Well, we're more than a month into the summer school break, and all across Maui County, the celebrations continue to honor the graduating high school seniors taking the momentous step forward into the next chapter of their lives.
And, thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Project Graduation program here on the Valley Isle - which provides alcohol-, drug- and tobacco-free, all-night parties on the ceremonial night for the graduates - the clean slate of no traffic fatalities related to teens during this time continues.
Project Graduation began over a decade ago with high school parents' concern with the growing number of car crashes involving teens driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs after graduation night parties.
The movement has grown and solidified over the years to where Maui County high schools, led by volunteer organizers and supported by county government grants and community donations, have taken the lead to provide a safety net to keep our keiki safe during these joyous times.
The result has been clear and concise: zero traffic fatalities on Maui since Project Graduation began.
Our heartfelt appreciation thus goes out to businesses here on the West Side, such as Title Guaranty Escrow Services and its branch manager, Joel Navarro. Thanks to these people, the cost of the all-night PG parties is taken care of with their generous donations.
Navarro, who, with wife Jamie has two young sons, is the chairman for the Title Guaranty Legacy Cup Golf Tournament that raises thousands of dollars for Lahainaluna High School's Project Graduation.
This year, $15,600 was raised by the TG Legacy Cup tournament for the event.
"The Title Guaranty Legacy Cup is just another shining example of how amazing our small island of Maui really is. Special thanks goes out to the owners of Title Guaranty, the Project Graduation Committee and the Kaanapali Golf Course for the event's success," said Navarro.
From the entire West Side community - including my wife and I, as our kids have attended Project Graduation on their special night - we send our thanks to the founders, the volunteer organizers and to all contributors for providing such a fun-filled night for our children.
But most of all, thank you to all involved for keeping our kids safe. There is no more noble or important effort than this.