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Foundation Scholarship Program keeps growing

By Staff | Jun 18, 2009

LAHAINA — Lahainaluna High School Foundation Scholarship Chairman and Board Member Andrew Kutsunai could not stop smiling at Lahainaluna’s Scholarship Awards Program on May 20 at the Royal Lahaina Resort.

Kutsunai, who has guided the foundation’s Scholarship Program for the past seven years, was elated that this year, despite great economic hardships in the West Side community, a new record was reached for scholarships distributed by LHSF.

“In a year that is so difficult for everyone, we must thank our donors and sponsors. Parents and kids are having a real tough time this year, and so are the businesses in the community. I am so happy that we are giving more scholarships this year than ever before. The Lahaina community really cares for its youth,” he said.

The Lahainaluna High School Foundation awarded 35 scholarships to graduating seniors, prior graduates and a teacher. Nearly $68,000 in scholarships was distributed at the program.

Foundation members Rob Shelton (president), Kutsunai, Susan Yap, Richard “Noosh” Nishimura and Development Coordinator Jeff Rogers presented six LHSF Scholarships of $1,000 each to Jordyn Kilgore, Myles Tabios, Kimberlee Shimizu, Isaiah Santiago, Jackie Owens and Jayson Manning.

The Kapalua Maui Charities Endowed Scholarship was given by Nancy Cross, LHSF board member and vice president/Events Management of Kapalua Land Company, to Maricris Bote-Estabillo, whose grandfather and mother work for Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. This $1,500 scholarship honors the alumni of Lahainaluna High School who are past and present employees of Maui Land & Pineapple Co. and its subsidiaries, Maui Pineapple Co. and Kapalua Land Co.

The $1,000 Robert George Wright Memorial Agricultural Scholarship was given to Mason Barca by Jeff Rogers.

Hayley Miller, who plans to major in elementary education, received the Mary Riley Memorial Scholarship of $1,000 from presenter Penny Wakida, a retired Lahainaluna English teacher and LHSF Scholarship Committee member.

For the fifth year, a Lahainaluna teacher received a $1,000 scholarship for continuing education. An annual gift from Dr. James Kumagai, Lahainaluna Class of ’52, this scholarship was presented to Lahainaluna Spanish teacher Ashley Olsen by Kutsunai, a retired Lahainaluna teacher.

Kazuichi Hamasaki of Kahului presented the $1,200 Kihachiro J. Hotta Memorial Endowed Scholarship to a four-year boarder, Tiare Bermudez. Kihachiro Hotta, a Lahainaluna boarder in the 1930s and member of the 442nd Infantry with Hamasaki, was killed in action in W.W.II.

The ‘Imi Na‘Auao (To Seek Education) Scholarship, funded annually by Paul Tate of Ocean Alaska Resources LLC, was presented by Noosh Nishihara to Mason Barca. This year, the scholarship gave preference to those majoring in marine science, marine biology, oceanography or a related field.

Davilynn Ganer received the $1,000 Ka Ipukukui I ‘A Mau Pio ‘Ole Ike Kaua‘ula (The light that will not go out in spite of the blowing of the Kaua’ula wind) Scholarship. Funded annually by Principal Michael Nakano, this scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates leadership, service and academic achievement during his/her four years at Lahainaluna High School and conveys the school’s vision.

Three West Side Friends for Higher Education Scholarships of  $1,000 each were given to Princess Karen Galano, Roxanne Grantham and Saumalu Mataafa. Two of these scholarships are contributed annually by part-time Maui residents in appreciation for their life on the island. An additional third scholarship was made possible this year through additional donations from Lahainaluna graduates and supporters. Jeff Rogers and Alex Ross presented the scholarships.

The Fred Izumi Legacy Scholarship for $2,000 was given to Hailey Gill. This scholarship, funded by a ten-year annuity from Fred Izumi of the LHS Class of 1952, is now in its fourth year.

The West Maui Tongan Catholic Ministry Scholarship of $570 went to Moanalani Tuipolotu. It was presented by Tonata Lolesio, a LHSF Scholarship Committee member.

Carl Paahana was given the Lahaina Hawaiian Civic Club Scholarship of $500 by President Matthew Erickson and Phyllis Ross.

A $1,000 Tadashi Sato Memorial Scholarship was presented by Mark and Lois Sato to Ty Carter to further his education in art- and music-related fields.

The Shigeru and Toyoko Ichiki Scholarship is endowed by the late Dr. Albert Ichiki. This renewable scholarship of $12,000 was presented by Dr. Ichiki’s brother, Gerald Ichiki, to Elizabeth Lagbas. Tekiri Rickard, a 2007 Luna graduate and junior at the University of Nevada at Reno, and Lake Casco, a 2008 Luna graduate and sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, were also awarded scholarships of $12,000 each.

The first Kaanapali Land Management Scholarship of $1000, funded by Kaanapali Land Management Corp., was presented by Kathleen Giambalvo to Jacob Boteilho. This scholarship gives financial assistance to a student planning to major in agriculture, engineering, architecture or a related field.

The Lahainaluna Class of 1956, represented by member Alex Ross, presented a $1000 scholarship to Christina Ly.

Descendants of David Malo funded two David Malo ‘Ohana Scholarships of $1,000 each to boarding students Oriahna Platt and Tiare Bermudez. These scholarships were presented by Lori Gomez-Karinen.

The Central Pacific Bank Scholarship of $1,000, in memory of Glenn Coffey, Lahaina CPB manager who passed away in April 2009, was given by Alvin Imada to Kelsey Fortey.

In a TS Restaurant Scholarship “triple play,” Orrin Cross, general manager of Hula Grill, presented the Hula Grill Scholarship of $1,000 to Nestor Cuaresma. He was joined by Jason Donez, general manager of Leilani’s on the Beach, who presented the Leilani’s on the Beach Scholarship of $1,000 — also to Nestor. Nestor then received the Kimo’s Restaurant Scholarship of $1,000 presented by Kimo’s Manager Chris Almeroth.

The LHSF Scholarship Endowment Fund, Kapalua Charities Endowed Scholarship and the Ichiki and Hotta Endowed Scholarship Funds are managed by the Hawaii Community Foundation. Interest from these funds, as well as designated donations from individuals, community groups and businesses, enable LHSF to offer multiple scholarships for Lahainaluna students. Scholarships are carefully administered through the Scholarship Committee, chaired by Board Member Andrew Kutsunai and consisting of members Tonata Lolesio, Penny Wakida, Lydia Saribay and LHS Senior Counselor Kalele Kekauoha-Shultz.

An elated Kutsunai is already planning and hoping that next year’s scholarship awards will be even better.

“One of the Lahainaluna High School Foundation’s ambitious ten-year goals is to be able to offer scholarships to ALL Lahainaluna students seeking higher education. We are moving toward that goal, thanks to the generous West Side community and to Lahainaluna’s loyal graduates.”

For information on the Lahainaluna High School Foundation and its programs, call 661-5332, e-mail LHSFoundation@hawaiiantel.net or visit Lahainalunahighschoolfoundation.com.