Nearly 300 guests celebrated Partners in Development Foundation’s 25th anniversary for the Ulu Hana Pāʻina held at the historic Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Set against the shimmering Waikīkī waters, Hawaiian slack key musician Kawika Kahiapo greeted incoming visitors to a cocktail reception on the lawn and a silent auction filled with hundreds of local items and unique experiences.
With the love and support of our Hawaiʻi community, PIDF raised over $225,000, which directly strengthens the organization’s work to break the cycle of poverty and trauma with programs and services that create greater resiliency for many of Hawaiʻi’s families. Auction donors (and bidders), support hands, PIDF team, and generous supporters paralleled PIDF’s mission to inspire and equip Hawaiʻi’s ʻohana and communities for success and service using timeless Native Hawaiian values and traditions. This 25th year anniversary celebration shed light on new connections and strengthened partnerships that have set the tone for this next quarter of a century huakaʻi.
Ulu Hana first started in 2017 for PIDF’s 20th anniversary. The concept of “Ulu Hana” acknowledges, identifies, and celebrates the work, expansion, depth and degree of PIDF’s delivery of services. It also seeks, encourages, and promotes further growth in PIDF’s successful future. This year’s Ulu Hana was nothing short of humbling, as PIDF and the guests honored the foundation laid in the past while highlighting future ʻōiwi leaders.
It started in 1997, when PIDF founders Jan Dill, Morris Takushi, and the late Gary Glenn were talking story about what they can do to address the gaps in resources and services available to Native Hawaiians. Nearly 25 years later, Partners in Development Foundation is one of Hawaiʻi’s leading nonprofit organizations serving the areas of multigenerational education, social services, and sustʻāinability.
They carved a legacy for the PIDF we know today. And just like the day the organization started, the PIDF team is not afraid to step to the frontline to meet the ever-changing needs of Hawaiʻi’s communities.
The evening’s program was initiated by PIDF founder Jan Dill, who shared a pule that connected the ballroom with a blessing for the helpful hands in getting us where we are today, and shared hope for the next 25 years of. Accompanying Dill and his ʻohana were Morris Takushi and his guests.
Esteemed Hawaiian musician Kuʻuipo Kumukahi led the night through mele while Hula dancers drifted to the stage to grace the audience.
Monica Waiau took to the stage to share her full-circle experience with Partners in Development Foundation. She reminisced on her time as a staff member with Tūtū and Me and Ka Paʻalana. Later, she benefited as a participant with her preschool keiki.
When PIDF President & CEO Shawn Kanaʻiaupuni stepped up, she honored the foundation built before her that has supported over 128,000 ʻohana members in Hawaiʻi. She shared:
“E kaupē aku nō i ka hoe, a kō mai. Put forward the paddle and draw it back.
With your kōkua, we go on with the task that is started and carried through. It is with your support that we put forward the paddle and draw it back, advancing our waʻa to our common humanity and to the greater wellbeing of our lāhui.”