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State recognizes Sue Cooley’s contributions to Lahainaluna stadium project

By Staff | Jan 13, 2011

Governor’s liaison George Kaya and Lahainaluna High School varsity football players presented Sue Cooley with the state commendation at the Lunas’ state playoff game at War Memorial Stadium on Nov. 19.

LAHAINA — In recognition of her overwhelming generosity to Lahainaluna High School’s “Redo the Imu” athletic facility project, Sue Cooley was honored recently with a commendation from former Gov. Linda Lingle.

A part-time resident of West Maui, Cooley has been the primary benefactor of the planning and construction of the state-of-the-art stadium project that includes a Matrix field turf playing surface, all-weather track with sprint lanes and jump pits, lighting, landscaping, fencing, drainage system, new scoreboard and flag poles.

Phase II of the project — now in the planning stages — will include seating for 3,000, press box, concession stand and restrooms, arrival and admissions area, and parking.

She had been introduced to the Lahainaluna ‘ohana through her relationship with Betty and Roy Sakamoto, alumnae and boosters of the school and the community.

Through this friendship, Cooley became enamored with the unique culture and traditions of Lahainaluna and has since contributed $4,000,000 to the effort.

“It has been inspiring for me to think of the excellent education available to all of the youth of Lahaina and to the boarding students as well,” she said.

It is this vision of the sportsmanship and spirit of Lahainaluna that has inspired Cooley in her support of the stadium, and as the facility was dedicated last August, she urged all Lahainaluna supporters to join the effort to continue and complete the project.

The state commendation read in part, “On behalf of the people of Hawaii, we send our personal greetings of aloha and thank you for your generous donation to the Lahainaluna High School Foundation’s ‘Redo the Imu” stadium project.

“We understand that you were inspired to contribute to Lahainaluna because you were impressed with the school’s rich culture and the loyalty and dedication of the alumni. We appreciate that you believe that sports teaches teamwork, sportsmanship, and other life lessons. The facility will also serve the needs of the elementary and intermediate schools and the community at large.

“It is with much gratitude that we extend a sincere mahalo for your selfless gift that will continue to enhance the lives of the students, faculty and staff of Lahainaluna High School, as well as the surrounding community for many years to come.”