Photos by Logan Bundrick
Photos by Logan Bundrick

USO Okinawa car show a raving success

by Amber Craig
USO Okinawa

The staff members with USO Okinawa work hard to uphold the USO’s mission statement by connecting America’s military service members to family, home and country. USO Okinawa teamed up with Oki’s Finest on September 14th, 2019 for the 2nd Annual USO Okinawa Car Show. The event was a raving success as one service member stated, “I feel like I am back home at a local car show!”

When offered the chance to host the 2nd Annual USO Okinawa Car Show, I jumped at the opportunity! As a car lover and a dad as a mechanic, I grew up in the car scene. Cars have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, so this was the perfect event for me. I had a few goals from the moment I took the project on: 1) I wanted to top the first year’s number of cars; 2) To make the car show feel like those I attended in the states; 3) To open the event to the locals of Okinawa. Many hours went into planning this event to secure food trucks, develop judging categories, pick out and design the winner trophies, and make it accessible to the public. All of this and more went into planning the event and it would not have been a success if it weren’t for our volunteers!

Event Day: USO Staff and volunteers arrived early to setup and stage the area before cars began showing up. The event had 103 cars registered, so this would surely take some coordination on everyone’s part. After the first registered car arrived at 7:30am, time flew by and the next thing I knew, the lot was full with hundreds of patrons, both SOFA and locals, walking around admiring cars of all different makes and models. At the end of the day, the final count was 142 cars including the ones that did not make it into the show area.

During the event, four secret judges walked the car lanes picking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for six different categories: Best Paint, Best Sound, Best Wheels, Best interior, Best Engine Bay, and Far From Stock. In addition to these, we had a People’s Choice Award. Each car had a number displayed which patrons could write down as their vote for their favorite car and deposit it into the People’s Choice Award slip box. The winners of the trophies are as follows:

Best Paint:

  • 1st place: Scott Zimber with a Pontiac GTO
  • 2nd place: Rina Nakaema with a Silvia s15
  • 3rd place: Kalen Dozzi with a Toyota Supra

Best Sound:

  • 1st place: Rico Bautista with a Toyota Bb
  • 2nd place: Kazuma Matsumoto with a Dihatsu Mira gino
  • 3rd place: Jose De Jesus with a Toyota Trueno

Best Wheels:

  • 1st place: David Lam with a Toyota Supra
  • 2nd place: Alex Figueroa with a Mazda RX7
  • 3rd place: Russ Manu with a Honda Street Glide

Best Interior:

  • 1st place: John Hunter with a Honda Civic Type R
  • 2nd place: Matisa Cato with a Mercedes S63 AMG
  • 3rd place: Nickolay Petrenko with a Toyota Supra

Best Engine Bay:

  • 1st place: Dayton Gravlee with a Nissan Skyline
  • 2nd place: Blake Broussard with a Nissan Skyline
  • 3rd place: Devin Donovan with a Nissan Skyline

Far From Stock:

  • 1st place: Kaitlin Ergenbright with a Honda Metruck
  • 2nd place: Marc Sanchez with a Subaru Forester
  • 3rd place: Joe Taylor with a Nissan Skyline

People’s Choice Award: Kim Smith with a Chevrolet Corvette!

The USO Okinawa team would like to thank everyone for registering and coming out to help make the event a success!

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