PHOTOS: Maui United Way Celebrates Community Partners with AwardsJuly 2, 2015, 5:47 PM HST · Updated July 2, 5:49 PM 1 Comment
By Wendy Osher
Community partners from across the County were recognized today at Maui United Way’s the 46th Annual Meeting and Recognition Luncheon held at the Kamehameha Golf Course Clubhouse in Waikapū. This year alone, community partners contributed $943,040 toward the 2014-2015 campaign, which funded 40 nonprofit agencies and their various social service programs countywide.
During the event, Maui United Way also accepted a $100,000 check from Alexander & Baldwin. The gift comes from a company that was recognized by MUW as the 2015 Corporate Contributor of the Year, with more than $3.45 million in contributions to the agency since 1969. With an average of $58,000 in contributions annually to MUW each year, this year’s contributions from A&B represented 15% of the overall MUW campaign, according to organization leaders.
Rick Volner, HC&S general manager accepted Maui United Way’s Corporate Contributor award on behalf of parent company A&B, and was on hand to present the check to Laksmi Abraham, President and Chief Professional Officer for Maui United Way.
In an annual report message, Abraham said, “We work to improve lives, motivate people to help others, increase resources to meet needs and inspire solutions to community problems. Over the years, we have continued to invest in programs targeting Education – helping youth achieve their full potential, Income – promoting self-sustainability and Health – promoting healthy living.”
This year Abraham joined Deanna Davis, Renee Ward, Lena Staton and Sandra Florence in forming a task force to renovate the Women Helping Women domestic violence shelter. Maui United Way assisted with the project by providing resources, mobilizing volunteers and overseeing the design of the children’s therapy and play room.
Another highlight of the awards event was the issuance of the Kahaloa Award to Chairman of the Board, Stephen Kealoha, who is a retiree from Maui Electric Company. For only the third time, the award has been issued, and comes after being awarded to previous recipient Willie Kennison. Abraham described Keahoha as “an executive director’s dream come true,” while others described his leadership as, “quiet and steady.”
In a keynote address, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said, “The reality is, we as a community have lots of needs.” He praised the contributions of partner agencies and their unity in accomplishing projects across the county. “The people are what makes Maui the best place in the world,” he said.
A complete list of award recipients is as follows:
- Corporate Contributor of the Year: Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.
- Campaign of the Year: Enterprise, Alamo & National Car Rental
- Foundation of the Year: Bendon Family Foundation
- Bank of the Year: First Hawaiian Bank
- Hotel of the Year: Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club
- Partner Agency of the Year: Maui Adult Day Care Centers
- Community Partnership of the Year: Meyer Computer, Inc.
- Community Event – Excellence Award: Maui Electric Company for the Keiki Tilapia Fishing Tournament, which drew the participation of 600 kids and the attendance of about 2,000 people.
- Campaign Excellence Award: Matson, Inc.; Goodfellow Bros., Inc; Central Pacific Bank; Oceanic Time Warner Cable; Hawaiian Telcom; and Costco Wholesale
- Co Volunteers of the Year: Deanna Davis and Sandra Florence.
- Kahaloa Award: Stephen Kealoha
- Norman Ahakuelo Award: Deanna Davis for her significant contribution within the labor community.
- Outgoing Board Member Award: Deanna Davis for six years of outstanding impact on the organization.