Russell Tanoue

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - July 18, 2007
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Russell Tanoue

You’re invited to local celebrity photographer Russell Tanoue’s birthday party at E & O Trading Company at Ward Centre this Saturday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. At the Beautiful Special Edition Pink and Black Party, special guest vocalist is former Miss Hawaii Jennifer Pimentel.

It’s not only a birthday bash, but proceeds ($25 presale ticket/$30 at the door) go to Aloha Medical Mission and Tanoue’s non-profit Project Shine.

Tanoue says he chose Aloha Medical Mission because there are so many families and individuals who are not able to afford medical coverage.

“If I had the power to change the system, we would have part of all taxes to cover anyone who is in critical medical need and cover the expense of all treatments,” he explains.

Andy Baldwin, Navy doctor and star of this year’s ABC hit show The Bachelor, is co-host of the event, and that fits in perfectly with Aloha Medical Mission as he has participated in some of its missions. AMM provides free health care to under-served people in Hawaii and oversees.

Tanoue’s Project Shine gives makeovers and does photo shoots for people with cancer, victims of domestic abuse, and teenagers out of drug rehab so they can have a moment to shine, and remember that the spirit is strong.

“My joy comes from knowing that I am luring people into this circle of compassion,” adds Tanoue, who started his good deeds birthday bash in 1996. “The industry I am in needs to be touched with reality checks and wake-up calls. I am just glad I have fans, friends and clients who believe in my missions. Helping others is really the way to a better life, and people need to start being bold about making a difference because eventually we all will find ourselves in a place of need.”

He admits that it is a challenge to coordinate this event because it’s easier to sell something sexy than something wholesome.

“So what I do is attach the glamour with a deep message within,” explains Tanoue. “Using fashion and entertainment to create awareness is what I do. I guess the biggest challenge is making people feel the beauty of giving and to let them know that the real deal are those that step up and lend a hand. I’m all about the real stuff.”

Tanoue notes the reason he decided to make his birthday a time to help others is that he sees his birthday as a new year.

“The best gift to myself has always been the joy of knowing I made a difference. So why not do it every year on my birthday as a gift to myself while bringing people together for one big celebration?”

He hopes to see you there. For more information, log onto

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