Reservists support local elementary school's field day

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Keith
  • 624th Regional Support Group
For more than a decade, citizen airmen from the 624th Regional Support Group here have supported a local elementary school's annual field day.


This year's event at Makalapa Elementary School in Honolulu, Hawai'i, May 22-23, was no different. More than 25 reservists came out to help man activity stations that included an obstacle course, hamster wheels, 4-way tug-of-war, relays, dodge ball, water activities, jump rope and sack races.


Master Sgt. Marilyn Kinoshita, superintendent of knowledge operations with the 624th RSG, spearheaded the volunteer effort. She said that they were happy to serve the school and make a positive impact on the children.


During a lunch break, the principal of the school, Ms. Denise Arai, thanked the reservists for their commitment to the end-of-year celebration. She said, "The kids look forward to this all year. It's something they earn."


Ms. Arai said the 624th RSG had long been a loyal supporter of the school's mission which was to not only instill in their students a lifelong love of learning, but to provide a community that prepared them to be risk takers.


Kinoshita said the reservists' training and experience gave them the skills to easily manage the games and competitions, promote teamwork, and keep the children safe. Among the volunteers were nurses, medics, policemen, firemen, civil engineers, and safety experts.


"It's good, especially for the junior airmen, to see what we are able to do outside of our drill weekend and to see the impact we have off-base," said Kinoshita.


Tech. Sgt. David Hsu, a medical administrator with the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron who helped supervise the dodge ball game, said that volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together.


The 624th RSG's community outreach program is part of the Air Force Reserve Command's Human Resource Development Council initiative to create and maintain a fully developed, skilled, motivated, enthusiastic and diverse workforce.


"It's a two-way street," said Col. Maynard "Max" Mendoza, commander of the 624th RSG, who worked at the tug-of-war station for a day. "Our airmen are doing good for others and the community which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Our role as volunteers gives us a sense of pride and identity which is in alignment with our Air Force Core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do."


Ms. Arai said the school would not be as successful as it was without community supporters like the 624th RSG.


According to their website, Makalapa Elementary School is a public K-6 elementary school with approximately 730 students of which 51% are military dependents.