A night at the museum

LIHUE — The termites have been enjoying the displays, said Mike Johnson, a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

“We’re trying to get new display cases made of metal,” said Johnson, who also fills the facilities operation manager spot at the Kauai Veterans Center and the Kauai Veterans Museum. “The ones we have now are all wood and the termites have been enjoying them. We’re worried about the termites getting to the artifacts.”

Proceeds from the Kauai Veterans Museum fifth annual fundraiser, “A Night at the Museum, Anchors Aweigh!” will hopefully help toward getting the new cases as well as help with the operational expenses for the military museum.

The event is scheduled 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Kauai Veterans Center. It will feature dinner, a no-host bar, book signing by Kauai authors, historic military displays, a silent auction, and music by Dickie Hamada and The Starlighters.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $35 and include dinner.

“My husband Richard’s ‘Crackerjack’ uniform is in there,” said Joye Irwin of the Kauai Veterans Museum. “Richard was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and along with Larry Schlang, spearheaded the efforts to make the museum a nonprofit in 2007.”

Irwin said the museum opened in 1998 and today, has enough volunteers to be able and offer regular viewing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

“We’re always looking for more help,” Irwin said. “Even the display cases, donation of labor and other services are always welcome and help to keep the museum going.”

Johnson, a Vietnam War veteran, became involved with the museum after moving here.

“When we got here, we were staying in a hotel and I passed this place,” Johnson said. “I never thought about coming in here, but one day, I walked in, and never left. I missed the meeting where they made me the facilities operations director, but I have several artifacts which are on display in the Vietnam War section, including two bracelets which were worn by Missing In Action, Prisoners of War.”

Irwin said this is a unique museum because all of the artifacts were provided by Kauai residents.

“Just this week, we had a family drop off something,” Irwin said. “It was a first aid kit from World War I. This is a darned good museum.”

Aida Cruz, Kauai Veterans Center coordinator, said the evening should be a good one with Chef Rafael Camarillo of Raf’s Kitchen, the regular vendor at the Kauai Veterans Center food court, catering the evening.

Information: 246-1135

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