Aloha begins with three

LIHUE — Three citizens are being acknowledged for making a difference with aloha in their actions.

The Kauai Chamber of Commerce will be presenting the 2017 Mea Ho‘omana‘o Awards to recognize and honor those who demonstrate the importance of aloha with respect and civility in their interactions.

“I’m totally flabbergasted, surprised and humbled,” said one of the award recipients, Lyle Tabata. “My Boy Scout Troop committee nominated me for all that I do in the community for Boy Scouting and other areas.”

”I’m a volunteer Scoutmaster and I serve in multiple roles for Boy Scouts of America, not only at the district level but also national,” he added.

Tabata finds time to volunteer in the community while also working as county engineer, heading the Department of Public Works.

“My Boy Scout troop I believe is the largest on the island. We’re constantly not only having fun, but teaching boys life skills,” Tabata said. “One of the major things I like to emphasize is community service, so we do a lot of community service projects all over the island. Hopefully it helps to mold young men for the future with Scout spirit.”

Tabata also sits on the board of directors for Wilcox Hospital and is corporate representative for Kauai on the parent company board of Hawaii Pacific Health.

“The award is an honor. I wasn’t even looking for it,” Tabata said. “Everything I do in the community is not to draw attention to myself but to help serve.”

Kauai Philippine Cultural Center board member and past president of the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce Marynel Valenzuela will also be honored with the award. Valenzuela makes time to serve as vice president of Kauai Hospice board while working as owner of InkSpot Printing, which has been established on Kauai since 1987.

“It’s humbling to know that someone thought of me when this nomination went out,” Valenzuela said. “When you enjoy something you’re doing, the time just goes by so fast that you don’t keep track. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded with people from the community who are not only supportive but they are friends and mentors.”

“It’s really humbling to be recognized for this,” she added. “It’s great that I’m an honoree for this awesome project.”

Lawai’s Richard “Ricky” Wa’alani Sr. of Wa’alani Enterprises is the third award recipient. He has donated equipment, time and financial support to Waimea and Kauai high schools, Pop Warner Association, Saint Raphael Catholic Church, Kauai Keiki High School Rodeo Association, County Farm Bureau Fair, American Cancer Society, homeless families and many more worthwhile causes.

The awards will be presented at the Kauai Chamber of Commerce third quarter general membership meeting, themed “Aloha Begins With Me,” on Sept. 28.

Pharmacist Kimberly Legawa is keynote speaker. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in Kauai Beach Resort’s Jasmine Ballroom. Info: 245-7363

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