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Bank of Hawaii Names Three Recipients for Monty Richards Community Award

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

HONOLULU, HAWAII – Bank of Hawaii announced Big Island Substance Abuse Council, Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii, and Hamakua Health Center, Inc. as the 2010 Bank of Hawaii Monty Richards Hawaii Island Community Award recipients. The announcement was made at a presentation held at Kahua Ranch on Friday evening, Sept. 10.

Hamakua Health Center, Inc. received $10,000 to help start up The Amazing Tooth Bus, a new mobile dental van, which will serve 2,000 individuals during the first year of operation. Because of the lack of service providers in the area, the state currently flies many underinsured or uninsured patients to Honolulu for necessary dental care.

Big Island Substance Abuse Council received $5,000 to help provide operational support to the organization’s clean and sober transitional housing for women and mothers with infants.

Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii received $5,000 to help purchase solar hot water heating systems for low-income families constructing their homes.

Hamakua Health Center CEO Susan Hunt said, “On behalf of the North Hawaii children and adults who desperately need access to local dental services, the Hamakua Health Center Board of Directors and I thank Bank of Hawaii and Monty Richards for their assistance with the launching of The Amazing Tooth Bus, scheduled to be operational by October 2010. We truly appreciate these funds, which will leave a legacy of improved access to oral health services leading to the improved overall health and wellbeing of our children and their families.”

Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) CEO Stephen Zuniga said, “I’d like to acknowledge Bank of Hawaii and Monty Richards for supporting our pioneering efforts and innovations to deliver behavioral health treatment services with a focus on addictions. Bank of Hawaii’s generous grant to BISAC’s homeless shelter and programs will help sustain homeless families – fathers, mothers, and children – who are so in need of this assistance in the forms of housing, counseling, and socialization programs – programs that are vital to alleviate immediate, urgent needs of Hawaii’s homeless, and also supports our communities’ efforts to help Hawaii’s homeless.”

Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii Executive Director Patrick Hurney said, “On behalf of the entire Habitat ‘ohana, I would like to thank Bank of Hawaii and the Monty Richards’ Hawaii Island Community Award for your generous contribution and to acknowledge your community-minded response to the need to provide affordable home ownership opportunities for families in West Hawaii. Your support unquestionably makes an impact on the lives of West Hawaii families. As we celebrate the kindness of your gift to Habitat’s partner families, it is truly a gift to our whole community.”

About Hamakua Health Center, Inc.
Hamakua Health Center, Inc. is a community owned and governed nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that offers accessible and affordable health care services to people in the rural districts of Hamakua, North Hilo and North Kohala, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. The mission of the organization is to improve the health of patients and the community through integrated medical, behavioral health, dental and health education services that are patient-centered, accessible, affordable, coordinated, culturally competent and community directed for all. The organization serves a wide variety of ages and socioeconomic groups, with almost one third of the primary service area population living at 200 percent below the federal poverty level.

About Big Island Substance Abuse Council
Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) is a nonprofit organization that has been successfully delivering substance abuse treatment services for Big Island residents since 1964. Core programs offer intensive inpatient and outpatient services to adults and adolescents at sites located in Hilo, Kona and Waimea. BISAC also offers outpatient services to adolescents in all public middle, intermediate and high schools on Hawaii Island.

About Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii
Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii is a nonprofit, faith-based organization seeking to break the cycle of poverty by providing truly affordable home ownership opportunities for low-income families in the West Hawaii area. The organization is pursuing a strategy to make each home built financially sustainable for the family, both in terms of initial cost as well as the lifetime costs associated with maintenance and energy usage.

The Bank of Hawaii Monty Richards Community Award was established in 2008 and supports Hawaii Island nonprofit organizations that demonstrate innovative approaches to help improve the quality of life on Hawaii Island. The award was established in honor of Herbert “Monty” Montague Richards, Jr., a dedicated Hawaii Island community leader and former longtime board director for Bank of Hawaii.