Bernard Nunies

Photo from Bernard Nunies

Photo from Bernard Nunies

Make-A-Wish Hawaii has long been making dreams come true for Hawaii’s keiki, and it’s all thanks to partnerships with organizations like Hawaii Jewelers Association (HJA).

HJA sent Honolulu Wish Teen Gabrielle to England last month to see the country in which she was born, with help of a grant awarded from HJA parent company Jewelers for Children. While there, she got to see London Eye, London Bridge, Tower of London and more.”

In addition to the trip, Gabrielle received a pair of .5-carat diamond earrings, sponsored by The Diamond Guy, a member of HJA.

“It worked out because her birth month is April, and April is (the birthstone) diamonds,” says Bernard Nunies, who took over as HJA executive director along with Sophia Makaimoku-Young last November. Nunies noticed that HJA and Make-A-Wish Hawaii had a partnership a couple of years prior and wanted to renew that connection.

“It was a great experience just to be there (at Gabrielle’s presentation) in person and meet them,” Nunies continues.

Gabrielle is the first child to benefit from the partnership between Make-A-Wish Hawaii and HJA.

In fact, HJA has named Make-A-Wish Hawaii its “charity of choice” and looks forward to working closely with the organization in the future.

“We were looking to expand our charitable contributions as part of HJA,” says Nunies. Since 1949, HJA’s mission has been to ensure the ethical practices of jewelers and organization members include wholesale and retail jewelry businesses. Aside from helping keiki locally, HJA (under its parent organization Jewelers for Children) also has a hand in making dreams come true for kids whose wish it is to come to Hawaii.

Recently, two kids from Tennessee, Kayla and McKenzie, got their wish to visit the Islands, and HJA member Opal Fields offered in-store jewelry experiences for both girls.

According to Nunies, Jewelers for Children partners with Make-A-Wish on a larger scale to sponsor wishes for children across the world, while HJA helps out Make-A-Wish’s local chapter.

“It’s all about giving back to the community,” Nunies adds. “For us to partake in a moment and present a child, through our partner members, with a jewelry piece that will then become a lifelong memory of their wish, was truly a great honor.”

For more information about HJA, visit