HLTA & Aloha Harvest Food Distribution
This morning, HLTA and Aloha Harvest partnered to distribute food bundles to the families of 700 tourism industry employees who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Made possible through funds raised by the #AlohaLater campaign, each bundle contained roughly 30 pounds of produce, several pounds of protein, a tray of eggs, a loaf of bread, various dry goods, a gallon of milk, and a carton of POG.
I'd like to give a special shout out to Aloha Harvest, their executive director Phil Acosta, and the dozens of volunteers who showed up early this morning to staff the event at UH - West O'ahu. Today was the second of three planned food distributions on O'ahu, and I was uplifted by the positive attitudes and generosity of spirit displayed by all. While thousands of the men and women who comprise our local tourism sector continue to struggle, events like today make it clear not only that we are all in this together, but that by pulling together our community will eventually overcome this hardship.
Please continue to care for yourself and your loved ones by wearing a mask, social distancing, and doing all that you can to flatten the curve.
Homeless Repatriation Program
On Sunday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ran a human interest piece that told the story of a homeless individual who was reunited with his family through a "tourism-funded repatriation program" that began back in 2014. Repatriation has been strongly recommended and supported by HLTA as another effective tool to utilize in our quest to combat homelessness, To date, non-profit groups on Maui, Kaua'i, and O'ahu have taken advantage of the program.
The program, which requires homeless individuals to pay a portion of their airfare and be matched with a friend or family member who agrees to assist them, has been highly successful since its inception. To date, more than 700 homeless individuals have been reunited with their families or friends and sent home. Of these individuals, only 2% have returned to the islands in any capacity.
HTA made possible through funding with the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai'i to return the aforementioned individual back to his home.
Tony Ruivivar is pictured above receiving HLTA's Na Po'e Pa'ahana Legacy Award in 2017. Also pictured are Aston Waikiki Sunset GM Dean Nakasone, left, and Trump International Hotel Waikiki GM Scott Ingwers
I was saddened to learn of Society of Seven leader Tony Ruivivar’s recent passing. I had been a huge fan ever since high school. SOS was one of the featured stars on the Waikiki strip back in the day. Thousands of locals and visitors would flock to the Outrigger to take in their show. Tony was a dear friend of my brother Nephi and I was fortunate to have SOS perform at many of my events in the past. The Legacy Award was the last big honor that the SOS received.
HLTA Membership Scholarship
It is the final week to submit your applications for the
HLTA Member Scholarship!
As we have in years past, we will be awarding two $2,500 scholarships this year- one to the child of an Allied Member and one to the child of a Active Member.
This scholarship is open to the children of HLTA members who graduated from high school in 2020 and have been accepted to a university, college, vocational, or technical school.
The application can be downloaded at this link and is due no later than Friday, July 10 at 5:00 p.m.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the HLTA offices at (808) 923-0407 at any time. Applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy July 4th!
On this holiday weekend that is traditionally filled with food, fun, fireworks, and gatherings with our 'ohana and friends, I urge you to take every precaution against COVID-19. We have experienced a recent uptick in positive cases around our state, many of which could have been prevented by taking precautions to wear masks and social distance. So please, enjoy the holiday, visit with your friends, but remain vigilant as we continue to fight this pandemic here in Hawai'i. Remember: health and safety first...
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