ClimbHI's 2019 LEI Event
Monday morning, I joined Governor David Ige, First Lady Dawn Ige, and HTA President Chris Tatum in addressing hundreds of high school students interested in pursuing futures in hospitality at ClimbHI’s 8th annual LEI event. LEI, which stands for “Lead, Expose, and Inspire,” is an HTA-sponsored workforce development project, led by Julie Morikawa, President & CEO of ClimbHI, and is intended to encourage local youth to work towards careers in the visitor industry.
During my speech, I presented two new initiatives for the students to take advantage of: the first, that HLTA will be inviting a group of (15) students to attend our brand-new Hawai’i Hotel and Restaurant Show on May 29th and 30th at the Hawai’i Convention Center! The second was to remind these future industry leaders that HLTA, in partnership with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, is still taking applications for our new Ho’oilina Scholarship. This new initiative provides several four-year scholarships to students who are pursuing a Travel Industry or Hospitality degree, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Pacific University, or Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
My staff followed up by handing out information on this new endeavor, as well as HLTA’s many other scholarship opportunities, at the LEI Career Fair later that day. For those who are interested, the Ho’oilina Scholarship applications are due on April 29th: for further information, please visit our website at http://www.hawaiilodging.org/scholarships.html.
Hawaiian Music Walk of Fame Dedication
It was also my pleasure this past week to emcee the Hawaiian Music Walk of Fame Dedication & Blessing at 2500 Kalakaua Avenue, as a favor to Margaret Bukatz, President of the Hawaiian Music Walk of Fame.
The Hawaiian Music walk of Fame honors Don Ho, Alfred Apaka, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Gabby Pahinui, Chick Daniels, Hilo Hattie and Alice Namakelua.
Margaret has coordinated and by in large funded this project over the last several years. Her idea began when the palm trees that had adorned the sidewalk became diseased- she then facilitated the placement of seven bronze plaques cast in the likeness of the Hawaiian Music Legends into the new sidewalks at the corner of Kalakaua Ave and Kealohilani Ave.
This Dedication and Blessing featured tributes to the legends from family members or their friends. One of the highlights was the Aiea State Representative Sam Kong, who grew up and went to school with Bruddah Iz in Palolo. Nearly 200 people were in attendance, including friends and family of the honorees, as well as members of the press.
The ceremony featured a blessing from Pastor Shon Kihewa of New Hope Oahu, and hula performances by Maile-Anne Daniels, granddaughter of Chick Daniels; soloist Dora Kawahinepo’aimoku Yamamura; Bianca Kulia Kaleinani Foster, granddaughter of Don Ho, and the halau Ka Hale I o Kahala Halau Hula, led by Kumu Hula Leimomi I-Maldonado. The reception that followed was generously hosted by ABC Stores.
Though you'd never suspect at first glance that what looks like a very large Cheeseburger in Paradise is also home to the Hawaiian Music Walk of Fame. And if you take a second look, you’ll see not only the faces of these fabled performers in the stone, but you can also find QR codes and the images of these famous musicians along the external wall of Cheeseburger in Paradise.
I hope that the next time you find yourself on Kalakaua, you’ll stop by and take a moment to honor and learn more about these exceptional musicians who shared the spirit of aloha with the world. Mahalo Margaret!
Register Now for Hawaii's 1K Slippah Walk!
It was recently brought to my attention by Joe McNamara (former General Manager of KITV4 News) and the Wounded Warrior Ohana that the 2018 Guinness World Record for most walkers in thong flip-flops belongs to a small run club in Cary, North Carolina.
The nOg Run Club’s record was subsequently broken in September by the UMOM New Day Centers in Tempe, Arizona. Their participation, which has recently been reflected in the Guinness Book of World records, is 1,587 walkers.
Now my question is this: how can we possibly let that stand, when Hawaii is home to the rubbah slippah? Waikiki is a slippah town: and at any given moment, we have thousands of flips flops on our sidewalks and streets worn by residents and visitors alike.
So we thought that this year, as a warm-up to our traditional Charity Walk, we would organize Hawaii’s first-ever 1K Slippah Walk around Ala Moana Beach’s Magic Island! For just five (5) additional dollars, we encourage our Charity Walk participants to come out and support the Wounded Warrior Ohana as we try to break the Guinness World Record!
I hope that you’ll come out and join us in your slippahs for this special event. We then ask that you donate your pair to our slippah drive, as you change into sneakers for our Charity Walk, and make a day of walking for a great cause! I’m already looking forward to May 18th – see you at Magic Island!
To register online, please click here. To register via paper form, please click here.
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