Aloha and happy holidays. My name is Toa Tongi, and I am writing this letter on behalf of my family. I just wanted to start out by saying thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support shown to my family when our house in Kihei burned down in July of this year. We are so grateful for all the donations our family has received.
Thank you to the Maui Fire Department and the Maui Police Department for their help in putting out the fire and keeping everyone safe.
Thank you to the Red Cross and the Kihei Youth Center (and their friends, family, business contacts, clubs and organizations) and to our extended family, friends, neighbors and church members for all they have done.
I want to give a big mahalo and malo ‘aupito to the community of Maui (and beyond) for loving us unconditionally.
I feel very blessed to live on this island among this community.
I’ve never seen so much love as I have during this time. Even though we lost almost everything; no one got hurt and that was the most important thing to me and my family. We are all blessed and very, very thankful! On behalf of my family, we want to wish everyone a very happy and safe 2015!
In August, 2013, Tea Party Maui announced that it had pledged $1,000 to Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., to assist in the college’s endeavor to raise $178,250 in matching funds for the Hawaiian Liberty Endowed Scholarship, which would provide full tuition for a deserving student from Hawaii. The college does not accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies for any of its operations.
Tea Party Maui has fulfilled its pledge with the issuance of its final installment check to Hillsdale College this December.
Tea Party Maui wishes to extend a grateful mahalo to all its members and supporters for their donations on behalf of the Hawaiian Liberty Endowed Scholarship. In particular, we wish to acknowledge the singular generous donation of $250 from Kurt Hanson.
When fully funded, this scholarship will enable a young man or woman from Hawaii to study constitutional government within the framework of the classical liberal arts. As part of this program, the student would have the opportunity to intern during the summer in the home office of state Sen. Sam Slom, a longtime friend of Hillsdale.
Tea Party Maui
On Dec. 4, the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association sponsored the Kupuna Dinner at the Wailuku Community Center for seniors who live alone. As coordinator of the Makawao Hongwanji seniors, I accompanied those who were given tickets to attend this opening of the holiday season. I was very much impressed.
We would like to thank the association volunteers from Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa assigned to our table (Table 13) for such a wonderful experience.
Service was just great (individual dishes, one after the other, from appetizers, soup, salad, main dish, to desserts, coffee and water glasses always refilled by servers).
We would also like to thank Maui Economic Opportunity for their great coordination in bringing some 400 people together for this occasion. Also, the MEO transportation department for their coordination in transporting these people to this event.
Thank you all for your donations for door prizes, the association and individual hotels for providing all the food, and MEO for their coordination of this annual event.
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Hale Makua Health Services would like to thank Brian Sato for his generous donation to our facility.
Brian raised funds by walking 165 miles around Maui.
We would also like to thank Mike and Traci Silva for donating a new large-screen television for our residents at our Wailuku campus. Their generous donations will make a big difference in the lives of our residents.
Since 1946 we’ve been committed to excellence in health care for Maui residents via our nursing homes, home health care, rehab and adult day health.
It is through donations like those of Brian, Mike, Traci and all of our generous donors that our residents receive the best customized care through compassionate personalized health services in our home and yours.
Hale Makua Health Services staff
The Mexican Consulate set up a mobile office at St. Theresa Church on Nov. 15 to provide passport and other vital documents for Maui residents from Mexico. Faith Action for Community Equity Maui hosted the consulate and a team of 10 staff people. This is the third year that FACE has hosted this community event.
Hundreds of Maui residents made appointments prior to the consulate staff’s arrival and dozens more families came to St. Theresa without an appointment.
FACE Immigration Reform Organizer Gabriela Andrade was pleased with this year’s event. “We had such wonderful volunteers this year, from Maui Immigration Services, MEO, St. Theresa and the Hawaii Coalition for Immigration Reform. It was a good group. I hope we can continue to work together.”
By the end of the day, more than 260 people were served at the consulate event. FACE Maui would like to thank St. Theresa Church for continuing to offer support for this important event and the Mexican Consulate for traveling so far to provide this vital service.
Faith Action for Community Equity Maui
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On Black Friday, Lucas Lavin and I spent six hours putting up solar-powered Christmas lights and decorating an oleander tree on Piilani, makai of Maui Meadows. As the sun went down, the tree looked lovely but the battery on my truck was dead from leaving the emergency flashers on. And I left my cellphone at home. We tried pushing the truck to bump start it but the battery was too dead. More than 1,000 cars whizzed by and I lamented that in the olden days, people would stop and help.
Then a car pulled up behind us and the driver said, “Need some help?” It was Mike and Joycelyn Victorino on their way to dinner. Headed in the opposite direction, they turned around to see if help was needed. It was. They drove me home to get another battery, drove me back to my truck and stayed with me to make sure the truck would start. It did.
Meanwhile, superstar son Shane Victorino (Celebrity Dinner & Golf Classic fund raiser Nov. 22, Toy Drive in Las Vegas Dec. 14), his wife and kids waited for Mike, supreme warden of the Knights of Columbus, to help a stranded motorist.
We are incredibly blessed to have the Victorino family on Maui. They are always there with open arms and helping hands, truly living lives of aloha.
May love and compassion flow to, and from, each of you as it does from the hearts of the Victorino family. Mahalo nui loa, Mike.
Baldwin High School’s Marching Band Homecoming Show on Oct. 24 was a success due to the director, Stephen Rodrigues, all the students, and to parents and friends that volunteered. I would really like to thank Dwight Nakao, Dean Saito, Frankie Nakahashi and Durwin Kiyabu for making the band director’s vision become a reality. I would also like to thank the following businesses for all their support: Michelle Tuquero at Miyake Concrete Accessories, Joni McGinnis at Ameritone Maui, Mark Morimoto at Airgas, Sharon Higa at Maui Box Shop, Lisa Kakiuchi-Gima with BHS DECA program, and Ryan Ouye at Service Rentals and Supplies. Most of all I’d like to thank Rodrigues for all his hard work and hours of after-school practices to produce a halftime show to remember.
We would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our fabulous presenters who appeared during a geography awareness webcast from Maui High School Nov. 19 that involved over 1,000 secondary school students: Jeremy Cabral, A&B Properties, chief cad and graphics technician; Rosemary Wardley, a senior GIS cartographer from National Geographic Maps; Carol Kennedy, GIS administrator, Maui Electric Co.; Derek Masaki, geographer with Core Science Systems, United States Geological Survey, and product owner and data manager for the Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation project in Washington, D.C.; Colin Lindeman, senior geospatial systems analyst and Robert Kalei Miller, geospatial information analyst, Pacific Disaster Center in Kihei; Joseph Breman, president, International Underwater Exploration; Jason Verkaart, software engineer, Blue Sky Arial Solutions; Michael Donoho, director of natural resources, Pulama Lana’i; Sarah McLane Bryan, GIS education specialist, University of Hawaii Maui College.
We are also very grateful to Michael Garrity, a community member who brought in his drone to demonstrate for students how it collects geo-referenced data and imagery that can be used in GIS software.
We are also especially grateful to all of the science, geography and other teachers who signed up to participate in this annual event.
Hawaii Department of Education
Maui District STEM Program,