July 29, 2009, 9:46 AM HST · Updated July 29, 9:46 AM

Private donors are stepping up in an attempt to cover a $1.2 million budget shortfall for school sports programs.  The Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) announced the receipt of more than $400,000 in corporate donations yesterday.

Major contributors include $200,000 from the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, $100,000 from First Hawaiian Bank, $50,000 from Bank of Hawaii, and $50,000 from The GIFT Foundation.  There were also contributions from HMSA in the form of free airtime to publicize the fundraising drive; and Hawaiian Airlines is contributing discounted interisland airfares for teams traveling to state tournaments

Director Keith Amemiya  says the HHSAA is seeking to raise funds to cover the $1,200,000 budget cut to Hawaii’s public high school athletic programs for the 2009-10 school year.

According to the HHSAA, the budget cut amounts to approximately 50% of the funding needed for supplies, equipment, and ground transportation the state’s 45 public high schools.


In making the funding announcement yesterday, the HHSAA issued a statement saying, “Presently, this budget cut will require drastic measures to be undertaken, including the possible cutting of entire sports teams and/or greatly reduced participation.  However, several local entities have already stepped up in a significant way to support this fundraising effort.”

Donations for the fundraising effort can be mailed to HHSAA office at: P.O. Box 62029 Honolulu, Hawaii 96839.  Donations collected by the HHSAA will be distributed to the public high school athletic programs proportionately based upon the size of the program (i.e., the larger the athletic program, the more money it will receive).

(Posted by Wendy Osher)


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