Mahalo to our Donors

Opihi Monitoring_Kipahulu_Group Shot_Alana Yurkanin
In 2021, the Kūki‘o Community Fund supported a wide range of Hawaiʻi Island programs including monitoring wiliwili growth at the Waikoloa Dry Forest, Parker Lower School, and the Hawai‘i Institute of Pacific Agriculture. Photos courtesy of grantees.

In 2021, the challenges facing Hawai‘i’s communities were greater than ever before. Fortunately, so was the will to pitch in and help—donors from across the Islands and the nation made contributions large and small that collectively made a real difference. To everyone in this community who made this positive impact on our community in 2021, we humbly thank you.

See Ming Yim’s first contact with HCF was as a recipient of a post-secondary scholarship that allowed him to pursue a successful career as an engineer at a local firm. Wanting to give back to help others in need of educational assistance, See Ming has donated regularly to HCF’s Stronger Together Hawai‘i Scholarship Fund, which steps out of the box of traditional scholarships, allowing students to explore a wide range of continuing education options and offering funding for traditional and non-traditional needs. His goal is to eventually set up a scholarship endowment of his own, to keep helping Hawai‘i students achieve their dreams.

For Rachael Wong, who received a kidney transplant 20 years ago, reaching her 50th birthday was a real milestone. To celebrate and commemorate her health and life, her husband Brad Chun established the Rachael Wong Melian Fund for Women and Families with an initial $50,000 donation. Family and friends were asked to donate $50 for her 50th birthday, as a way to amplify Rachael’s collaborations with individuals and organizations within Hawai‘i to better the lives of women and families across the state.

The Colt Brennan Legacy Fund was established by the Brennan family to honor the memory of their son and brother, Colt Brennan, one of the University of Hawai‘i’s most celebrated football players. The fund supports causes that Colt was passionate about—UH Athletics and youth sports, as well as organizations that advocate and provide resources toward making a difference in the lives of individuals struggling with mental health and addiction issues. The fund has already inspired many others in the community to donate and raise funds to carry on Colt’s legacy.

Sheri Gusukuma, daughter of Seiju and Ayako Ifuku, founders of Rainbow Drive Inn, worked with HCF to convert her parents’ private family foundation into the Ifuku Family Foundation at HCF, an endowed donor advised fund to support schools and grassroots nonprofit organizations. Sheri made an endowment of $1.8 million to create this fund, which will initially generate about $72,000 per year to benefit the larger community—a great legacy for the founders of an iconic local plate lunch restaurant.

During his life, Robert Nishimoto was an avid supporter and volunteer of the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, among other local nonprofits. When he passed, his friend Chris Matsuno wanted to make sure Robert’s passions and legacy would carry on, and established four funds in his name with an initial donation of $40,000: the Robert Nishimoto Scholarship Memorial Fund, the Robert Nishimoto Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism Memorial Fund, the Robert Nishimoto Hospice Memorial Fund, and the Robert Nishimoto Food Security Memorial Fund.

The Kūki‘o community, on the west side of Hawai‘i Island, through the Kūki‘o Community Fund, raised $1 million in its most recent campaign, distributing $85,000 in scholarships for non-college bound students of the Ēlama 13th year program at Pālamanui, $300,000 toward the advancement of educational programming in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math through Career Connected Learning, $400,918 to support 30 youth-serving organizations providing specific projects or programs, including newer or innovative projects, through Community Grants, and $92,000 in independent and higher education scholarships for employees and their dependents.

Wanting to support Maui County students going into the healthcare field, particularly nursing, as a way to build capacity for quality health care in the Islands, Roger MacArthur created the Roger and Helen MacArthur Scholarship Fund as well as a donor advised fund. The scholarship is open to students from Maui County, who have enrolled or will enroll at an accredited, two- or four-year, not-for-profit institution within the U.S. to pursue a degree in nursing and have demonstrated good leadership skills and academic achievement. The current awardee is from Moloka‘i and has been receiving the scholarship for three years while pursuing her nursing degree.