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2023 Maui County Volunteer Heroes honored for giving back

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2023 Maui County Volunteer Heroes announced, honored for ʻgiving back.’ PC: County of Maui

A total of 31 community members were selected as the 2023 Maui County Volunteer Heroes. The announcement was made during National Volunteer Week by the County of Maui Volunteer Center, a division of the county’s Department of Housing and Human Concerns. 

National Volunteer Week continues through April 22. The 2023 Maui County Volunteer Heroes are the following: 

  • Henrietta Chong of Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum and Maui Economic Opportunity;
  • Mansa Devaki of American Red Cross;
  • Wendy King of Common Ground Collective;
  • Carol Irwin of state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife;
  • Barbara Coda of East Maui Animal Refuge;
  • Paula Keele of Enhance Fitness;
  • Edeltraud Muroki of Executive Office on Aging;
  • Samuel Hambek of Farmers Voice Hawaii;
  • Ashley Casil of Haku Baldwin Center;
  • Janice McCarty of Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation;
  • Kilia Purdy-Avelino of Hoʻolehua Homesteaders Association;
  • Harold Ferris of Hospice Maui;
  • Susan Graham of Laʻakea Village;
  • Lynn Britton of Ma’alaea Community Association;
  • Mabel Sakuma of Maui Arts & Cultural Center;
  • Kapua Chang of Malama Maui Nui;
  • Michael Elam of Mana’o Radio;
  • Dr. Bridget Bongaard of Maui Cancer Resources;
  • Melissa Johnson of Maui County Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol;
  • Dalia Tzror of Maui Cat Rescue;
  • Buck Joiner of Malama Maui Nui;
  • Paige Green of Maui Food Bank;
  • Mick Bursack of Maui Historical Society;
  • Cassondra Christman of Maui Humane Society;
  • Ed Quiring of Maui Memorial Hospital Auxiliary;
  • Mike Ing of Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project;
  • Reatha Sorensen of Na Hoaloha;
  • Lianne Suzuki of Organ Transplant Maui;
  • Jamie-Sue West of Pacific Primate Sanctuary Inc.;
  • Audrey Rocha Reed of Portuguese Association of Maui; and
  • Savannah Gankiewicz of What Makes You Feel Beautiful. 

Individuals were nominated by their respective nonprofit organization for exemplary service in giving back to Maui County. Nonprofits registered in Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi were encouraged to nominate a Volunteer Hero who goes above and beyond basic duty or makes a significant impact in the success of a nonprofit mission.


This year’s Maui County Volunteer Heroes were recognized with a proclamation by Mayor Richard Bissen during an event at the county’s Kalana O Maui building on Tuesday. Each person received a Volunteer Hero T-shirt and a certificate from the Mayor’s Office.

2023 Maui County Volunteer Heroes announced, honored for ʻgiving back.’ PC: County of Maui

“The volunteers here today are being recognized for going above and beyond for organizations that serve our community – we value your dedication,” said Mayor Bissen during the proclamation event. “Some of you are teaching and inspiring keiki, others are helping our kūpuna and those living with disabilities or illnesses. Some of you help provide food for those in need; others help keep our ʻāina clean and free of invasive species. Some help care for animals – whether theyʻre dogs, cats, horses or primates. Others volunteer to preserve our history and culture.”

To learn more about the County of Maui Volunteer Center and this year’s Maui County Volunteer Heroes, visit


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