Hilo, December 6, 2011 -The East Hawai‘i Fund Advisory Committee, made up of local volunteers, awarded $42,000 to the first grantees of the new East Hawai‘i Fund and the Fred Yokoyama Fund. These two funds aim to benefit the people and communities of East Hawai‘i, from Waipi‘o to Waiohinu.

With the help of KTA Superstores, the estate of Frederick Yokoyama and a group of local citizens, the East Hawai‘i Fund was established to provide a stronger link between charitable donors and the specific needs of East Hawai‘i. This regional fund will continue to grow through contributions, bequests and planned gifts from donors who want to respond to current and emerging community needs. The Fred Yokoyama Fund was created in 2010 to give back to the community where Mr. Yokoyama made his home and owned several successful businesses. Both the East Hawai‘i Fund and the Fred Yokoyama Fund are component funds of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, a statewide, publicly supported grantmaking foundation.

Organizations receiving grants from these two funds included:

American Red Cross, Hawai‘i State Chapter for its Nurse Aide training program which offers entry level opportunities into the health care field and provides financial subsidies to economically challenged trainees.
Bay Clinic, Inc. for its patient-driven project that addresses diabetes prevention by providing cooking classes, training and a printed cook book for converted favorite local recipes.
Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island to support a computer lab with 20 work stations for youth members to use for homework and to conduct research projects together with parents and grandparents.
Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of East Hawai‘i for its Special Needs and Enhancements Program to provide abused and neglected children with basic essentials (clothing, hygiene products) and enhancement support (tutoring, summer school, sport fees and equipment).
Hawai‘i Alliance for Community Based Economic Development for a savings account matching project to support children and their families working to build assets, learn the value of savings and be provided with the tools and skills to help them achieve greater economic self-sufficiency.
Hilo United Methodist Church for the Peanut Butter Ministry that provides dinners twice a week to approximately 60-115 people and is supported by volunteer food preparation teams from six local churches.
HOPE Services Hawai‘i, Inc. to provide matching funds for savings accounts as part of its Family Education and Financial Literacy program aimed at breaking the cycle of generational poverty.
Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network for its summer musical production of Cinderella which incorporates a full-family involvement approach and involves 70 participants between the ages of four to 80.
Laupahoehoe Train Museum for a Honeybee Education Program offered to approximately 1,000 students and local farmers to raise awareness and appreciation of the role of the honeybee in the ecosystem and its relationship to the food system and to provide basic beekeeping skills.
Pohaha I Ka Lani to support a place-based learning program focused on restoring ancient lo‘i systems at Napo‘opo‘o in Waipi‘o Valley that is utilized by a wide variety of the island’s schools and other groups to promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Special Olympics Hawai‘i to organize a group in Kea‘au to participate in its sports training and athletic competition program.
The Island of Hawai‘i YMCA for its afterschool Y Teen Club which emphasizes an appreciation of values related to meaningful hard work, confidence-building entrepreneurial activity, practical applications of school lessons and responsible money management.
The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division
for its Feeding our ‘Ohana program in Hilo, which assists those in need and offers social service programs to meet basic needs and connect people with resources to become self-sufficient.
YWCA of Hawai‘i Island for its Stepping into the Future program to help young people prepare for their future as adults through monthly mini-events on topics such as paying for college, writing a winning resume, and applying and interviewing for employment.

Submitted by Bennet Group. “East Hawai‘i Fund grants announced
” Hawaii News Now, 06 Dec. 2011.http://bigisland.hawaiinewsnow.com/news/community-spirit/77464-east-hawai-i-fund-grants-announced