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YWCA of Hawaii Island honors Hirono

U.S. Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono smiles in appreciation after students at the YWCA of Hawaii Island’s Developmental Preschool welcomed her by singing the song “Happy The Day.” (Photo courtesy of YWCA of Hawaii)


The YWCA of Hawaii Island honored U.S. Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono with its prestigious Remarkable Person Award of 2011 at a luncheon fundraiser in Hilo.

Some 175 supporters packed the YWCA’s Ka Hale Hiilani Hall to take part in the festivities which featured a lunch menu of fine cuisine provided by Chef Dean Shigeoka of AJ & Sons Catering.

Children from the YWCA Developmental Preschool performed for the Congresswoman a special rendition of “Happy the Day.” But the highlight of the event was the poignant awarding of the Remarkable Person Award to Hirono.

“The YWCA of Hawaii Island is proud to recognize Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono as our 2011 Remarkable Person. She epitomizes our mission to empower women and has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of women and girls and help them realize their potential,” board president Lorraine Godoy said. “She is a role model for young women throughout Hawaii.”

The awards luncheon raised more than $13,000 to help pay for programs and services such as Sexual Assault Support Services, Teen Court, Healthy Start, Enhanced Healthy Start, Developmental Preschool and Aquatics that assist Hawaii Island families.

“There are two women who influenced my life. One is my mother who had the courage to bring me and my brothers to Hawaii from Japan to give us a better life. She raised us as a single parent. The other is Patsy T. Mink, the woman whose congressional seat I now hold. Patsy and I were friends and would talk about politics and the need for women to persevere, often against big odds. She certainly did that in her life. Both my mom and Patsy continue to inspire me. We stand on the shoulders of women like them. I am honored and grateful for this recognition,” Hirono said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the YWCA of Hawaii Island can contact Andy Kahili at 961-3877, ext. 127, or email

Based in Hilo, the YWCA of Hawaii Island is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

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