Maui Business

Maui United Way bridges gap in growing assistance needs amid decline in donations

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Photo: L to R Ellen Nashiwa; Nick Winfrey; Mark Klaschka; Shanda Vangas; Bevanne Bowers. Photo Credit – Lisa Villiarimo

A decline in donations this past year has presented significant challenges for Maui United Way; however, MUW continues to work to bridge the gap between available resources and the growing demand for assistance in the community.

Community leaders, philanthropists, and supporters came together to celebrate the organization’s accomplishments and discuss the challenges faced in the past year during Maui United Way’s 54th Annual Meeting & Celebration at the King Kamehameha Golf Club on June 29.

Keku Akana, Managing Director of Maui County, delivered a message highlighting the importance of collective action and the positive impact that MUW has made in the community.


Akana emphasized the need to address the root causes of social issues and encouraged attendees to continue supporting the organization’s initiatives.

Maui United Way’s President Nicholas Winfrey said, “We are so grateful to the amazing individuals and businesses who have continued their trust and support for your Maui United Way. The generosity and commitment shown by the community reaffirms our belief that together we can make a lasting difference in the lives of individuals and families within Maui County. We are also grateful to our meeting sponsors – Fourth Wave Strategies, Hawaiian Electric, and Aloha International Employment.”

Mahalo Awards were given to outstanding businesses, agencies, and individuals who had contributed to MUW’s mission of bridging resources in the Maui community. The award winners and their categories are as follows:

  • Foundation of the Year – Bendon Family Foundation;
  • Excellence in Partnership – Hawaiian Electric;
  • Bank of the Year – First Hawaiian Bank;
  • Campaign of the Year – Enterprise Holdings;
  • Campaign Excellence Award – Goodfellow Bros.;
  • Partner Agency of the Year – Lahaina Arts Guild;
  • Board Member of the Year – Mark Klaschka;
  • Exceptional Donor of the Year – Peter & Victorine Merriman.

Two two outgoing board members were also recognized: Mark Fornwall and Jennifer Takayesu, who served six-year terms.

MUW, with the assistance of Judge Per Diem, Bevanne Bowers, installed their incoming officers, recognizing Shanda Vangas of Fourth Wave Strategies as Board Chair, Mark Klaschka of Pleasant Holidays as Vice Chair, Sandy Baz of Maui Oil as Treasurer, and Ellen Nashiwa of Hawaiian Electric as Secretary.

As Maui United Way looks to the future, it strives to cultivate new partnerships, engage volunteers, and explore innovative approaches to ensure a sustainable impact. The organization remains dedicated to being a trusted steward of donor contributions and to maximizing the effectiveness of every dollar invested in improving the lives of Maui County residents.


To make a contribution, visit or call 808-244-8787.


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