2019 Ulu Hana: Pewa Awards Recap
This year’s Ulu Hana: Pewa Awards took place Friday, April 12th, at the Mānoa Grand Ballroom in the Japanese Cultural Center of Honolulu. Over 300 people attended the charitable event, raising nearly $100,000 in unrestricted funding for the many programs of Partners in Development Foundation.
The importance of unrestricted funding for nonprofit organizations cannot be understated. While donations can be designated for specific programs or projects — as they often are with grants — unrestricted funds are vital and can be easily allocated to wherever they are needed most.
Our second annual event saw important Hawaiian traditions put into practice to honor our 2019 Pewa Awardees. We had oli from some of our Ka Paʻalana Homeless Family Education ʻohana and keiki, and cultural practitioner Aaron Mahi led the attendees in further oli and pule for the awardees.
Earl Kawaʻa, Antoinette “Toni” Lee, and Craig Takamine were all recognized for their dedicated service to our communities across Hawaiʻi nei. Each of the Pewa Awardees, along with previous Pewa Awardee Sweets Wright, was presented with a kihei: a traditional cloak typically made of tapa, tied with a knot over the left shoulder and worn during special ceremony or protocol.
Although these kīhei were made from muslin, the dyeing, stamping and more were all done entirely by hand using indigenous methods. The bright yellow coloring came from ʻōlena or turmeric, and the design on each cloak was made in the design of pewa patches. So much mana from PIDF staff went into the making of these kīhei, and we were honored to present them to the awardees.
The aloha casual event included a catered buffet dinner with dishes of sushi and hand-carved prime rib and more. Our guests enjoyed the raffle and silent auction, live music from local artists, and presentations by our Board Members and current president, Jan E. Hanohano Dill.
One of the crowning moments of the event besides the presentations of the Pewa awardees was the incredible story of a former program family. Brought together by our Ke Kama Pono adjudicated youth program, the Araki family spoke of unconditional love, second chances, and a fervent belief in a greater good. Learn more about how Deni Araki came to adopt one of our Ke Kama Pono boys here.
A special mahalo to the iHeart Media Group, the Kumuola Foundation, Big Island Delights, design asylum inc., Ka Paʻalana Homeless Family Education Program, the Mānoa Grand Ballroom, Paradise Beverages, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Embroidery Ltd., the Palama ʻohana from Hanapēpē, and Danny Goya.
We would like to once again mahalo our outstanding partners, generous sponsors, honored guests, and wonderful staff for making the second annual Ulu Hana: Pewa Awards a great success! We look forward to hosting everyone again at next year’s Ulu Hana.