Keesler Dragon receives 2019 Community Volunteer of the Year for the City of Biloxi award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Suzie Plotnikov
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Daniel Kazumura, 81st Training Wing Legal Office legal assistant, received the 2019 Community Volunteer of the Year Award for the City of Biloxi, April 16.

Kazumura was nominated by Tech. Sgt. Ashley Nelson, 81st Communications Squadron information technology asset management NCO in charge, but ultimately won the award for the volunteer work he has accomplished throughout the year.

“I chose to nominate Mr. Kazumura because he has an appetite for volunteering and a heart for people,” said Nelson. “I don’t think I have ever met anyone who is as involved in the local community and he is always willing to take others on the journey with him.”

Kazumura organized events to clean 1,700 pounds of trash on Highway 90, raise $262,000 for the Biloxi American Cancer Society, managed 37 weekly special needs bowling events, volunteered for the Mississippi Special Olympics and numerous other actions that directly impacted the local community.

Kazumura learned about volunteering when he was first stationed at Keesler.

“I’ve always volunteered ever since I was a young Airman,” said Kazumura. “This [Keesler] is where they taught me to volunteer and I found out that the more you do it, the more you enjoy it. When you go out to these events, it’s really fun. You have the opportunity to work alongside some interesting folks.”

Nelson mentioned what she admires most is Kazumura’s personal sacrifice and the positive impact he has on not only people, but the community as well.

“Every weekend he spends his personal time helping others,” said Nelson. “He truly has a passion for people and doing anything he can to help.”

Although Kazumura is happy that he was nominated and was recognized for the work he does in the community, what he really enjoys is the opportunity to mentor Airmen as the president for the Air Force Sergeants Association.

“One of my roles is to get our folks recognized for the things they do in the community,” said Kazumura. “We try to mentor and guide our Airmen professionally and make sure we give back to the community. Last year we did over 240 events. I think the most rewarding thing is probably when my folks get recognized and I see their careers become successful because of what they do for our community.”

Kazumura loves to share his passion with others and constantly invites everyone to volunteer.

“The reason why we do a lot of events here is because we have so many Airmen,” said Kazumura. “We have technical school students here. We ask them to be involved and I think it’s important that we give them something they can feel fulfilled with.”

Throughout the four years of knowing and volunteering with Kazumura, Nelson has observed many qualities that she admired.

“I believe his best qualities are passion and loyalty,” said Nelson. “He truly has a passion for people and doing anything he can to help. Whenever he is blessed with something, he always uses that as an opportunity to pay it forward. He has no limit on what he will do to ensure the leaders that come after him are fully equipped for whatever comes their way.”

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