Protecting Hawaii’s Unique Environment
By Jennifer Chillingworth, executive director, Pacific Links Hawaii Foundation
Golf is more than just a game. It also can be a powerful vehicle to positively transform communities and create new opportunities for the families who live there.
That’s exactly what Pacific Links Hawaii Foundation is seeking to do in Makaha Valley — one of the most beautiful, culturally cherished and historically important ahupuaa in the state that, unfortunately, has faced significant socio-economic challenges for many years.
As landowners of two golf courses and a shuttered resort in Makaha Valley, Pacific Links Hawaii Foundation now is working closely with local leaders to help revitalize and empower this community. Over the past three years, the foundation has utilized its official PGA Champions Tour golf tournament — Pacific Links Hawaii Championship — to raise funds for nonprofit organizations that fit its mission of helping to cultivate and sustain programs that aid Hawaii’s ecosystem, keiki and culture.
For example, the foundation is working closely with the Board of Water Supply and nonprofit Mohala I Ka Wai to restore the Makaha Valley watershed and to reinstate the ancient loi that once thrived in the valley. Another foundation goal is to improve Makaha Elementary School by working with the state Department of Education and community planning group, Purpose Built Communities. The three tenets of Purpose Built Communities are a cradle-to-college education pipeline, community wellness facilities and access to mixed-income housing. Practicing cultural sensitivity and responsible land management are ingrained in the philosophy of the foundation.
Pacific Links Hawaii Foundation strives to enhance the quality of life for kamaaina by supplying economic stability and improving the environment of the neighborhoods surrounding Pacific Links Hawaii golf courses. To date, $300,000 has been granted to deserving nonprofits based on the Leeward coast, including: Kupu, Kaala Farm, Hoa ‘Aina O Makaha, After-School-All-Stars Hawaii, UH West Oahu
Scholarship Fund, Nanakuli Pathways to Health, Family Programs Hawaii, and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.
Find out more about the foundation and how to support it by visiting PacificLinksHawaiiFoundation.org.
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