Knights, Surfriders Benefit From Local Business Support

Kailua won the 2012 Hammer Trophy game from rival Castle, but both football programs are winners in the larger picture, thanks to Hardware Hawaii (HH).

The local business created and funded the trophy in 2009 and recently gave monetary donations to both schools. The gift comes at a good time, as community support is more vital than ever, given the economy and the rising costs of running an athletic department.

“It definitely helps us, and it’s a pleasant surprise,” said Kailua athletic director Ramona Takahashi. “It lessens our fundraising responsibilities. We do a lot of fundraising to keep up with expenses.”

Castle head football coach Nelson Maeda said he’s “very appreciative” of the donation and HH’s continued sponsorship and involvement in the local rivalry. “It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise on the thoughtfulness and generosity of David Lundquist and staff.”

Founded in 1954, Hardware Hawaii opened its first store at Kailua Shopping Center. Lundquist oversees the company, which was founded by his parents, Mary and Dana. HH has been a big supporter of Windward sports since then, including the Hammer Trophy, which is updated every year with the latest game score.

Lundquist watched that very first Castle-Kailua game back in 1955, according to HH marketing director Mark Haworth. “As we move into the future,” he said, “we’ll look for other ways to help them.”

Castle gets a huge boost this year with the completion of a state-funded $5 million renovation of its stadium, with artificial field turf among the upgrades. Still, day-to-day operating costs remain high.

“Outside support is crucial to our program,” Maeda said. “The schools can provide only for our basic program needs; others have to be fund-raised or financed through the players’ own shallow pockets. In addition to Hardware Hawaii, we have been fortunate that Meadow Gold Dairies has been, and continues to be, a longtime sponsor. Without them, our mission is that much more difficult.

“There’s bus transportation, team uniforms, equipment ($400 per player), practice equipment and attire, meals, etc. It costs thousands of dollars, so every little bit helps.”