The Kukui Center
Earlier this week, I was invited to visit the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Kukui Center in downtown Honolulu to tour their facilities and meet with some of the programs that are housed in the complex on North Kukui and ‘A‘ala streets. The Kukui Center is the brainchild of the Kukui Children’s Foundation and its founding purpose was to create a center for abused children. The foundation purchased the historic building on the edge of Chinatown and spent more than two years raising funds and renovating to better serve the children and families who would one day utilize the facility. I was in on the ground floor helping to support the opening of the Center when I was Mayor.
It was such a pleasant surprise to learn that each of the eight organizations that call the Kukui Center home are Visitor Industry Charity Walk participants. These eight include: Family Promise of Hawai'i; Hale Kipa; Hawai'i Immigrant Justice Center; Hawai'i Literacy; Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies; Mediation Center of the Pacific; Leadership in Disabilities and Achievement of Hawai'i; and Kids Hurt Too Hawai'i.
Kids Hurt Too Hawai'i has an especially interesting program called HI Rising. Started in 2018, this program gives paid, work training experience to young adults who are either in the foster care system, about to age out of the foster care system, or a qualified Kids Hurt Too Hawai'i alumni. The participants staff and manage a retail location located in the Kukui Center. Over the course of the program, they are trained in a number of fields including: Computer Literacy; Introduction to Graphic Design; Fundamentals of Marketing; Retail and Personal Finances; Small Business Planning; Merchandising; Customer Service; and Mentoring and Life Skills Development.
ICYMI - Charity Walk Mahalo Ad
HLTA ran a special mahalo ad in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. To see the full resolution version, please click here.
IHS Waikiki SMART Program Launch
HLTA, along with the Hawai'i Tourism Authority and the Institute for Human Services, held a press conference on Monday to announce that HLTA and HTA would be donating $100,000 to help IHS launch the first phase of their Waikiki System Mediated Access to Rehabilitation and Treatment (SMART) Program. This program will focus on addressing individuals who are experiencing chronic homelessness in the Waikiki area. The donation, which will fund the program for the next year, was made possible by State matching funds which were administered by HLTA and HTA. Over the past 4 years, HLTA, its members and the visitor industry has contributed more than $1.4 million to IHS.
You can read more coverage on this new program at the links below:
"State, tourism agencies fund effort to reduce chronic Waikiki homelessness," Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Sept. 24, 2019
"HLTA and HTA donate $100,000 to help address homelessness in Waikiki," Pacific Business News, Sept. 24, 2019
General Membership Meeting
I am pleased to announce that Hilo native and 14-time Nā Hoku Hanohano award winner Mark Yamanaka will be playing a live set at HLTA’s 192nd General Membership Meeting during our reception on Friday evening. Mark has released four albums to date and has garnered numerous awards including Song of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.
In the video below, check out Mark's rendition of Johnny Lum Ho’s Ka Leo O Ka Moa performed on stage at the historic Hawai'i Theater.
8th Annual Ka 'Ikena Reception
Mahalo to all who attended HLTA's 8th Annual Ka 'Ikena Reception! A special thank you to the KCC Culinary and Hospitality students who made this year's event a successful one.
Help, Understanding, & Group Support
Mufi was invited to HUGS' monthly, family get together at the organization’s facility in Kaimuki. HUGS, which stands for Help, Understanding, & Group Support, was founded in 1982 to assist and serve families who have a child in treatment for a serious disease. Their services support the child in treatment as well as the family members who may be struggling financially, spiritually, or emotionally.
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