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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Thanks to a check the Yokosuka Officers Spouses Club handed to Yokosuka Naval Base’s Afloat Training Group on Wednesday, about 60 orphans at the Shiroyama Orphanage will have a nicer place to play.

“This will allow us to finish what we started and allow us to do what we planned to do,” Senior Chief Petty Officer Larry Larkin said of his command’s playground refurbishing project. “We were surprised about the donation. So many groups have needs. We were just one of them.”

The spouses club gave more than $34,000 to about 40 organizations and projects, from buying new camping equipment for the Boy Scouts to reaching out to Japanese spouses.

The club raises funds with the proceeds from sales at Takusan Treasures gift shop and Second Hand Rose thrift shop, both in building J-196 next to the Autoport.

“The employees and many volunteers of these two entities are able to generate substantial funds that we can channel back into the Yokosuka naval community,” said Trish Sorce, YOSC’s charity allocations committee chairwoman.

The group’s primary focus remains supporting the on-base community but YOSC added three off-base Japanese organizations to its philanthropy this year: Kobo Cottage Children’s Home, Shiroyama Orphanage and The Lighthouse Christian ministry.

On-base donations included child care for American Red Cross volunteers; general assistance to COMPASS, a program targeting new Navy wives; printing costs to Naval Services Family Line; workbooks for D.A.R.E.; Navy Ball Committee expenses; operating expenses for Pets are Worth Saving; QUEST student ministry; Cub Scout Pack 33 and USA Girl Scouts Overseas.

The group also focused on school needs this year, Sorce said.

“This has been a difficult year for them with budget restrictions and cutbacks, so YOSC is stepping up to the plate to support numerous programs at most of our schools,” she said, adding that Ikego Elementary School, Sullivans Elementary School, Yokosuka Middle School and Nile C. Kinnick High School received funds.

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