HONOLULU, HAWAII – Bank of Hawaii Foundation named The Arc of Hilo, North Kohala Community Resource Center, ‘O Ka‘u Kakou, and West Hawaii Community Health Center as the 2012 Bank of Hawaii Monty Richards Hawaii Island Community Award recipients. The announcement was made at a presentation at Kahua Ranch on Thursday, Sept. 6.
The Arc of Hilo received $5,000 to purchase new equipment and tools so that it can double the number of disabled people it employs through providing yard services to business clients. ‘O Ka‘u Kakou, which serves rural Ka‘u, received $5,000 to purchase two jet skis for the local fire department, restore and maintain local cemeteries and restore the Pahala Hongwanji Sunday school/dojo building for community use. West Hawaii Community Health Center received $5,000 to help it continue its program that provides free prescription medication to uninsured patients diagnosed with a chronic illness. The organization serves the west coast of the island from Kawaihae in South Kohala to Milolii in South Kona. The North Kohala Community Resource Center received $10,000 to purchase a bedside cardiac monitoring system for the emergency room at the Kohala Hospital, which provides 24-hour emergency care to the community.
About The Arc of Hilo
Serving the Hawaii community since 1954, the mission of the organization is to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities through educational, vocational, and skill training as well as employment and residential opportunities. The Arc of Hilo provides a range of community support services, including adult day health care in Hilo and Pahoa, personal assistance, supported employment, and support for families in navigating the social services system. The Arc offers hands-on vocational training and job placement in a variety of commercial services including laundry, janitorial and groundskeeping.
About North Kohala Community Resource Center
The center works to increase volunteerism and successful community improvement projects in North Kohala. One of its current projects is the preservation and renovation of the Kohala Hospital. The hospital, which opened in 1917 as a 14-bed facility operated by the local sugar plantation, has been serving the community for 91 years. It now provides 24-hour emergency services and other medical care to the community.
About ‘O Ka‘u Kakou (We Are Ka‘u)
Its mission is to support and promote a healthy community through education and economical development opportunities that improve the quality of life in rural Ka‘u. One important focus is helping kupuna in the community by installing safety equipment (like handrails and grab bars) in homes, and doing yard work. The organization is also involved in several restoration projects.
About West Hawaii Community Health Center
West Hawaii Community Health Center (WHCHC) was established in 2005 to make comprehensive, high-quality preventive and primary health care accessible to all, regardless of their ability to pay. WHCHC entered into agreement with the Salvation Army’s Kona Community Clinic to assume that operation, opening its doors to the community in January of 2005. A year later in 2006, WHCHC received its FQHC (federally qualified health center) status, paving the way for a cost-effective way to deliver health care to the underserved and uninsured in our community. Today, WHCHC is an integral part of the West Hawaii community and continually strives to provide quality, affordable healthcare to its residents.
Bank of Hawaii Foundation President Donna Tanoue (second from right) presented the $25,000 Bank of Hawaii Monty Richards Hawaii Community Award that will be shared among four organizations. From left: West Hawaii Community Health Center Board Chair Terri Toki, North Kohala Community Resource Center Executive Director Christine Richardson, ‘O Ka‘u Kakou President Wayne Kawachi, BOH Senior Vice President and East Hawaii Regional Manager Art Taniguchi, The Arc of Hilo CFO Debbie Perkins, BOH Senior Vice President and Hawaii Island Manager Roberta Chu, Herbert “Monty” Montague Richards, Jr., and Kohala Hospital Charitable Foundation President Tommy Tinker (far right).