Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii's Monthly e-Newsletter
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Aloha Friend of Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawai'i,

May is an exciting time at Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii. It’s when we celebrate a fantastic year of mentoring at our afterschool sites with pizza parties and postcards before everyone heads home for summer break. May is also when we award those special School-Based mentors who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in someone’s life as a Big Brother or Big Sister. With the support of Aloha Shoyu and Aloha Bottling, we were able to give each of these "Bigs of the Year" a scholarship check to help them on their journey to college in the fall. Please join me in recognizing the following outstanding mentors:
Hawaii Island
School-Based Big of the Year Kylie Bergen  
Above and Beyond School-Based Big Ivana Yoon
Big Sister of the Year Ritikaa Kumar
Big Sister of the Year Coleman Langstaff 
Big Sister of the Year Keely Lindsey
Above and Beyond School-Based Big Jared Matias
Big Brother of the Year Jordan Abanto
Big Sister of the Year Lisa Preston
Above and Beyond School-Based Big Kaitlin Tilitile
We are so grateful for ALL of our mentors – you are the reason we do what we do!
Thinking of all our veterans and active-duty Bigs and former Littles over the Memorial Day long-weekend,
Dennis Brown
President / CEO

PS. Don't forget to use the code "ALOHA" when you order Papa John's this month and BBBS will receive $1 from every purchase. See the flyer below for details!

Video of the Month

Little Brother Izander's Powerful Haka
Little Brother Izander (far left) has been in our program since 3rd grade and is now in his final year as a 5th grader. He has grown so much and was proud to share with us that he will be leading the Samoan Haka at this year's Waiakea Elementary School Ho'ike performance. He was brave enough to give us a demo at the basketball court (with some help from Little Brothers Dyson and Chad). Take a look!

Island Updates

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawaii Island 
Here's a picture of our newest match in Hilo: Big Brother Tim and Little Brother Cyrus! Cyrus enjoys playing video games, swimming at the beach, and being outdoors. Tim will be an awesome Big and is very excited to get to know Cyrus.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu
Congratulations and mahalo to the 2015-2016 Oahu School-Based Big Brother of the Year, Jordan Abanto, and the 2015-2016 Oahu Above and Beyond Big Sister, Kaitlin Tilitile, from the Makalapa Elementary School-Based Mentoring Program. Jordan has been a Big Brother for four years, while Kaitlin has been a Big Sister for three years. We are grateful for their commitment!
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kauai
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kauai hosted the Annual “Catch &  Release” resiliency outing in May. Bigs and Littles participated in child abuse prevention activities where they learned that although outside stressors can sometimes consume our lives, when we “release” and use our unique strengths and abilities to cope with adversity, we can get through anything!  It was a day of reflection, rejuvenation and recharging! Big thanks to Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii for providing grant funding for this activity as well as Aileen Deese, Mark Oyama, Mark Sueyasu and their team of awesome volunteers, and Sheryl Keli’ipio from the Department of Health for making this all possible!
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui
Bigs and Littles in Maui celebrated the last day of programs at the Mentor Center with face-painting done by our visiting Vice President of Programs, Jill Matro, and our School-Based Coordinator, Tyler Kurashige. So much fun!


Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii bids a fond Aloha to Community-Based Coordinator Jeff Mullis after seven years with our organization. Jeff will be pursuing new endeavors with Olivet Baptist Church, where he has volunteered for many years. Although we will certainly miss his many years of loyal service to our mentoring programs, we also want to wish him the very best!
BIG MAHALOS to everyone who attended our 3rd annual Perfect Pairings event! With your help, we were able to raise over $50,000! Special thanks to Master Sommelier Patrick Okubo, the staff at Oahu Country Club, Gold Sponsors First Hawaiian Bank, Meadow Gold Dairies, Roberts Hawaii, and Honolulu Star-Advertiser; Silver Sponsors Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Servco Hawaii; Bronze Sponsors Bank of Hawaii, Chun Kerr, and Group 70; and the rock-star Perfect Pairings Committee: Dennis Brown, Holly Brown, Neill Char, Ashlee Chung, Aubrey Hawk, Brianna Lovett, Kerry Lum, Nikki Nguyen, Ricky Takemoto. What a fantastic night of food and wine!
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kauai extends a huge MAHALO to Regional Board Member Mark Oyama and Mark Sueyasu with the state for all of their support in bringing together so many wonderful volunteers for the “Catch & Release” resiliency outing at the Pu’uloa Reservoir in Koke’e. It was a magical day for all of the Bigs and Littles!
Kauai was not the only island with a fishing outing in May! On Maui, Board Member Alan Fukuyama put together the 5th Annual Keiki Fishing Contest and everyone had a blast! We appreciate all of the sponsors who made the event a success: Kitagawa Towing Service, Maui RollOffs Wailana Trucking, New Maui Fishing Supply, Friends of Dain Kane, Mike & Joycelyn Victorino, Mason Services of Maui, McDonalds Kehalani Village, Christy & Kimo Gusman, Sumida & Associates, and Gerald & Alice Kimura. Pictured here are Board Member Alan Fukuyama and Little Brother Hayden, who caught the biggest fish this year!
Mahalo Aloha Shoyu and Aloha Bottling Co. for donating a total of $2,000 in scholarship money. The money will be equally divided among each island’s High School Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Year to use towards their continued education. Pictured here are Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii's President/CEO, Dennis Brown, Big Brother Jordan Abanto, Big Sister Kaitlin Tilitile, and School-Based Case Manager Crystal Pak. 
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kauai is honored and privileged to join in partnership with the Kauai United Way for another year! Thank you to the Kauai United Way staff Scott Giarman, Lori Almarza,and Lynnette Medrano-Stine, their Board of the Directors, and Allocation Committee for believing in our mission and awarding us with a grant for the upcoming year. We appreciate your continued support in serving Kauai’s keiki!

Special congratulations to senior Big Sister Gretchen Padamada of the Kea'au Elementary School program for putting her BBBS volunteer hours and letters of recommendation to good use and being awarded several scholarships to attend Hawai'i Pacific University next fall! We are so proud of you!

We are grateful to The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. for their continued support in donating $5,000 to help fund Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii's School-Based mentoring programs. Pictured here are Big Sister Brenna Imada, School-Based Case Manager Sheryl Mita, and School-Based Big Sister of the Year Lisa Preston. Big thanks to Lisa for applying for this grant on our behalf!

Our Bigs and Littles are the BEST! On the Big Island we celebrated a great year of mentoring with pizza parties, face painting, a photo booth, and a special presentation of Big's certificates and T-shirts by our Littles! Mahalo to all our Bigs and Littles!
Mahalo to Little Sister Cherry and Big Sister Bren Lowrey as well as all of our walkers at the Oahu Visitor Industry Charity Walk who helped set a record with over $2,000,000 raised statewide! Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii is a recipient of Charity Walk funding so BIG mahalos to all who participated and supported the event in some way!

Congratulations and mahalo to the 2015-2016 Oahu School-Based Big Sister of the Year, Senora Lisa Preston from the Ala Wai Elementary School-Based Mentoring Program. Lisa has been a Big Sister to two Ala Wai Little Brothers and one Castle High School Little Sister for six years in total. She has also been the Ala Wai Elementary School program’s liaison for over a decade. Lisa is pictured with her current Little Brother of four years, Aidan.

Mahalo to the Maui High School National Honor Society for coming to tutor our Mentor Center program youth each week this school year!
CONGRATS and MAHALO to our year-long intern on Hawaii Island, Crystal Schizsler. Crystal has been such a help at our Big Island School-Based sites this year and graduated this month with a B.A. in Counseling Psychology!
Matches in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kauai's School-Based programs participated in end of the school year activities such as taking a stand against violence and reflecting on all the new friendships made. It was a special year! Mahalo to all of our partners on Kauai for believing in the power of mentoring and supporting our keiki.
Chuck E. Cheese's held a "Bigs Night Out" fundraiser for us in March as well as a pin-up campaign throughout the month of April, raising $1,500 for our mentoring programs! The place "where a kid can be a kid" never fails to disappoint!
Independent jewelry designer Kaylee of Origami Owl (who is also a real-life big sister to staff member Kendra Chong) held a fundraiser for us throughout the month of April and helped us raise $250! Big thanks to Kaylee for her generosity (and beautiful designs!)
Outstanding returning mentors Kylie Bergen of Kea'au High and Ivana Yoon of Waiakea High were recognized with this year's School-Based Big Sister of the Year and Above and Beyond award along with $250 scholarships on behalf of Aloha Shoyu!
Way to go ladies!
Three cheers for the Maui Visitor industry Charity Walk team! Mahalo to all who came out to walk for a good cause and support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui!
Even with sporadic, torrential rains, the BBBS team showed up at the Lo'i with smiles on their faces, excited to get wet and muddy! The group, which included Big Sister Bren Lowrey, Little Sister Cherry, Mom Barb, Little Sister Malina, Board Member Aubrey Hawk, her husband Jeffrey Hawk, and Case Manager Nate Fong, cleaned a whole garden in a few hours, which would have typically taken a couple weeks!

Upcoming Events

MAUI – June 4: Bowl Like A Rockstar (open to all!) Join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui for the 29th Annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake. This year the theme is “Bowl Like a Rock Star.” Visit for more information or contact Char Thomas at or 442-7894 for participation details.
OAHU - Papa John's Charity of the Month for June (open to all!) - use the promo code "ALOHA" when ordering Papa John's throughout the month of June and $1 from each transaction will be donated to BBBS Hawaii. Or buy an Aloha Carryout Card for $10 and $7 will be donated! Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 23 when BBBS will receive 25% of ALL sales for the day!
OAHU - June 4: Re-scheduled Waihee Watershed Tunnel Tour (matches only) 9:15am-1pm including lunch.  We’ll be meeting at Kahaluu Regional Park to park and carpool to the entrance of a mile hike to the water tunnel where we’ll be walking ankle deep in the tunnel water and learning how rain water is collected in mountain pools and takes 25-yrs. to reach our faucets. 

OAHU - June 18: Coconut Workshop (Holomua matches only) 10am - 2pm including lunch. Join us for our June meet-up to learn how to traditionally husk a coconut, extract meat from a coconut, extract oil from a coconut, an make cortage from a coconut! Contact Margaret at to RSVP ASAP.

OAHU - July 9:  Locations Foundation Movie Day, Ward Theatres (matches and families) - Each year the Locations Foundation generously sponsors a summer movie day for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys & Girls Club. Join us to watch “The Secret Life of Pets”  - registration begins at 8am. This year's essay question is: If you could talk to animals, what animal would you talk to and why did you choose that animal? Tell us about the conversation you’d have with that animal. Contact Nate at for more details. 

OAHU - July 23: Book Group (Holomua matches only) time & location TBD. Join us to discuss “Speak” by Laurie Halse - you will be given the book to read this summer. Contact Margaret at for more information.

OAHU - August 20: Kawailoa Wind Farm Tour, North Shore (matches only) 10am - 12:30pm with lunch included. Limited to 10-matches. Contact your Case Manager for more information.

OAHU - October 15: Monsanto Farm Tour, Kunia, Waipahu (matches only) 8:30am-12:30pm including lunch. Contact your Case Manager for more information.
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