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Central // Central Oahu Coverstory
Steve Murray

$50,000 Distributed To Area’s Charities

There is no better time than the holidays to hand out gifts to those helping others.

Turtle Bay Foundation handed out $50,000 in grants and scholarships Dec. 11 at a celebration at the resort’s Surfer, The Bar. In total, 29 organizations, and eight current and former Kahuku High School students benefitted from the foundation’s yearlong fundraising effort that not only included monetary donations, but also in-kind services worth more than $200,000. Most grants were between $500 and $2,000.

The big winner of the night was Kahuku High School. In addition to scholarships, the foundation awarded grants to its band program, film club, and water polo, volleyball and surf teams. The funds fill a big need for the rural school.

“It’s critical,” said Pat Macadangdang, vice principal of juniors and seniors at the high school. “It’s amazing what they have done to help us. We don’t have a lot. We are a poor school, but the community loves Kahuku High School. They have adopted us, and we have adopted them.”

The foundation was established in April 2012 at the suggestion of Turtle Bay CEO Drew Stotesbury, who had seen similar programs prosper at other resorts where he’s worked. Turtle Bay, he said, has worked with North Shore groups for many years, but until this year it hadn’t had a system in place that could take advantage of its resources.

“It’s one thing to use our money and services, which we do, but it’s another thing to use our expertise to create even more money,” explained Stotesbury. “Because we are such a big business, we can go back to our key partners and ask them to help. Everyone is happy to do it. They want to give back.”

The other big recipient was Lanakila Pacific, which accepted $4,000. The Wahiawa-based group was the one organization the foundation specifically sought out to expand the resort’s past efforts to feed needy families.

“We were targeting someone to partner with,” said Stotesbury. “In the past we have been directly involved with feeding people at Christmastime, but rather than replicating what we were doing, we went looking for someone who could handle everything.”

Recipients were Bright Beginning Learning Center, Central Oahu Youth Service Association, Clover J’s 4-H Livestock Club, FAM42, Friends of Kahana, Friends of Kahuku Band, Hau’ula Community Association, Ho’ala Aina Kupono, Holomua, Hukilau Soccer Club, Imi Ike, Ka’a'awa Elementary, Kahuku Film Club, Kahuku Water Polo, Kahuku Volleyball, Ko-’olauloa Children’s Chorus, Ko’olauloa Educational Alliance, Ko’olauloa Hawaiian Civic Club, Lanakila Pacific, Malama Loko Ea, Malama Pupukea Waimea, Manu O Ke Kai, Partners in Development Foundation, The Private Sector, The Purple Van, Rainbow School Kahuku, Sustainable Coastlines, U8 Boys Soccer and Waialua Robotics Program.

Scholarship winners were Adora Anae, Mariah Berard Kamakeeaina, Stream Goo, Brandee Heder, Emalia Marquardsen, Tonga Milavea, Jennifer Nacapuy and Jeheryl Okala Makaiau.

The foundation will begin accepting applications for next year’s grants in June. For more information, visit turtlebayfoundation.com.

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