Pro Sports in Hawaii
The Los Angeles Cheerleaders held a cheer clinic at 'Iolani School for Hawai'i youth cheerleaders on June 15th. Seated in the second row are HLTA President and CEO Mufi Hanneman and Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Chris Tatum.
Mufi is pictured above speaking to a group of high school football players from around the state who participated in a skills clinic that was hosted by the L.A. Rams organization.
Aloha sports fans! Since we are heavily involved in working with HTA on the community engagement aspect of these activities, I wanted to give you a quick update.
We are just two days away from the return of the NFL to O‘ahu when the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys will meet in a preseason game at Aloha Stadium. Over the past week, the Rams have been busy hosting numerous engagement activities including visits to Marine Corps Base Hawaii and Schofield Barracks, a Fan Rally at the Rams’ pop-up location at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, and multiple football clinics for boys and girls of all ages. The Rams cheerleaders have also been busy this week putting on fitness workshops and a Yoga in the Park session at Ward Village. HLTA staff has been coordinating the one Rams practice that is open to the public on Friday by ensuring that our youth have an opportunity to see them at Cooke Field. It has been overwhelmingly positive to see how the Rams have worked to connect with our community.
Click here to read Ferd Lewis' article about the upcoming game.
While the Rams-Cowboys game has received much fanfare and hype, I would also like to alert you to another professional sports organization that will soon be in Hawaii. The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), and its nonprofit youth programming arm, AVPFirst, have partnered with the HTA to offer 17 beach volleyball clinics. These are to be held from August 19 through September 22 on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Island, Moloka‘i, and Lana‘i. We have been helping to schedule these clinics which will be free of charge, open to the public, and will be led by current AVP players, former Olympian and six-time AVP champion Kevin Wong, and current Outrigger Canoe Club coach, Lia Young Hunt among many more.
The clinics have been scheduled to coincide with the AVP Hawaii Open, the final event of the 2019 AVP season. The Open will run from September 20-22 on the Fort DeRussy beachfront. All matches will be free to watch and will offer fun for the whole family with live music, food and beverage options, and meet and greet opportunities. If you are interested in attending the one of the clinics, please visit www.bgch.com for more information
Please visit AVPFirst.org for up-to-date dates and times of clinics.
Kaua'i Check Presentations
On Tuesday, I traveled to Kaua‘i to take part in the HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter’s Check Presentation Event where monies were awarded to organizations for their participation in the Kaua‘i Chapter’s Charity Walk. This year, the Garden Isle raised a record $451,051. Kaua‘i’s fundraising totals have grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years and they are closer than ever to surpassing O‘ahu which is their friendly overarching goal!
Mahalo to HLTA Chapter Chair Paul Toner, the entire Kaua‘i Chapter Steering Committee, and committee co-chairs Chip Bahouth and Jacob Vogelgesang for their leadership throughout the planning and execution of this year’s Charity Walk. Special thanks are also due to Kaua’i Chapter Executive Director Morgan Lopez who has been doing a great job in all aspects of the Kaua'i HLTA operations .
Pictured from left are Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club General Manager Beres Wall, Mufi, and co-chairs of the HLTA Kaua'i Chapter Charity Walk Committee, Chip Bahouth and Jacob Vogelgesang.
Youth For Christ Hawaii
As we begin to wrap up our Charity Walk events for 2019, I’ve had the chance to present checks to some of the groups that participated in this year’s walk. On Tuesday evening, I was proud to present a check for $22,500 to Youth for Christ Hawai‘i during their annual fundraising dinner at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. This is the third year that YFC Hawai'i has taken part in our walk and, for the 3rd year in a row, they raised the most monies of any nonprofit organization and also brought out lots of volunteers. Congratulations and mahalo to YFC Hawaii for leading the charge among our nonprofit participants year after year.
Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association Holds its 20th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament
Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association’s 20th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament was held yesterday, August 8, at the Hawaii Prince Golf Club in Ewa Beach. My sincere mahalo to all of the golfers who were able to attend our tournament and support our cause. None of this would be possible without your participation and support.
This year’s tournament was sold out with 84 teams and 252 golfers taking part in the festivities. We were also privileged to have Ewa’s State Senator Kurt Fevella, a strong advocate for our industry, welcome us to his community. The success of our golf tournament each year is crucial as the funds raised yesterday will support various scholarships that we award on an annual basis. Scholarships like the R.W. “Bob” Holden Memorial Scholarship, the Clem Judd, Jr. Memorial Scholarship and the four Most Outstanding Citizen Scholars are awarded each year to deserving Hawaii students. Additionally, HLTA offers numerous scholarships through partnerships with organizations like the University of Hawaii Foundation for community college and culinary programs, the Pauahi Foundation and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. All of this is made possible by the generosity of our supporters.
I would also like to thank the HLTA Scholarship Golf Tournament Committee led by committee co-chairs John Hulihe‘e of Central Pacific Bank and Don Takaki of Hawktree International and the countless volunteers from the UH TIM School and HPU and Kaiser Permanente. Hulihe‘e, in particular, added some new elements to make this 20th annual tournament a special one. Also especially deserving of recognition are the major sponsors of this year’s tournament. Mahalo to Diamond Sponsor Kaiser Foundation HealthPlan, Inc. and Sapphire Sponsor Central Pacific Bank!
Finally, I need to recognize and honor a special individual. HLTA bid a fond farewell to recently retired general manager of the Aston Waikiki Sunset Hotel, Doug Okada. Doug has been integral to our association, serving for 16 years on our Board of Directors, chairing the HLTA Membership Committee and has also been an active member of the HLTA Scholarship Golf Tournament Committee. (It is highly likely, that Doug has played in every HLTA golf tournament to date). I was pleased to present Doug with the Lifetime Legacy Kahi‘au Award for his many years of service to Oahu’s visitor industry and his endless support of HTLA. Mahalo Doug and we’ll see you at next year’s tournament!
HLTA Scholarship Awardees
Mufi and Ewa district State Senator Kurt Fevella presented the Clem Judd, Jr. Memorial Scholarship to UNLV student Ileana Nii. Also pictured is Ileana's mother, Mileka.
During a special ceremony at our golf tournament, I had the pleasure of presenting the Clem Judd, Jr. Memorial Scholarship to an outstanding young student of Hawaiian ancestry pursuing a career in the hospitality field. Ileana Nii is a graduate of Waipahu High School and is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she is enrolled in the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality. Ileana was selected for this scholarship from among a pool of applicants based on the strength of her academic record and the high bar she has set for her future. Upon completing her undergraduate studies, Ileana aspires to return to Hawaii to open and manage a hotel that exposes visitors to the authentic Hawaiian culture rather than a commercialized facsimile of it. Congratulations to Ileana for being selected as our 2019 Clem Judd Scholar.
HLTA also recently awarded the R.W. “Bob” Holden Memorial Scholarship to three Hawaii residents who are pursuing degrees in hotel management. A special shout out to UH – West Oahu students Gellyn Flores and Jillian Paganiban, and Brigham Young University – Hawaii student Noah Magalei for being selected to receive this particular scholarship.
New HLTA Staff
Oahu Charity Walk Allocations Award 123 Nonprofits - A New Statewide Record Set of $2.66 Millions for 2019 Charity Walk!
This past Wednesday, we kicked off our statewide series of 2019 Visitor Industry Charity Walk allocations events with our first presentation here on Oahu at Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant.
The venue was lively, as over 200 members from our nonprofit community joined our Charity Walk volunteers to celebrate another fruitful year in our Tradition of Giving. As we enjoyed the ono food by Jade Dynasty and live music provided by Wayne Kaiwi and Friends, we said “mahalo” to all those that help make the Charity Walk a continued success.
The fun and fellowship was then followed by a short speech that I made to express my personal appreciation to all those who made the Charity Walk a rousing success. Next was the traditional highlight of the evening which was the awarding of the individual checks. This year, we raised a new record of $512,000 on Oahu which will help benefit 123 nonprofit organizations throughout the City & County of Honolulu. In many ways, these charitable organizations are the backbone of our community: they provide services and programs in the realm of homelessness, health, youth and education, and the environment, just to name a few.
As the recipients of the funds came up to receive their checks, it warmed my heart to see many of them express their gratitude and appreciation for the amazing generosity the visitor industry continuously provides.
The 41st annual event raised the bar again as we set a new record by raising a statewide total of $2.66 million! The neighbor island chapters will be following suit and will host their allocation events throughout the month of August, with Maui’s event taking place today.
As we hang our hat on the Oahu Walk, I would like to send a very big mahalo to HLTA’s Chair and two-time Charity Walk Statewide Chair Glenn Vergara; HLTA’s incoming Charity Walk Chair Cheryl Williams, who joined me on stage to hand out the checks; Jade Dynasty’s Alan Ho; our two veteran Charity Walk Emcee’s Bulla and Lynette Eastman; and to all the nonprofits who are helping to make Hawai‘i a better place to live, work, play and raise our families.
To read the press release for the 2019 Oahu Charity Walk allocations, click here.
Charity Walk Allocations for Maui County - $1.3 Million Raised and 101 Nonprofits Awarded
Maui County continues to break the $1 million mark, as they have exceeded this milestone for their fourth consecutive year. This year, they amassed a total of $1,316,956, proving once again that Maui truly is no ka oi in Charity Walk fundraising!
101 nonprofits were invited to the Sheraton Maui Resort earlier this morning for the Maui County Charity Walk allocations. The top fundraisers were recognized by Maui Charity Walk Chair Tets Yamazaki, and Maui Hotel and Lodging Association Executive Director Lisa Paulson during the ceremony.
Particular kudos go to:
Individuals Raising the Most Funds:
1st Place: Dr. Mary Trotto, Hale Kau Kau: $36,159
2nd Place: Joyce Kawakami, Feed My Sheep: $32,819
3rd Place: Dan Williams, West Side Hoops: $28,800
Non-profits Raising the Most Funds:
1st Place: Na Hoaloha: $72,430
2nd Place: Hale Makua $63,610
3rd Place: West Side Hoops: $55,827
I would like to send my congratulations to all the Maui County Charity Walk grant recipients, and thank you all for your hard work. We appreciate your efforts, and look forward to seeing you again for Charity Walk 2020.
Pictorial Membership Directory:
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