delegates rode the Metra trains that transport people to outlying areas in Chicago and visited the John Hancock Tower, the Willis Tower, the Science Museum, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, a beautiful Bahai Temple, drove by HARPO Studios, the Hershey’s Store, dined in fabulous and fun places and shopped the Magnificent Mile and more! We ended the trip with a group dinner at FADO’s Irish Pub. A fine recommendation by Brian Kupczyk, Yvette’s brother-in-law.
President Yvette got her Chicago not-dog (no hot peppers please) and a super-onolicious Lou Manalti’s veggie deep dish pizza. Chairman of the Board Stan dined with outgoing National Vice President Eddie Kam at the legendary Graham Elliott in Chicago where they sampled the well known Twinkie with a “deconstructed Caesar” salad.
MIRACLES ABOUND, HELPING OUT A BROTHER!
In a moving 1 1/2 hour miracle, Hawaii Jaycees’ was one of many who contributed to the recovery and rebuilding of Missouri. HIJC donated $450.00 to Joplin Jaycees contributing to an astonishing $21,000.00 raised in 1 1/2 hours by Jaycees.
Washington Jaycees contributed almost $1000 by donating cups to sell at our Banzai Party and taking a voluntary collection on the last night of convention. I feel they are cementing our participation in Onto Seattle (Seriously, they just funded our 2013 Banzai Party)!
Onto Iowa in 2012 celebrating the 2011 year is being chaired by Jay Reymundo.
Onto Seattle in 2013 celebrating the 2012 year is being chaired by Lori Unemori.