HI Businesses Support Molokai and Lanai Athletics
DACH News Release
Proceeds from a fundraiser event called “Cheers for Molokai and Lanai High,” held on Oahu, will support student-athletes at Molokai High and Lanai High whose athletic departments annually face travel budget shortfalls. Held by Downtown Athletic Club Hawaii (DACH), a nonprofit founded in 2012 to advance sports programs of Hawaii’s public schools and support student athletes, the fundraiser will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., in front of Murphy’s Bar and Grill in downtown Honolulu.
In the current 2013-14 school year, Molokai High is underfunded by about $32,000, and Lanai High is often forced to travel with partial squads and offers a limited number of sports due to lack of funding and resources. Both athletic departments struggle with substandard athletic equipment and are often unable to participate in pre- or post-season activities.
“Unlike other islands with multiple high schools, when our teams play away games, they need to either hop on a plane or endure a bumpy ferry ride to another island to compete and that gets very expensive for the school and the families of student athletes,” said Roderick Sumagit, athletic director at Lanai High for four years.
On the road, student athletes often sleep on cold, hard gym floors instead of at hotels and play despite seasickness and fatigue. To cover the high cost of travel and athletic equipment, Molokai and Lanai teams often participate in more than one fundraiser each season, selling everything from chocolate candy to T-shirts, sausage to pies. But, even that proves to be a challenge since all the school’s athletic teams tap the same limited pool of residents – Molokai’s population is about 8,000 while Lanai has about 3,100 residents.
“Travel is a challenge for all schools, however for Molokai and Lanai it becomes a hardship as we have limited resources on both our islands,” said Hoku Haliniak, Molokai High’s athletic director of two years. “Fundraising is a way of life on Molokai. Fifty-eight percent of students at Molokai High want to participate in a sport; my biggest fear is not being able to keep the athletic program going for all students.”
“This year, we are asking everyone to come together and support the student-athletes on Molokai and Lanai who deserve the same opportunities as our student-athletes on other islands,” said Keith Amemiya, senior vice president at Island Holdings.
Guests of the event will enjoy a variety of ono pupu from Murphy’s Bar and Grill and Hukilau Honolulu, as well as local Molokai and Lanai fare, such as Molokai poi, taro chips and bread, and Lanai smoked meat and venison chili. There will also be a wine station, beer garden, live local entertainment by Brother Noland and others, and plenty of prize giveaways.
For more information or to purchase tickets ($75 per person), visit downtownathleticclubhawaii.org. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Scott Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.