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First Inouye Innovation Award Headlines MEDB fundraiser

Posted July 25, 2013, 08:10 AM HST Updated July 25, 2013, 10:01 AM HST
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The late Hawaii US Sen. Daniel Inouye chatted with MC’s Lindzi Takasaki and Bryce Ribucan on stage during last year’s MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund dinner. Courtesy photo.

The late Hawaii US Sen. Daniel Inouye chatted with MC’s Lindzi Takasaki and Bryce Ribucan on stage during last year’s MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund dinner. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

The Maui Economic Development Board will introduce a new Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award at its annual fundraiser event set to take place on Aug. 24, at the Grand Wailea Resort.

The late Senator Inouye has headlined the MEDB event for the past six years in support of the agency’s investment in STEM education.

This year, MEDB announced that it will honor the legacy of Senator Inouye with a presentation of an award to a county project team that demonstrates the most innovative use of science, technology, engineering and math to serve and improve the community.

“This award was inspired by the senator’s unwavering commitment to the application of science and technology to solve challenges around us,” said Jeanne Unemori Skog, MEDB president and CEO in an agency press release.

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“We are honored that the senator’s widow, Irene Hirano Inouye, has agreed to let us recognize the senator’s contributions to STEM education on Maui and will join us in presenting the award to this year’s winner,” said Skog.

MEDB’s Ke Alahele Education Fund benefit dinner and auction is held annually to raise funds to advance STEM education in Maui County.

An estimated 500 people are expected to attend this year’s event, which is themed “The Future We Imagine.”

Leslie Wilkins, MEDB vice president and director of education and workforce programs, also issued a statement saying, “Senator Inouye played an integral role in supporting MEDB’s initiatives to build education-to-workforce programs that seed innovation. We are pleased that his legacy will continue through the service projects performed by our youth for their island home.”

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