Tomio Taki

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - December 28, 2005
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Tomio Taki
Tomio Taki

The name of Tomio Taki’s golf fundraiser is so catchy, maybe it will catch on in other places: Golf for the Gulf. Proceeds from the tournament at the Honolulu Country Club on Dec. 29 will be donated to areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, as well as to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

“We want to let people have fun and make a donation,” adds Taki, a senior vice president of the Honolulu Country Club for the past three years.

The part-time Diamond Head area resident credits his significant other, Melinda Jones, with coming up with the idea to help others when she was watching the horrific events on television.

There will be a Chinese auction, where items are on display. Donations are given for tickets, which are placed in a box, the lucky winner whose ticket is pulled gets the item. Some of the choice items include a Donna Karan snake-skin pocketbook that retails for $2,300 and an Anne Klein Barbie doll collectors item worth $1,200, and Tiffany clocks.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with an 11 a.m. shotgun start and pupu awards party after the tournament. It’s $200 for non-members, and $175 for HCC members with $100 tax-deductible. Banquet-only tickets are $100 for non-members, and $75 for members. The tourney will be played in a two-person team blind draw combined low net with full handicap.

Originally from Nagoya, Japan, Taki has been based in New York for the past 23 years, spending December through March in Hawaii. He also manages a golf course in Paris. He bought Ann Klein in 1973, and took it to the next level in 1980 until it went public recently. He also started Donna Karan New York and watched it grow until it became public 10 years ago, and today he remains a major shareholder.

“I’m happy to help or share our happiness,” notes Taki, who is the oldest of four boys. “I’ll be happy to help local people here as we are doing similar things in New York.”

Taki hopes to create a non-profit organization in the future so he can raise more money and donate it to the needy in Hawaii.

One of the challenges of fundraising, Taki observes is that the community in Hawaii is so small. “Anything you do, you have to go to the same companies to raise the money,” he notes. “To overcome that, we are going to look internationally and also use some Japanese companies. We’ve got about 10-15 companies locally and internationally participating.”

The Honolulu Country Club is located at 1690 Ala Puumalu Street in Aiea. For more information, call Hiroshi Tashiro, golf operations manager at 441-9418.

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