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Dawn Lono earns Hana’s Tiny Malaikini Mea Kokua award

On the first day of Hana’s Aloha Festivals Celebration on Oct. 3, it was announced that the 2015 Tiny Malaikini Mea Kokua Award, the community’s highly coveted recognition for public service, was awarded to Dawn Lono.

Lono was chosen because of unselfish service to the community of Hana, according to a news release. She has been a deacon at Wananalua Church for about 30 years and has served as moderator, trustee and chairwoman of the Board of Deacons.

Ordained as a minister in 1983, Lono specializes in weddings and other special events using Hawaiian culture and spiritual practices, including performing Hawaiian chants.

Lono is a past president, secretary, and treasurer of the Hana Community Association and still serves on its Legislation Committee. She was a founding board member and first chairperson of the Hana Business Council. She also helped found and took leadership roles in the Maui Flower Growers Association and the East Maui Agricultural Association.

She took the lead in transforming the 2009 50th Anniversary of Statehood into a celebration of Hawaiian culture. Lono helps guide Na Mamo Alii O Kauiki.

Her employment as administrative aide for the Council Services Office of the Maui County Council in the Hana District helps her be the nexus for connecting individuals and organizations in Hana with the governmental and legislative initiatives of the county and state.

She is recognized for her creative problem-solving of issues involving Hana, the news release said.

Lono also currently serves on the Disaster Preparedness Committee for East Maui, on the Hana Advisory Committee to the Maui Planning Commission and on the Hana School Community Council.

Established in 1992, the Malaikini Award is awarded 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, a much beloved Hawaiian man whose life embodied “aloha” and “kokua.”

The award winner was announced by Sheila Roback, emcee for the event. Malaikini’s son signed the certificate. The Malaikini family in attendance to present the award were Lynette (Malaikini’s wife), Joe-Sol (Malaikini’s son), Maydoria (Malaikini’s daughter), Guy Gibo (Maydoria’s fiance), Amri (Malaikini’s granddaughter) and Sage (Malaikini’s grandson).

The award consists of a koa-framed certificate and the placement of the winner’s name on a perpetual trophy, which hangs below a painting of Malaikini in the Hana Cultural Center.

After the presentation, Lono thanked the community for the honor.