Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Awardee Dr. Frank Sakamoto

asianave May 1, 2012 Comments Off

Dr. Frank Sakamoto was the March 2012 recipient of the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award, recognizing his many efforts to boost awareness of human rights, particularly among young people. Dr. Sakamoto, 86, has served on the board of directors of the Mile Hi Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) for more than 50 years, and for 40 of those years, in several leadership capacities with the National JACL.

Dr. Sakamoto has spoken to many organizations about his experiences as a minority, his military service, and life in Japanese internment camps. He actively educates youth about the excesses of wartime hysteria, with the goal of stopping it from happening again.

For the past 16 years, Dr. Sakamoto has helped to coordinate the local JACL’s participation in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade, and has marched each year until recently, due to health. He has also helped organize JACL’s booth at the Boulder Asian Pacific Alliance Festival.

In addition to JACL, Dr. Sakamoto’s volunteer activities include service with the Japanese Association of Colorado, the Japanese American Community Graduation Program, and as a bell ringer with the Salvation Army. In all his volunteer activities, Dr. Sakamoto is known for advocating on behalf of youth involvement in leadership and decision-making.

Dr. Sakamoto was honored at a special ceremony at the Marriott Denver Tech Center Hotel on March 22, 2012 for his many years of dedicated service to the Japanese American community. In a proclamation, Mayor Michael Hancock declared March 22 as Dr. Frank Sakamoto Day in Denver. Many leaders of the Japanese-American Community joined the festivities, including representatives of the Japanese Consul General.

The award is accompanied by a $2,000 monetary award, which was presented by Denver Judge Kerry Hada. Dr. Sakamoto designated the award to Mile Hi JACL. Harry Budisidharta, President of the Mile Hi JACL, was on hand to accept the check and congratulate Dr. Sakamoto.

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