Maui loses a friend, Sammy Hagar


It was sad to see Sammy Hagar making the news on Maui for selling his house here. For all that he has done for people under the radar on Maui, it should have been front-page newsworthy or a community news story instead of real estate news (Maui Now, Nov. 8).

Sammy, very quietly, has helped hundreds of Maui people and families over the years and his departure will be Maui’s loss.

Besides the nonprofits listed in the Maui Now story (A Keiki’s Dream, Blessings in a Backpack, Na Hoaloha, Hana Youth Center, Teens On Call, Fun Day Foundation, Doorway into Light, St. Anthony’s Grade School and Senior High, West Maui Animal Shelter, and HUGS) that Sammy helped, were the hundreds of children and families of Sammy’s Keiki Aloha Fund. This was a program that he started to directly financially support the families of Maui children who were being treated off island for a major medical condition.

Anyone familiar with pediatric medical services on Maui knows that all of these children must be treated off island. What could be worse than having a child suffer a serious medical condition and then be forced to deal with it away from home and your support network?

The families helped include children needing a new kidney or heart, children medevaced to Oahu because of a serious accident, children with all forms of cancer, preemies who were born so early that they were the size of potatoes, and many others.

All were given direct financial support by Sammy and his family as part of his giving back to our community. His kokua was given continually and without any fanfare because he is just a kind person.

He is a great example to the other people who make Maui one of their homes or a stopping off point to give back to the people who live here.

We need more of these folks. Sammy is not only a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but should be listed as a member of Maui’s Hall of Fame. Maui will be miss him.

* Darby Gill retired as the longtime executive director and co-founder of A Keiki’s Dream in 2015. A Wailuku resident, he now provides guided adventure itineraries for children as the founder and dream maker at Maui Dream Day.