Hawaii Youth Impact Program (YIP) to kick off its Second Year
I am a strong believer that change transpires when various sectors of a community rally together for the greater good. And that is precisely what I saw when the Hawaii YIP program kicked off its second year at a press conference and luncheon on May 22 at Eating House 1849 in The International Marketplace. Riki Ellison, Founder and Chairman of the Youth Impact Program was in attendance, along with Chef Roy Yamaguchi, University of Hawaii Head Coach Nick Rolovich, UH Athletics Director David Matlin, Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Kauai State Representative James Tokioka, Senate President Ron Kouchi, and Hawai’i News Now Rick Blangiardi, just to name a few.
After a successful first year, the program is again bringing together local businesses, the U.S. Marines, and the U.S. Army, as well as student athletes and staff from the University of Hawaii to offer a two-week camp that will help mold and ignite our youth to become exceptional members of society. The goal of the program is to increase academic scores and graduation, instill discipline and respect in at-risk boys between the ages of 10-14 to encourage them to make the right decisions in life. This is all facilitated through classroom instruction, led by the Marines and the Army, with football coaching driven by student athletes and staff from the University of Hawaii.
The skills that are taught go far beyond the football field. They are teaching them skills and lessons that will help them develop good study habits and character . Not all of these young lads will be able to make it to the NFL so a camp like this will help them develop good habits that will help them become productive members of our community workforce .
The success of this program wouldn’t be possible without the involvement of all the sponsors who help provide the 100 students with daily meals, transportation to and from UH, football uniforms, equipment, and school supplies at no cost to families. I’d like to extend my mahalo to Riki Ellison and Chef Roy Yamaguchi for bringing this program to Hawaii and knowing they could make a positive impact for our youth. HLTA is thrilled to be sponsoring this program for the second year in a row.
$10,000 Check presented to UH Foundation for Athletics
During the YIP press conference, HLTA, in conjunction with Friends and Family of Agriculture, presented the UH Foundation with a $10,000 check to go towards UH Athletic programs. Athletics Director David Matlin accepted the check at the event. I made the commitment to the University of Hawai’i at a special quarterly meeting of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce that focused on UH Sports. Matlin and seven UH coaches were the special guests that evening on the Garden Island that HLTA in coordination with Friends and Family of Agriculture help plan and organize for the Kauai Chamber of Commerce. It was one of the most successful Chamber events ever staged on the Garden Island that led to several follow-up sports activities there.
Above and Beyond Award
Two Saturday’s ago, in the midst of launching our 40th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Oahu, I was caught by surprise as the Salem Media Hawai‘i Team made their way to the stage to award me their Lex Brodie’s Above & Beyond Award. For those who may not be familiar with this award, it is Salem Media Group’s community service award presented to an individual who has “gone above and beyond the call of duty, have put themselves in harm’s way, made a substantial sacrifice for the good of others, or provided a meritorious contribution to our local community.”
There are many individuals who are constantly giving back to the community, and so I am honored to receive this special accolade. But as I made it clear that day I’m accepting it on behalf of all the special friends and associates I’ve had the pleasure of working and serving with all these years. The Charity Walk is a prime example of hundreds of people coming together annually to help execute an event that benefits thousands of our local organizations and people! Mahalo Hawai‘i for your continuous support, and a special shout out to each and every one of you who are going above and beyond the call of duty in your everyday lives.
I would also like to extend my gratitude to Lex Brodie’s, Salem Media of Hawai‘I, and to the corporate sponsors of the award: K5 the Home Team, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Team Lally Keller Williams, J.J. Dolan’s Hand Crafted Pizza, Arcade Green, and Windward Ford.
Retirement of Donn Takahashi, Prince Resorts
Tuesday, May 22nd, I was honored to attend the Retirement Celebration for Donn Takahashi at the Prince Waikiki. Donn’s lifelong tourism career is an inspirational one, and he has been an exemplary leader at Prince Resorts Hawaii for the last 25 years. Under Donn’s leadership as President of Prince Resorts, during the past 14 years ago, we have witnessed its remarkable growth and development.
Kisan Jo, the new President of Prince Resorts, is a financier by trade and as a Deloitte-trained accountant, he has risen to become one of the youngest hotel operators in Hawaii, which is no small feat. I also happen to know Kisan on a personal level, as he is a graduate of my Pacific Century Fellows program. I am sure we will also see great things from Kisan and Prince Resorts in the near future.
Best wishes Donn, on your retirement after a 46-year long career, from bellman to President of Prince Resorts- a success story indeed. And congratulations, Kisan, as you step up to the plate.
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