County department wins award at horticulture show in South Korea

The county Office of Economic Development recently won a top award and $1,000 check at the 2014 International Horticulture show in Goyang City, South Korea, according to an announcement last month.

The office received the Prime Minister’s Trophy for its booth that featured a large photo collage of Haleakala National Park, Iao Valley and Maui beaches, as well as Maui-grown tropical flowers and plants such as a Haleakala silversword.

Mayor Alan Arakawa and about a million other people attended the three-week-long event that ran from April 25 to May 11 at Goyang, the county’s sister city.

Arakawa requested that the $1,000 check be donated to relief funds for the victims of the South Korean ferry accident that killed nearly 300 people.

“The ferry accident was unfolding just as we arrived in South Korea,” Arakawa said of the April 16 accident. “The people were stricken with unimaginable grief, and our hearts go out to all the families involved in this tragedy.”

Office of Economic Development Director Teena Rasmussen and county international liaison Jeremiah Savage presented the check to the Goyang City government.

The booth was staffed by five members of the Tihati Hula Halau, Sherry Duong of the Maui Visitors Bureau, Haleakala National Park ranger Stephen Anderson and Office of Economic Development agriculture specialist Kenneth Yamamura.

Savage and flower designer Asa Ige also assisted with booth design and setup.

“Maui County produced a first-class booth and brought the aloha spirit to the people of South Korea,” Rasmussen said. “We have definitely elevated the Maui brand in this part of Asia.”