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Hawaii’s ALOHA FOR JAPAN Campaign Builds Momentum Statewide: Donations Exceed $1 Million

The ALOHA FOR JAPAN campaign, a statewide initiative to help the people of Japan devastated by the recent massive earthquakes and tsunami, has built considerable momentum.  ParticipatingALOHA FOR JAPAN organizations have reported donations of more than $1 million.

Hawaii’s largest banking institutions have all agreed to serve as collection points for monetary donations made payable to “ALOHA FOR JAPAN.”  Charities accepting donations for the ALOHA FOR JAPAN campaign include the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross (ARC) and the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH).  JASH will donate all its proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross Society.  Both ARC and JASH are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations.

While exceeding $1 million is significant, this figure does not include many other fundraising initiatives and campaigns that have been launched throughout Hawaii.

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, an honorary co-chair of ALOHA FOR JAPAN, stated:  “I am so grateful to the many individuals and businesses who have stepped up to show aloha for the people of Japan.  Through the ALOHA FOR JAPAN campaign we stand with Japan in solidarity and in sympathy for the challenges they are facing.”

“This truly has been teamwork at its best,” said Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, who helped spearhead this statewide initiative.  “We are thrilled to get the participation from so many community-based organizations, virtually every bank on every island, and the full support from Mayors Carlisle, Arakawa, Carvalho and Kenoi.  While our community is saddened by this tragedy, it has brought out the very best in the people of Hawaii.”

Today, ALOHA FOR JAPAN also announced its Community Outreach Committee Co-Chairs:

  • Wayne H. Kirihara
    Sr. Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Central Pacific Bank
  • Robert S. Harrison
    President & Chief Operating Officer, First Hawaiian Bank
  • Donna Tanoue
    President, Bank of Hawaii Foundation
  • Kaulana Park
    Sr. Vice President & Director of Community & Business Development, American Savings Bank

“Our community outreach committee epitomizes the strength, diversity and integrity of our entire team,” stated Colbert Matsumoto, Chairman and CEO of Island Insurance, one of the driving forces behind establishing the Aloha for Japan campaign. “There is a special bond between Hawaii and Japan, and our collective efforts demonstrate the warm aloha we have for our friends and family across the Pacific.”

The ALOHA FOR JAPAN campaign drew inspiration from a team of talented, local designers, who joined creative forces to produce the iconic ALOHA FOR JAPAN t-shirts.  Upon learning about the devastation, the owners of Hi-Life/Butigroove, Fitted Hawaii, In4mation, Aloha Army, and Barefoot League formed a cooperative called GRP Home Company to raise money for the victims.

This week, GRP Home is making its first contribution of $ 30,000 to ALOHA FOR JAPAN.  “Our group has been overwhelmed by the demand for our shirts and the outpouring of support for our friends and family in Japan,” said Lanai Tabura, a local celebrity and designer who brought the group together.  “Aloha has inspired this special movement.”

Monetary donations to ALOHA FOR JAPAN can be made at participating banks throughout the state, including: American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, HomeStreet Bank, Pacific Rim Bank, and Territorial Savings Bank.

Donation checks can also be mailed to:  2454 South Beretania Street, Suite 201, Honolulu, Hawaii 96826. Checks should be made payable to “ALOHA FOR JAPAN.”  Checks mailed to this address will be donated to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii, with all proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Contributors can make donations online at ALOHAFORJAPAN.com, which contains links to the donations pages for both American Red Cross and the Japan-America Society of Hawaii.

The ALOHAFORJAPAN.com website also includes information on how to purchase the popular ALOHA FOR JAPAN t-shirts, and will feature an up-to-date calendar for the growing number of benefit concerts, events, and other activities being coordinated by ALOHA FOR JAPAN and other campaigns.

The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce has volunteered to set up a hotline and email account to handle inquiries:  (808) 949-5531 and info@alohaforjapan.com.


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