We are pleased to share YMCA of Honolulu’s final report to the Hawaii Community Foundation. The Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Fund’s awarded a grant amount of $10,000 towards youth and government initiatives. A total of 87 middle and high school students across the islands were enrolled in the program, with 12 adult volunteers. The program, which specializes in teaching about the democratic process and issues relevant to all communities, helps students gain a larger perspective and understanding about the world around them.
On September 5th, we celebrated Senator’s birthday (September 7th) on the Big Island with the planting of an ohia lehua tree outside of the County building in Hilo. Mayor
Billy Kenoi hosted a wonderful celebration. The ohia lehua tree was selected because of its unique connection to the island. It is often one of the first plants to emerge from the lava fields, symbolizing strength and resilience. The Cafe 100 beef stew capped off a very special celebration.
A week later, the parade field adjacent to the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia was named for our dear Senator. A proud infantry man with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Inouye parade field is the site of all U.S. Army Infantry basic training graduations. Nearly 18,000 men and women will march across this field as they mark the successful completion of basic training this year.
The YMCA’s Youth in Government program coaches young leaders throughout the island of Oahu on the legislative process, complete with the election of youth legislators and a youth governor. With our core mission to inspire leadership, the DKI Institute partnered with the Y, and brought in six leaders representing the legislative and executives branches, both political parties, even a newly elected non-partisan council member. The students spent quality time with them, culminating in a quick answer round with all six leaders answering a host of serious and silly questions, as well as demonstrating their best sign-waving moves!
Irene and Kenny were both in Hawaii to attend our mahalo reception to thank our donors and partners, and to share our progress in carrying forward Senator’s legacy. We also took the opportunity to show off some of our priceless pieces — the Medal of Honor, the Medal of Freedom, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers the Order of the Rising Sun presented by the Emperor of Japan, and the Iran-Contra gavel. A great time was had by all.
In the spirit of the holiday season, let us be thankful for our many blessings – good health, good cheer, and the love and support of friends and family. Let us look to the New Year with a renewed optimism and hope. Haouli Makahiki Hou!
Irene, Kenny and Jennifer