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Sugimura and Gerbig named kupuna advocates

West Maui resident Arleen Gerbig has been chosen as 2021 Kupuna Advocate of the Year by Maui Economic Opportunity. — Photo courtesy Maui Economic Opportunity

Maui County Council Member Yuki Lei Sugimura and West Maui senior leader Arleen Gerbig have both been named 2021 Kupuna Advocate of the Year by Maui Economic Opportunity.

They will be honored at MEO’s 49th Annual Kupuna Aloha Celebration, which will be shown from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday via Zoom, on MEO’s Facebook page and on Akaku channel 54. The guest speaker will be Civil Beat columnist Lee Cataluna. In addition to the Kupuna Advocate of the Year presentations, there will be music by Na Koa, remarks by Maui County government officials and door prizes, which will be delivered to winners.

Sugimura has advocated for Maui County kupuna as a council member, businesswoman, member of state and county boards and commissions, community organizer and Maui County representative for U.S. Sens. Daniel Akaka and Mazie Hirono.

Gerbig, who was named MEO Volunteer of the Year earlier this year, has been very active keeping kupuna informed and physically and mentally healthy during the pandemic. She organizes a food distribution once a month and occasionally makes deliveries herself.

Gerbig joined the Lahaina-Honolua Senior Club in 2003 and became its president in 2016. She is currently an MEO board member and president of the planning and coordinating council.

Maui County Council Member Yuki Lei Sugimura has also been chosen as 2021 Kupuna Advocate of the Year by Maui Economic Opportunity. — Photo courtesy Maui Economic Opportunity

The Kupuna Aloha Celebration can be accessed via Zoom with the ID 99783666171 and passcode 782457.

For more information, contact Zilpah Kaimiola at 243-4313.

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