Boy Scouts Honor Mayor Arakawa for Lifetime of Service
The Maui County Council of the Boy Scouts of America honored Mayor Alan Arakawa with their highest honor bestowed on an individual, the Distinguished Citizen Award during a recognition event this past Saturday, Oct. 17.
The fundraiser dinner held at the Hyatt Regency Maui drew more than 400 members of the community and raised approximately $40,000, net after expenses.
Funds raised will stay on Maui to benefit the local Maui Scouting program, including operating expenses for Camp Maluhia, recruitment efforts to serve more youth, and for leadership training.
“We extend a big mahalo to the many donors who stepped up to the plate to help our Scouting program which currently serves almost 1,000 youth,” said the Council’s Scout Executive Robert Nakagawa in a statement. “We also congratulate Mayor Arakawa for his lifetime of community achievement, an honor well deserved.”
Arakawa, a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout from the fourth to the eighth grade, spoke highly of the values that the Boy Scouts program helps to instill.
“When you take the Boy Scouts Oath and try to live by the Scout Law, it teaches you to be brave when its required, encourages you to take on leadership roles, and to stand by your convictions,” said Arakawa.
“You want to be loyal to your friends and to your community and if you want to earn their trust, you strive to honor your word and honor your positions. You have to believe that what you are doing is correct and believe to the point that you follow through with it,” he said.
Grant Chun, VP of A&B Properties, Inc. and current President of the Maui County Council Boy Scouts of America said, “Knowing that the Mayor was himself a Boy Scout, I’ve observed over the years that he truly does conduct himself and live in accordance with the Scout Oath and Scout Law. But the qualities of the Scout Law that particularly stand out for me about the Mayor is that he’s helpful, kind and courteous.”
According to Paul Hanada, owner of Aloha Shell and a childhood friend, “Arakawa is a man of his word. He’s honest, and he speaks his mind,” Hanada said in an organization press release.
Maui County Council member Gladys Baisa was among those who spoke at the dinner about Arakawa. She said, “He doesn’t walk on water. He’s human and he makes mistakes; however, he genuinely cares for this community and our families and has dedicated his life to improving the quality of life for all of us here in Maui County.”
Nakagawa said the Mayor was deserving of the honor based on his “tireless work” on behalf of our community. He said, “The Mayor sees his job as an honor and a privilege, and he truly believes that we live in the best place in the world.”
Chun, who has been involved in Scouting for 16 years expressed his thoughts about the Boy Scouts program saying its focus is on character education. “Boys learn the importance of doing a good turn for others at a young age and that lesson stays with them throughout their lives. The Mayor is just one of the many examples of how this program has made in impact,” said Chun.
According to a recent study by Tufts University, Scouts interviewed felt it was more important to do their best and help other people than it was to be the best compared to youth not in Scouting.
Arakawa is the 12th person to earn Maui County Council Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Citizen recognition. Past recipients include: Johnny Baldwin; Peter D. Baldwin; Colin C. Cameron; J. Stephen Goodfellow; Dorvin D. Leis; Michael H. Lyons, II; Roger P. MacArthur; David “Buddy” Nobriga; Meyer M. Ueoka; Hilton H. Unemori; and Masaru “Pundy” Yokouchi.