People Who Made A Difference

For Maui, a never-ending story

The “People Who Made A Difference” is a favorite of mine during this most wonderful time of year. Having had a hand in this annual holiday season feature since its inception 22 years ago, the stories of Maui County residents’ acts of selflessness and contributions that mean so much to ...

Dorothy Tolliver (from left), Susan Werner and Sara Foley pose with the new Holoholo Bookmobile they helped bring to Maui. They also got lawmakers to fund a librarian position for the bookmobile.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Holoholo Bookmobile

They say good things come in threes. That’s certainly the case with Sara Foley, Dorothy Tolliver and Susan Werner, who joined forces five years ago to purchase a gift for the Hawaii State Public Library System: The Holoholo Bookmobile. “We decided that if we were going to give a ...

Wesley Lo, the former chief executive officer of the quasi-public entity that runs Maui Memorial Medical Center, led efforts to improve the Wailuku hospital, including the construction of the wing in the background. He also led the difficult battle to create a public-private partnership with Kaiser Permanente to operate Maui Memorial, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Wesley Lo

When he was the chief executive officer of Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Maui Region, Wesley Lo found a way to turn a bad day around: He’d observe an open-heart surgery. “It kept me connected to what was happening at the hospital,” he said. “It was also a reminder of why I did my ...

Don McLeish points to Honokowai Point, where he has saved many swimmers from the dangerous rip current. He’s towed more than 100 people out of the rip current since 2009, likely saving their lives.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Don McLeish

Seven years ago, Don McLeish was on a mission to photograph some sea horses. “Underwater photography is a hobby,” he said. “I’ve taken thousands of photos of sea critters.” Sea horses are hard to find in Hawaiian waters, but a friend tipped him off: A sea horse had been spotted at ...

Judy Guajardo (from left), volunteer coordinator; Alida Murray; Candice Carter, executive director; and Kimber Niemann pose for a photo in the Na Hoaloha office in Wailuku. Na Hoaloha is a nonprofit organization that pairs volunteers with seniors or people with disabilities who need assistance with daily tasks or just a friend to talk to.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Na Hoaloha

Candice Carter can tell you with absolute certainty that the little things can make a big difference. “The small things really do add up,” she said. “That’s something I see every day.” Carter is the executive director of Na Hoaloha, a nonprofit organization that pairs volunteers ...

Dean Yamashita (left) and Craig Okita, former opponents on the diamonds of their youth, are coaches for the All Pono Organization. They teach more than baseball to their young players; they use the game to offer lessons about life. 
The Maui News MATTHEW THAYER photo

Dean Yamashita & Craig Okita

For Craig Okita and Dean Yamashita, “baseball is life” is more than just a catchy slogan — it’s a guiding principle. To say that the two men are familiar with the game would be an understatement. Okita played shortstop for Baldwin High School, then took the field for University of ...

People Who Made a Difference Past and Present

2016 Holoholo Bookmobile: Sara Foley, Dorothy Tolliver and Susan Werner Wesley Lo Don McLeish Na Hoaloha Craig Okita and Dean Yamashita 2015 A Cup of Cold Water Magdalena Bajon Judge Joseph E. Cardoza Bo Mahoe Betty ...