Scouts recognize top volunteers

The Maui County Council of Boy Scouts of America gathered at the University of Hawaii Maui College on Jan. 26 to recognize some of its top volunteers.

A crowd of more than 120 helped celebrate the accomplishments of six individuals who, combined, have accumulated more than 81 years of service to Scouting.


Four women were presented with the District Award of Merit for their service beyond their unit. The District Award of Merit is the highest award a district can present to a volunteer. The Award of Merit recipients were Bonny Herbert, Minette Ngalu, Ellie Leialoha and Virginia “Ginny” Hertz.


Scott Neerings and Brian Kakihara were presented with the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award a council can present to a volunteer for service at the council level.

Neerings has been involved in Scouting since he joined the Cub Scouts in 1972. He became an Eagle Scout in 1985 and as an adult has been serving for 18 years.

Neerings serves as an assistant council commissioner, council camping chairman, Order of the Arrow lodge adviser, shooting sports director, trainer, wood badge staff member, and troop committee member.

He is the lead echo specialist at Maui Memorial Medical Center’s Heart, Brain and Vascular Center.

Kakihara joined the Maui County Council’s Board in 1999 and is currently the vice president of finance and on the capital campaign committee for Camp Maluhia.

He has been involved in the last three Distinguished Citizen Dinners and has been on the Scout Executive Selection Committee for the last three scout executives.

Other nonprofits he has volunteered with include Maui Jaycees, Kiwanis Club of Maui, Valley Isle Kiwanis Club, Maui Historical Society, Maui Aikido Ki Society, Imua Family Services, La’akea Foundation, Maui Economic Development and the UH-Maui College Chancellor’s Advisory Board.