Frank Kitamoto to be honored with Blakely Award

The late Dr. Frank Y. Kitamoto will be awarded with a Blakely Award this year.

Kitamoto, a longtime dentist on Bainbridge Island who passed away in March, will receive the "Preservation Leader" award for his critical role in preserving and honoring the memory of the Japanese-American experience on Bainbridge Island.

Kitamoto and his family were among the 227 Bainbridge Japanese Americans to be taken from Bainbridge Island on March 30, 1942 and sent to internment camps.

As president of the Bainbridge Island Japanese Community for more than 25 years, Kitamoto worked tirelessly to raise awareness in Washington state and beyond of the history of Japanese Americans and their internment during World War II. He was named an Island Treasure in 2002 by the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council, and also earned a lifetime achievement award from the Kitsap Human Rights Commissions in 2008.

The Blakely Awards were established in 2010 to recognize significant contributions toward historic preservation in the Bainbridge community made by individuals and organizations.

In March, Island residents were asked to nominate those individuals and/or projects they thought have made a real difference in preserving the community’s historic structures and sites.

This year, the Bainbridge Island Historic Preservation Commission will also present two "Project of Excellence" awards.

Sara and Steve Newman will be honored for their restoration of the 1913 Captain E.L. Franks House.

Crystina Cupp and Evan Sturtevant will also be presented with the "Project of Excellence" award for their restoration of the 1936 Captain Lovell House.

“Preservation Leader” honors are bestowed upon an individual or organization that has demonstrated community leadership in promoting local historic preservation.

The “Project of Excellence” is awarded to a restoration/preservation project of significance and value to the community.

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