History and Background of Kilohana Kai
The beginnings of Kilohana Kai had its roots in the 1970’s when I inherited the job of taking the Aiea Intermediate School‘s 7th grade class on its yearly trip to the Big Island, usually 200 or more students at a time. Next came trips to Washington D.C. and then to Japan where a sister school relationship was established. All this meant endless hours, days, weeks and months of preparation and of course, endless fund raising. At the same time my life long friend, Larry Wong, was doing the same with his students in Los Angeles with yearly trips to the East Coast and Washington D.C. Eventually, we began working together by supporting each other in planning fundraisers and trips. McKinley High School came in the picture because I was the tennis coach since 1965 and more team trips became part of the mix. Finally in 1995, a trip by our tennis team to Japan meant three years of fund raising before our goal was met. Knowing the trials and tribulations of taking educational trips in the past led a small group of former McKinley High School tennis players (Class of ’82) and their coach Richard Yaginuma to discuss and plan for an organization that would help support future school educational trips. Ideas became reality with the formation of Kilohana Kai in 1995 as a non-profit educational support foundation.
Today, the core of Kilohana Kai’s strength still remains the MCKINLEY TENNIS PROGRAMS and the young people who took an additional step forward to help those who would follow them. Through the years since our inception in 1995, we have been blessed with the support of former team members, parents, teachers, friends and the many others who rallied to our cause when called upon.
Beginning in 1996, we gave our first scholarship to Ms. Lisa Kadooka, a McKinley High School student. Today, Ms. Lisa Kadooka Lim, who lives in California, is a firm supporter of Kilohana Kai and its’ programs. Over the years, we have been able to provide an increasing number of scholarships to high school seniors and grants to schools in Hawaii.
We are accustomed to doing fund raising as many other non-profits must do, but we always know that those who help our young people are the real beneficiaries. We have had five “Na Opio Pa’ani” lu’au - in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2008. Besides raising funds, the lu’au provides good food, fellowship, fun and entertainment for all who attend.
The future of Kilohana Kai in today’s cloudy economic climate is still positive. We have some how managed to achieve our goals because they are good and honorable and we have the support of many of you who are willing to do a small part in our collective effort.
Kilohana Kai’s Who’s Who
Al Harrington: the South Pacific Man
Kilohana Kai would like to express its deep appreciation for your support in raising needed funds for our scholarship and educational programs through the years. Your generosity and aloha resonates through our organization and the students who are the beneficiaries of all of your joint efforts with us.
Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us and we look forward to join hands with you again in helping our youth of Hawaii achieve their educational goals. Mahalo!
Mr. Larry Wong: A Master Educator
Larry Wong has been the faculty sponsor of the American Heritage Club (http://larrywong.org) for 13 years. It is in that capacity that the organizes trips to Washington, DC.. But his activities do not stop there. He has provided 350 scholarships for students in the school district. He has coached football for 8 years. In 1975, Larry Wong was honored as the city of Norwalk Citizen of the Year. In 1977 he was selected as Teacher of the Year for Los Angeles Country and made the final five for National Teacher of the Year. Inaddition, Larry was the 1978 recipient of the Who's Who Award from the Teachers Association of the Norwalk-LaMirada School District.
Richard Yaginuma – “Coach Yagi”
Current positions held: President Kilohana Kai
Head Tennis Coach at McKinley High School
Instructor – tennis classes at McKinley Adult Community School
Retired Public School teacher since 1991
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell phone: 808-225-4041
Major Activity / Service: Raising funds for scholarships, educational trips and programs
Area of Expertise: Coaching tennis for 45 years – fund raising – organizing educational trips – working with students, parents, schools and all supporters involved.
Hobbies/Interests: Playing tennis – gardening – cooking – watching the grand-children
My future: Doing the same but a little less and doing more of what I should have done more- my patient wife and family.
* Larry Wong:
A life time friend who helped in every way possible to promote our life work in educational excellence for our young people.
Masao Okumoto, Bo Ming Yee, Johnny Puuloa:
My tennis teachers and coaches.
Jo Norio Okazaki:
McKinley class of “38” WWII 442 Infantry Veteran. He showed me what a true friend was and how to be a gentleman.