Bush Lauds Mililani’s Linda Uehara For Community Service

Wednesday - June 27, 2007
By Lisa Asato
E-mail this story | Print this page | Comments (0) | Archive | RSS | Share Del.icio.us

Linda Uehara with President George W. Bush. Photo from Marcie Herring.
Linda Uehara with President George W. Bush. Photo
from Marcie Herring.

Mililani resident Linda Uehara was honored at a White House ceremony last month, where President Bush bestowed upon her a presidential award for voluntarism and a “Hawaiian style” peck on the cheek.

In a private conversation with Bush before the ceremony, Uehara relayed to the him that the men in her family sent their warm regards.“And he quickly responded that he’s glad the woman of the family came to deliver the message.”

“I thought, ‘Oh, what a sense of humor,’ ” recalled Uehara, a teacher for 33 years at schools in Waipahu and Kapolei.

Uehara, whose daughter, Marcie Herring, accompanied her to Washington, D.C., brought a lei and candy for the president but had to leave them with an aide. “I hope he was able to enjoy it later,” said Uehara, who also has two sons, Del and Beau, and lives with her husband Danny.

Uehara was among six recipients of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the nation’s highest honor for community service. During the May 10 ceremony celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Bush praised the awardees for setting “a powerful example for all Americans.”

Your “acts of kindness have changed lives; they’ve laid the

foundation for stronger communities, and they really speak to the strength of America,” Bush said, adding, “The true strength of the country lies in the hearts and souls of citizens who hear the call to love a neighbor and do something about it.”

Uehara, 60, first heard the call as a youngster. Her voluntarism spans more than 40 years, including work as a student member of the Waipahu Elementary School Service Organization, a junior leader and adult leader at city summer fun programs and a college-age advisor to high school girls clubs. In the past decade she has volunteered with Coalition for Drug-Free Hawaii, where her daughter, Herring, is a trainer.

A member of the Juvenile Justice State Advisory Council, Uehara also volunteers with Hawaii Girls Court, working to prevent or reduce female juvenile delinquency.

“When you help others it gives you a sense of purpose and pride, builds your self-esteem, and you just become a happier person, and you can make wise choices,” she said while encouraging others to take up the call. “For me, working with the girls I see their goodness, their essence, and I’m glad we’re there to share. We talk story. My goal is for them to see they each have special gifts and talents.”

While in D.C., Uehara and Herring enjoyed a continental breakfast with U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and his wife, Millie; toured the White House and visited Learn and Serve America, whose public schools program in Hawaii nominated her for the award.

Also a recipient of a 2006 Ola Pono Award for promoting safe, drug-free lifestyles, Uehara credited significant adults in her life for helping to shape her positive outlook and civic-mindedness. They include former principals she worked with, club advisers of her youth and her mother, Ayano, and father, Macario, who volunteered with the Waipahu Jackrabbits sports organization for more than 35 years.

“All three of my kids are connected with youth and the community, and I think that’s the legacy my father has passed on. Some of it’s voluntarism, some is a part of their jobs. That’s the connection we all have.”

E-mail this story | Print this page | Comments (0) | Archive | RSS

Most Recent Comment(s):

Posting a comment on MidWeek.com requires a free registration.



Auto Login

Forgot Password

Sign Up for MidWeek newsletter Times Supermarket



Hawaii Luxury

Tiare Asia and Alex Bing
were spotted at the Sugar Ray's Bar Lounge