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Blackie Gadarian Vocational Scholarships awarded

By Staff | Jun 29, 2017

From left, Sara Gadarian, Josiah Sombelon-McEwen, Ivory Awai-Pascual, Enele Scanlon and Michael Orr are pictured at the scholarship event.

LAHAINA – Sara Gadarian announced that three $1,000 vocational scholarships were awarded in the memory of Arsene “Blackie” Gadarian. The awards were presented recently at Lahainaluna High School by Sara Gadarian and Michael Orr, who wore the original bright orange Blackie’s Boat Yard work shirts.

Sara commented that her late husband, “Blackie” Gadarian, was known as a colorful character in many ways, as an entrepreneur at a boat yard in Newport Beach and Lahaina, a machinist and metal fabricator, a bar and restaurant owner, engine and aircraft mechanic, along with a hobby of writing wry letters to the editor in local newspapers.

Sara stated, “Blackie and I started the vocational scholarships at Lahainaluna High School in 1981, and with the help of our friends, we have given 212 awards in the fields of automotive and carpentry skills. The instructors recommend the students who are planning to pursue vocational fields and will use the money to advance their training or buy tools.”

Josiah Sombelon-McEwen will be attending UNLV to study automotive engineering. In his thank you letter, Josiah stated, “I am the first of my siblings to go off to college. My family and I are more than thankful for your generosity and willingness to help. I will not let it go to waste!”

Ivory Awai-Pascual will be attending Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Sacramento, California. Ivory stated, “I wasn’t sure if I would be able to attend UTI because of the tuition and housing cost, since there is no on-campus housing. With the help of your scholarship and some other help I received, I am now able to attend a ‘blue-collared’ school and keep trade schools up and running.”

Enele Scanlon was already working part-time on weekends as a carpenter while attending Lahainaluna High School. His scholarship award money will be used to buy much-needed tools.