Remembering Ray

Alex Gerardo

Mariana Orozco-Berber, Co-Editor-in-Chief

On December 8, Ontario High School hosted its 32nd annual Ray Murakami Luncheon in the OHS staff lounge.

This event is hosted as a fundraiser for the Ray Murakami Student Athlete Scholarship.

According to OHS retired Physical Education Department Chair, Mr. Cook, the luncheon has helped raise about $1,000 dollars a year for the scholarship.

“It helps pay for physicals and insurance for student athletes in need,” says Cook. The Murakami scholarship has also provided funds for other expenses such as shoes, and one year it helped pay a student’s rent.

Ray Murakami was an athletic trainer at OHS, who also worked as a trainer in the 1984 olympics.

“Schools brought their athletes from other schools to have them be trained by him. He was that good,” says Richard Smith, one of Cook’s predecessors.

Smith recounts that Murakami had been a dedicated trainer who arrived to work early, and departed late.

According to Bob Beck, Mrs. Beck’s husband, Murakami hosted the first luncheon sometime in the 1980’s; however not under the intent of fundraising for a scholarship. Murakami’s purpose was to allow people to understand that not all Japanese-Americans were America’s enemies, as the Dec. 7th Pearl Harbor attacked suggested, so he hosted the luncheon for free.

Shortly after Murakami’s passing, Smith continued the event, but turned it into a fundraiser for a scholarship under Murakami’s name. Murakami’s scholarship has been annually awarded ever since.

Other events inspired by Ray Murakami include the OHS club, Ray’s Power Pit.

“He always encouraged kids to to work out, so I started Ray’s [Power Pit]…” says Smith.

Traditionally hosted by Cook, and now OHS P.E. teacher Mrs. Beck, the Ray Murakami Luncheon pays tribute to the late athletic trainer, Ray Murakami, while aiding student athletes whose major success barriers include financial stability.