Re­al­tors raise funds for schol­ar­ships, KHAKO

The Maui News - - SPORTS - By SARAH RUPPENTHAL Do you know a Re­al­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of Maui mem­ber who should be rec­og­nized for their con­tri­bu­tions to the com­mu­nity? If so, send your story idea to Sarah Ruppenthal at mis­s­rup­penthal@gmail.com.

When the Re­al­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of Maui in­ducted its new slate of of­fi­cers and direc­tors at its 50th an­nual in­stal­la­tion event on Fri­day, Sept. 7, it si­mul­ta­ne­ously made a dif­fer­ence in the lives of Maui County youth.

In ad­di­tion to the pro­ceeds from the event, $26,000 was raised for RAM’s Pres­i­den­tial Schol­ar­ship Fund through Mea Kako‘o, a spon­sor­ship group es­tab­lished in 2017 to fur­ther ben­e­fit the schol­ar­ship fund.

RAM’s Pres­i­den­tial Schol­ar­ship Fund has awarded $681,000 in schol­ar­ships to col­lege-bound high school se­niors through­out Maui County (as well as past re­cip­i­ents of RAM’s Pres­i­den­tial Schol­ar­ship Fund) since its in­cep­tion in 1989. Funds for the schol­ar­ship pro­gram are raised through events like RAM’s in­stal­la­tion event, the Re­al­tors Pres­i­den­tial Schol­ar­ship Golf Event, RAM’s Big Deal fundraiser and the “RAM’s Got Tal­ent” show at the His­toric Iao The­ater.

To be el­i­gi­ble for the schol­ar­ship award, stu­dents must be a high school se­nior or a for­mer re­cip­i­ent of the schol­ar­ship (from the pre­vi­ous three years) and they must be in the process of ap­ply­ing or reap­ply­ing to an ac­cred­ited col­lege or univer­sity or trade school.

Ap­pli­cants must also be full-time Maui County res­i­dents who are cur­rently at­tend­ing — or have pre­vi­ously at­tended — a pub­lic or pri­vate high school in Maui County; how­ever, stu­dents at­tend­ing pri­vate high schools off is­land will be con­sid­ered res­i­dents of Maui County if they are liv­ing off is­land for the spe­cific pur­pose of at­tend­ing that pri­vate high school. Cur­rent GED par­tic­i­pants are also en­cour­aged to ap­ply for the schol­ar­ship award.

RAM mem­bers also raised $29,200 to help Ka Hale A Ke Ola Home­less Re­source Cen­ters pur­chase a new play­ground for its fa­cil­ity in Wailuku. The play­ground is sorely needed: Last year alone, KHAKO pro­vided more than 12,600 hours of ser­vice to chil­dren on the prop­erty.

“Change, es­pe­cially to a child in the cir­cum­stances of be­ing home­less, can be fright­en­ing,” said 2018-19 RAM Pres­i­dent Gina Dun­can, who spear­headed the KHAKO play­ground fundraiser af­ter tour­ing the Wailuku fa­cil­ity over the sum­mer. “The new play­ground can pro­vide a mea­sure of com­fort and sta­bil­ity for these chil­dren. I’m proud that our Re­al­tor ohana is a giv­ing and com­pas­sion­ate group and was able to raise funds at our an­nual in­stal­la­tion event to build a play­ground for the chil­dren.”

KHAKO is a com­pre­hen­sive re­source cen­ter that pre­pares fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als for per­ma­nent hous­ing while pro­vid­ing emer­gency shel­ter, coun­sel­ing ser­vices, ad­dic­tion re­cov­ery man­age­ment and adult ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, as well as a pri­mary care med­i­cal clinic and child­care fa­cil­i­ties. The or­ga­ni­za­tion un­der­went a par­a­digm shift last year, redi­rect­ing its fo­cus to break­ing the cy­cle of home­less­ness by find­ing and main­tain­ing per­ma­nent hous­ing for its res­i­dents.

And hous­ing con­cerns are top of mind for RAM, which chose “Aloha in Our Com­mu­nity ... Hous­ing for Ev­ery­one” as the theme to guide the or­ga­ni­za­tion for­ward through 2018-19. Ad­di­tion­ally, “hous­ing con­cerns” was re­cently added as an ob­jec­tive of the RAM Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion.

The Foun­da­tion was in­cor­po­rated as a 501(c)(3) or­ga­ni­za­tion in 2007, and since then, has pro­vided aca­demic schol­ar­ships to Maui County stu­dents and as­sisted pub­lic schools coun­ty­wide through the Wish­ing Well … for Maui Stu­dents pro­gram.

The fundraiser for the KHAKO play­ground is the Foun­da­tion’s first hous­ing con­cerns-re­lated ini­tia­tive — and it will have an im­mea­sur­able im­pact.

“Maui’s home­less, in­terim hous­ing and affordable hous­ing con­cerns need ev­ery­one’s help at this crit­i­cal junc­ture,” Dun­can said. “This play­ground is one small step to­ward im­prov­ing the lives of Maui keiki.”

KHAKO pro­vides thou­sands of meals to its res­i­dents ev­ery year, and vol­un­teers are al­ways needed to prep, cook and serve food at its Cen­tral and West Side fa­cil­i­ties.

KHAKO also seeks mone­tary do­na­tions and con­tri­bu­tions of goods or ser­vices; im­me­di­ate needs in­clude a pas­sen­ger van, walk-in freezer, sheets, blan­kets, tow­els, un­used pil­lows and small din­ing sets.

To learn more about KHAKO or to in­quire about donor or vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties, visit www.khako.org or call 242-7600.

For more in­for­ma­tion about RAM’s Pres­i­den­tial Schol­ar­ship Fund, visit www.ra­maui.com/foun­da­tion/pres­i­den­tialschol­ar­ship.

Monique Ya­mashita (left), ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Ka Hale A Ke Ola Home­less Re­source Cen­ters, poses with RAM pres­i­dent Gina Dun­can at RAM’s 50th an­nual in­stal­la­tion event, which was held at the Four Sea­sons Re­sort Maui at Wailea.

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