The weather held up for our annual March for Babies campaign at Kapiʻolani Park on Saturday. About 2,000 people participated in the walk, which raised funds for the March of Dimes and its support of lifesaving research and programs to give all babies a healthy start in life. Karen Chang and I co-chaired the annual March for Babies this year. We appreciated the support of Governor Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, our UH System team and many others who took part in the event. Mahalo!
With my March for Babies campaign co-chair Karen Chang and Governor Neil Abercrombie
Warming up for the walk with a Panda!
Mahalo to the UH System team that joined us for the March for Babies at Kapi‘olani Park.
UH ʻohana enjoyed this weekend’s Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo. Here I am with UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and Miss Aloha Hula Manalani Hokoana-English.
Manalani just happens to be the niece of Lui Hokoana, a graduate of UH Hilo and the university’s associate vice president for student affairs. She is an alumnus of Maui Community College and Kapiʻolani Community College.
At the Monterey Bay Aquarium
I attended the Monterey Bay Aquarium board meeting on Friday, June 1, where we had a very interesting gathering. The aquarium is one of the country’s best and it is an honor to be a board member. It was foggy and cold. Miss the warmth and sun of Hawaiʻi.
I am now in warmer San Diego for a Mountain West Conference meeting. I also have a series of meetings about the University of Hawaiʻi’s Innovation Initiative, to lead the development of a $1 billion research industry for our state. The Innovation Initiative will act as an economic fuel cell, with increased research funding leading to more jobs and the development of new businesses.
Here’s a beautiful view of the Monterey, California coast, where the water was very cold!
What fun we had at this year’s March of Dimes March for Babies event at Kapiʻolani Park on Sunday, April 22. I understand it was the first time it ever rained at this event, but nevertheless the park was packed with thousands of walkers and runners who were wearing colorful t-shirts. Many people stood under tents and trees to get out of the rain.
We did warm-up exercises and got the walk/run off to a good start. I didn’t take part in the walk itself, but I supported all those who did. Carmella (Hernandez, state director of the March of Dimes) told me the March for Babies is the original fundraising walk that spawned the countless charity walks we see today.
About 4,000 people took part in the event. I have the awesome responsibility of co-chairing the March for Babies event next year with Karen Chang.
At the Merrie Monarch Festival with Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and Hawaiʻi County Mayor Billy Kenoi
I was fortunate enough to travel to Hilo over the weekend to see the 49th annual Merrie Monarch Festival. I joined UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and others for a wonderful time, as we witnessed the culmination of months and months of rehearsal and preparation.
The performers were breathtaking as they danced ancient and modern hula and chanted in an array of colorful costumes. The stadium was packed, the audience was appreciative of the amazing talent before us and they loved every moment.
I even had a chance to pay my respects to Madame Pele with a visit to Volcanoes National Park. It was a weekend to be remembered!
With Don Straney, Interim Maui Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Carmen "Hulu" Lindsey, Mauna Kea Management Board Member Herring Kalua, Sherry Kalua and Billy Kenoi
Noenoelani Zuttermeister, Merrie Monarch Festival judge
Paying our respects to Pele
From left in American Savings Bank t-shirts, executives Kaulana Park, Terence Yeh, Kimmie Park, Natalie Taniguchi and Dustin Matsudaira join Mānoa student life director Jan Javinar and the presdient
Mānoa’s annual pre-semester spruce up got a little help thanks to our friends at American Savings Bank, which has a branch on campus.
Volunteering as part of the bank’s Seeds of Service program to invest “sweat equity” in local schools and non-profit organizations, bank employees joined Mānoa students and staff in the sixth annual campus beautification project.
It is always a pleasure to attend an event hosted by the college that works with Hawaiʻi growers to bring us tasty and beautiful plants to enjoy at home and export abroad.
The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ annual banquet honored one of those community partners. Harold Tanouye, president and owner of Green Point Nurseries on Oʻahu, received the 2011 Ka Lei Hano Heritage Award for his leadership in strengthening Hawaiʻi’s tropical flower industry.
The college’s floral handiwork was evident in the centerpieces like that held by Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Science Chair Robert Paull, pictured chatting with me and CTAHR Dean Sylvia Yuen.
The college is involved in so much more, of course, as evidenced by the work of 2011 Outstanding Alumnus PingSun Leung (MS and PhD ’77). An international expert on aquaculture and fishery economics and regional economics, PingSun remains with the college as professor and chair in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management.
The May 6 banquet at the Ala Moana Hotel honored exceptional students, faculty, staff and alumni and community partners in other fields as well, from my own discipline of human nutrition to product design and merchandising and from natural resource management to bioengineering.