The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the state agency for tourism, announced the recipients of its 17th annual Keep It Hawai‘i Recognition Awards.
The top honor, the Koa Award, went to Kamehameha Investment Corp. for its Ho‘iho‘i Kalana Wahi Pana — Restoring Sacred Places project. In addition, 17 Kahili awards and 26 Lehua Maka Noe certificates of merit were presented to individuals, organizations and businesses in recognition of their commitment to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.
Among those were five Kaua‘i groups. The Malie Foundation was recognized for its Kaua‘i Mokihana Festival and the Kaua‘i Museum for its efforts. In addition, businesses the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa, Honu Group Communications and Sheraton Kauai Resort were honored for their programs: Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole Celebration of the Arts, Kahu ‘Aina Art Competition and the Teen Concierge Program, respectively.
Six lifetime achievement He Kuleana Ke Aloha awards were presented for personal commitment and dedication to ensuring that the Hawaiian culture is perpetuated for generations to come. Honorees included Lolena Nicholas, ‘Ohana Pahinui, AM940, the Brothers Cazimero, ‘Ohana Wa‘a and the late Wright Bowman, Jr.
In 2005, HTA began managing the Keep It Hawai‘i Recognition Awards, an initiative of the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau that began in 1990.
All nominations were judged on authenticity, usage, uniqueness, educational value, longevity, and commitment to the future. For more information, visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org