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Nishihara, Erickson to lead Lahainaluna Foundation

By Staff | Oct 20, 2011

From left, incoming Lahainaluna High School Foundation Executive Director Richard “Noosh” Nishihara, current Executive Director Leslie Hiraga and incoming Deputy Executive Director Matthew Erickson gather after the group’s annual meeting.

LAHAINA – The Lahainaluna High School Foundation (LHSF) will have a new executive director, Richard “Noosh” Nishihara, effective Nov. 1.

Matt Erickson will serve as the organization’s deputy director. Both Erickson and Nishihara previously served on LHSF’s Board of Directors.

The changes were announced on Oct. 4 at the Lahainaluna High School Foundation’s Annual Meeting in the Samuel M. Kamakau Library on the school’s campus.

Foundation Executive Director Leslie Hiraga was complimented for her outstanding service during the past two years and for her efforts during the transition period.

She commented, “I am always touched by the amount of support LHSF receives to support its work with Lahainaluna.”

The foundation will kick off a series of annual events with the inaugural “Legends of Lahainaluna” program on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Pioneer Inn Courtyard.

This event will honor up to three individuals from a list of nominees who have significantly contributed to the success of the school, or alumni/staff who have gone on to contribute significantly to their communities.

Coming from various walks of life, the nominees include former students, faculty, community leaders and others who have contributed to the Lahaina community and the development of Lahainaluna.

The nominees for the inaugural Legends program are Clifton Akiyama, Dr. Charles Araki, Henry “Bruno” Ariyoshi, Sue Cooley, Art Fillazar, Lori Gomez Karinen, Pedro Haro, Robert Kawaguchi, Lanny Tihada and The Westin Maui Resort and Spa.

ESPN West Coast Anchor Neil Everett will emcee the program that will include music, live and silent auctions, heavy pupus, beverages and desserts.

A $100 ticket donation per person is suggested, with net proceeds designated to the LHSF Endowment Fund.

Items to be offered in the auctions include “staycation” packages from Exotic Estates on Maui, Wailea Beach Marriott, Grand Wailea, Grand Hyatt Kauai and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; a gourmet chef-inspired dinner for four with private cellar wine offerings at the home of Gunars and JoRene Valkirs; and a variety of activities and merchandise.

“We have received several notable gift certificates and other items for the auction at the Legends event, and the LHSF could use more, similar donations,” stated Nishihara.

“Overnight stays, airline tickets, etc., would be most welcome, or monetary donations, or contacting merchants you work with and encouraging them to lend a hand.”

Visit www.re-dotheimu.com for the donation form or contact Legends Chairman Jeff Rogers at lhsf08@yahoo.com for more information.

At the Annual Meeting, LHSF President Rob Shelton provided an update on the Lahainaluna High School stadium funding and plans for completion of the final phase.

Shelton also unveiled LHSF’s new logo and introduced the gathering to the foundation’s updated website that will soon be operational.

At the meeting, all foundation officers were elected for another term: Shelton, president; Nancy Cross, vice president and acting secretary; and Ivy Huerter, treasurer.

Newly elected directors are Myrna Ah Hee, Craig Murakami, Steven Raymond and Lanny Tihada.

Reelected with Shelton, Cross and Huerter were Darcel Gilbert, Andrew Kutsunai, Lester Nakamoto, Mark Tillman, Walter Vierra and Susan Yap.

Founded in 2000, the nonprofit organization’s mission is “to support the Lahainaluna school community by providing opportunities and resources and to assist in preserving and perpetuating Lahainaluna’s unique history, culture and traditions.” LHSF envisions a superior high school experience for all Lahainaluna students.

For information on the Lahainaluna High School Foundation, call 661-5332.