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When the ‘Island Warriors’ of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine regiment, deploy next month in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, their sea-bags will contain an extra item not usually issued by the U.S. Marines.  One hundred soccer balls will be making the trip with the Marines as a special gift for the children of Iraq.

During the mayor’s semi-annual Armed Forces Committee meeting this morning at Kapolei Hale, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Max Sword from the Outrigger Enterprises Group presented the soccer balls to Colonel Mark Dungan, the Commanding Officer of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

            “Last November, we learned that troops stationed in Iraq were interested in teaching soccer to Iraqi children and in setting up soccer games as a way of sharing goodwill through healthy physical activity,” said Hannemann. 

The mayor’s office contacted the Outrigger Enterprises Group and its President and CEO David Carey approved the purchase of 100 soccer balls that ST Sports in Kaneohe provided at cost.

“Outrigger is happy to be a part of this effort to provide soccer balls for the kids in Iraq,” said Max Sword, vice president of industry affairs for the Outrigger Enterprises Group.

"Being a part of this effort was an easy decision for us, especially when we heard that the soccer balls would be used by our troops stationed in Iraq.  Sports have always been a way of bringing people together.  When playing, people can put aside differences and simply enjoy themselves."

Colonel Dungan is grateful to all involved with organizing the donation of the soccer balls.  “I’m very appreciative of Mayor Hannemann for facilitating this donation from the Outrigger Enterprise Group.  Both the city and Outrigger have been great supporters of the Marines and their families.  This is another example of their strong support for the military.”

The Marines are going overseas to stabilize the region, and with the donated soccer balls, they hope to also bring peace to the areas they visit, one child at a time.

For additional background information, these are the members of the Mayor’s Armed Forces Committee:

Mayor Mufi Hannemann

City and County of Honolulu


Jeff Coelho, Director, Customer Services, Executive Advisor to the Mayor, City and County of Honolulu


Wayne Yoshioka, Director, Transportation Services, City and County of Honolulu


Keith Rollman, Senior Advisor, Informational Services, City and County of Honolulu


Hal Barnes, Special Assistant to Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Military Liaison Office of the Mayor, City and County of Honolulu


Captain Taylor Skardon, USN - representing Rear Admiral Tim Alexander, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific


Stanford Yuen, Executive Assistant to the Commander, Navy Region Hawaii


Captain Barry Compagnoni, USCG – Commander, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu


Captain John Hickey, USGC – Commander, Sand Island USCG Base (Integrated Support Command Honolulu)  


Colonel Matthew T. Margotta, USAGarrison Commander, U.S. Army Garrison - Hawaii

Colonel Mark Dungan, USMC - Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Base Hawaii

Colonel John J. Torres, USAF – Commander, 15th Airlift Wing, Hickam AFB


Ken Bailey, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii – Chair, Armed Services Committee



Contact:  Bill Brennan  527-6928

Monday, January 14, 2008

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