Foundation coordinates cleanup project at Sue D. Cooley Stadium
LAHAINA – The effervescent unity of the West Side community sparkled once again as a Lahainaluna High School Foundation-led maintenance project at Sue D. Cooley Stadium – the state-of-the-art athletic facility – continued its monthly cleanup effort at the historic campus.
Lahainaluna High School Foundation President Jeff Rogers reported that since the $9,000,000 stadium project was completed in 2005, primarily through the generosity of benefactor Sue Cooley, the organization has taken the responsibility of upkeep and maintenance there.
“It’s primarily the work of Lanny Tihada in organizing and getting the volunteers to come out every third Saturday of the month to do this cleanup and maintenance project,” said Rogers.
Tihada, the iconic former Maui Police Department officer and Luna football head coach, is currently Kaanapali Land Company’s security director. He is also the director of the Friends of Lahainaluna Football, the Lunas’ supportive booster club.
With Coach Lanny’s far-reaching influence, as well as LHSF Co-director Mark Tillman, Athletic Director Scott Soldwisch, staff members John Alexander, Sky Delaney, Cynthia Monteleone and countless others, groups of some 40 volunteers -recruited mostly by Tihada – the effort has become a shared responsibility of the community over the 15 years since the stadium’s completion.
Rogers reports that the athletic teams benefit the most from the care given to the field and the surrounding areas.
It’s a large property to maintain.
“Everything is holding up well except for some areas on the field that are currently under repair,” he said.
In a recent development, Gov. David Ige released $2,000,000 in state funding for repair and replacement of areas of the track and field, according to West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey.
Luna co-head football coach Dean Rickard said, “The Sue D. Cooley Stadium cleanup is just another excellent example of the pride the West Side community has in making sure our stadium and the surrounding landscape is kept in the best condition possible.
“Sue Cooley was an amazing, generous and passionate supporter of LHS, and the stadium is her legacy. To see so many supporters and alumni giving back and volunteering hours every month on a Saturday morning shows the love and respect we have for her generosity and our on-campus stadium,” he continued.
“This stadium has been years in the making, and we just want to do our part to ensure its beauty and pride stays that way, so that all future generations can enjoy it as a place to gather and collect memorable moments for years to come,” Coach Dean concluded.