46 years of volunteer service recognized by Hana community

Jeanne Pechin is shown at her home with the framed certificate recognizing her as the 2017 Tiny Malaikini Mea Kokua Award winner. -- WARD MARDFIN photo

Jeanne Pechin was named as the 2017 Tiny Malaikini Mea Kokua Award winner on the first night of Hana’s Aloha Festivals Celebration on Oct. 7. The award is the Hana community’s highly coveted recognition for public service.

Pechin was chosen by the Malaikini family because of her 46 years of volunteer service to many nonprofit organizations in Hana. This all began in 1973 when Pechin, Carl Lindquist and Dr. Milton Howell started the Hana Maui Trust to benefit the community’s welfare, education and health care by way of seed monies, grants and scholarships to individuals and organizations. Penchin continues to sit on the board.

She is also a longtime board member for Wananalua Congregational Church. More recently, she was instrumental in getting Hawaii Public Radio to provide service in Hana. In addition, she is a supporter and board member of the Hana Hongwanji Buddhist Temple.

In 2003, Pechin worked with Ray Henderson and Lindquist to start the Hana Community Endowment Fund, which supports 10 nonprofit organizations through interest earned on the endowment. She was instrumental in helping the HCEF meet its initial goal of $1 million last summer.

In 2010, Pechin brought four nonprofits together with executives with Hotel Hana-Maui (now Travaasa Hana, Maui) to financially help the nonprofits and to be environmentally friendly by creating the Hotel Recycling Program. Each month, one of the organizations picks up the recyclables from the hotel and store. The nonprofit gets to keep the payments for the recycled glass, plastic and cans.

In attendance for the presentation were Tiny’s widow, Lynette Malaikini, son Joe-Sol, daughter-in-law Jendy and grandchildren Jesiah and Kepo’o.

Pechin was unable to attend, so her caregiver, Wendy Frymire, accepted the award on Pechin’s behalf. The next day, Lynette and Joe-Sol visited Pechin at her home to congratulate her in person and give her a lei.

Established in 1992, the Malaikini Award is presented annually to the person who has given most selflessly for the betterment of the Hana community. Simultaneously, it honors the memory of Viewed Paniani “Tiny” Malaikini.

The award winner was announced by Sheila Roback, emcee for this event, while Lynette Malaikini signed the certificate.

The award consists of a framed certificate for the recipient and the placement of the winner’s name on a perpetual trophy that hangs below a painting of Malaikini in the Hana Cultural Center.