U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Nicole Rogge
U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Nicole Rogge

AWWA hosts Friendship Social on Camp Butler

by Lance Cpl. Nicole Rogge
Marine Corps Installations Pacific

Guests took their seats as Kadena’s Junior Reserve Officer’ Training Corps Color Guard marched to the center floor with Ryukyu Middle School choir standing silently in the background preparing to sing Japan’s and U.S.’ national anthems March 2 during the American Woman’s Welfare Association and Marine Officers’ Spouses’ Club Okinawa Friendship Social on Camp Butler.

The social is held each year to celebrate the organizations who received grant funds and provide awareness about AWWA to both the U.S. and local communities.

“The philanthropy demonstrated by the organizations gathered under the AWWA banner play a special role in showing American dedication to our host nation community,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Rock Jr., the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Marine Corps Base-Camp Butler, Japan.

AWWA is made up of five member clubs: Marine Officers' Spouses' Club Okinawa, Navy Officers' Spouses' Club Okinawa, Kadena Officers' Spouses' Club Okinawa, Okinawa Enlisted Spouses' Club, and the Marine Thrift Shop.

“Sometimes I fight back tears just thinking about the difference we make in the lives of those who would never even expect the help,” said Natasha Harth, the president of AWWA. “It’s such a good feeling, and I believe the more you give the more you get out of it yourself.”
The organization accepts grant requests from American and Japanese organizations to help fund projects such as travel for sports and academic competitions, buses for non-profits and roofing repair after damage sustained from typhoons.

“I’m so full of gratitude and thankfulness,” said Terukina Tooru, a member of Ambitious, an organization who receives grant money from AWWA. “What AWWA has done for our organization is unspeakable.”
This fiscal year AWWA has already contributed over 75 thousand dollars to Japanese and American organizations.

“The efforts to assist groups of the local community increases their access to basic services, helps them maintain self-sufficiency, and is a very visible symbol of caring for our neighbors,” said Rock. “They are not just philanthropists, but ambassadors, helping build trust, understanding, and meaningful friendships.”

Photo Caption:
Typhoon Twisters gymnasts, an organization who received grant money from American Woman’s Welfare Association (AWWA), perform a routine during the AWWA and Marine Officers’ Spouses’ Club Okinawa Friendship Social on Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan Mar. 2, 2019. The social is held each year to celebrate the organizations who have received grant funds and to provide awareness about AWWA to both the local Japanese and American communities. AWWA has already contributed over 75 thousand dollars to Japanese and American organizations this fiscal year.

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