Fun Fests; A Time To Remember
September 21, 2011 Hawaiian Airlines Discount Share
September has been, and will be, a significant month for our islands, for reasons as diverse as our community.
Kauai farmers, chefs and others will be joined by my former Iolani classmate Dean Okimoto of ‘Nalo Farms in this showcase of island products and medium to demonstrate the strong link between the visitor industry and agriculture. Farming not only puts food on our tables, but helps our economy, supports our reputation for distinctive regional cuisine, brings visitors to our shores and preserves the green, open spaces that make Hawaii so beautiful.
Like food festivals around the state, including the first Hawaii Food & Wine Festival to be held Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 in Waikiki, “It’s a Wrap” calls attention to the significant contributions the farming industry continues to make to our economy.
We were on Kauai Sept. 16 to present checks from the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association to 40 communitybased charitable organizations. The money was raised during the 2011 Visitor Industry Charity Walk, which was held throughout the state and raised a record amount of money for local charities in the Islands.
Kauai raised $137,000, all of which will be shared exclusively among the island’s charities in keeping with HHLA tradition.
We made similar presentations on Maui and the Big Island in recent days. The Charity Walk has grown into the largest single-day fundraiser in the entire state, and it demonstrates the enormous contributions the visitor industry makes, not only in jobs and our economy, but as an integral part of the community.
* Sept. 11 was a day of somber ceremonies across the nation and Hawaii as we gathered to remember those who lost their lives on that terrible day, and to honor the men and women who continue to fight terrorism in places far from these shores. On Kauai, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. had his county join in the National Moment of Remembrance by having firehouses and police vehicles sound sirens on 9/11 and inviting groups and businesses to participate.
Former Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris had erected an eternal flame in front of City Hall in memory of those who lost their lives in the attack. Then, in 2006, state Rep. K. Mark Takai called me to inquire if the City and County of Honolulu would be interested in joining a national movement to recognize those who lost their lives on Sept. 11.
We were very receptive to Mark’s initiative, but decided to honor not only those who died, but to salute the men and women of our county, state and federal first-responder organizations police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, emergency management staffers and volunteers and others who continue to serve us, and our millions of visitors, with courage, vigilance, and dedication.
Across the nation and the world, and here in the Hawaiian Islands, we joined to honor and remember those who lost their lives, but also to thank our firstresponders who continue that spirit of service and sacrifice.
MUFI’S VISITOR HEROES
Position: Guest Services Manager
Location: Aqua Island Colony
Paul Dun hasn’t been with the visitor industry or the Aqua Island Colony for very long, just a little more than six years now.
But this dynamo, who’s worked in front desk, reservations, night audit and guest services operations since joining Aqua, has already been a guest services manager for two years. Paul’s helpfulness and personality win him endless raves from guests, who point out his “exceptional service” time and time again. He’s also active in training the staff and heads the monthly luncheons for co-workers.
In his spare time, Paul is a member of a hula halau of high school classmates. The halau has placed at the prestigious Merrie Monarch competition and performed for the Visitor Industry Charity Walk the past two years. He’s also proficient in the Hawaiian language, sharing his knowledge with co-workers at the hotel.
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