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Tenth annual MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund Benefit Dinner set for Aug. 20

By Staff | Aug 11, 2016

Proceeds from the Aug. 20 event will help to advance STEM education programs for youth in Maui County and around the state.

KIHEI – Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) announced that its annual fundraiser dinner, “Pathways to our Future,” will take place on Saturday, Aug. 20. This year’s Distinguished Educators will be U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui and wife Lyndelle, and Mayor Alan Arakawa and his wife, Ann.

Held at The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui in Wailea, this year’s event will spotlight Maui County’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) stars while raising needed funds for STEM education programs in the community.

The reception and silent auction will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a live auction at 6 p.m.

Now in its tenth year, MEDB’s annual benefit dinner will offer a fun, educational and inspiring program – along with a few surprises.

During the “Apples for Education” silent and live auctions, guests can bid on over 100 items, including stays at Maui’s award-winning resorts, golf rounds, restaurant certificates, island adventures, fashionable apparel, one-of-a-kind experiences and a myriad of island-inspired gifts.

The “Family Feud, The STEM Edition” game will challenge guests’ STEM skills as they compete for bragging rights.

The Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award will honor students who have demonstrated the most innovative use of STEM tools and capabilities to serve and improve their community.

And, Kanoa Leahey as emcee promises to make the dinner program a lively evening.

“MEDB is excited to have this year’s Distinguished Educators joining us as we honor some of our islands’ STEM stars,” said Jeanne Unemori Skog, Maui Economic Development Board’s president and CEO. “Our young people continue to amaze us with their passion for STEM, and it’s extremely gratifying to be able to see our community coming together to help our youth soar in the 21st century.”

“This worthwhile event recognizes the critical need to support and expand STEM programs for our youth,” said Lt. Gov. Tsutsui. “It’s important that we do all we can to engage and prepare our children for entry into the 21st century workforce, which will help them become competitive nationally and globally with their peers. We are nurturing budding scientists, engineers and mathematicians who will create new ideas, new products and new industries.”

One of the event’s highlights will be the announcement of this year’s Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award winner. This prestigious award was inspired by the late senator’s unwavering commitment to the application of science and technology to solve challenges around us.

“I know that the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund was very important to Senator Inouye and that he supported it wholeheartedly from the very beginning,” said Mayor Arakawa. “Like many of us, he knew that if our children could excel at science, technology, engineering and math, Maui County and the State of Hawaii would have a very bright future. As a community, it is both our privilege and responsibility to continue to support these STEM education efforts.”

Since the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund was established in 2006, over $1.2 million in grants have been awarded to Maui County’s schools and organizations. This past school year alone, more than $137,000 in grants were allocated, which enabled ten robotics teams to compete on Maui, Oahu and even the Mainland; equipped digital media labs with the latest equipment and software; supported a monthly televised newscast and bilingual website to archive STEM activities; empowered students working on community-service projects using STEM tools; and assisted MEDB’s STEMworks educational programs.

“We are extremely grateful to the many sponsors and community partners who make these grants possible,” said Skog. “These contributions enable MEDB to empower our youth with STEM skills while helping them to build pathways to future STEM careers.”

Various sponsorship opportunities are available for MEDB’s Aug. 20 fundraiser dinner. Event tickets are $175 per person.

Special room rates are available for event guests at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui. Rates for suites start from $219 plus tax per night, based on space availability. Some restrictions apply.

For online reservations and event information, including Fairmont Kea Lani’s special hotel rates, visit www.medb.org or call Maui Economic Development Board at 875-2300.