(HONOLULU, HAWAIʻIMAY 22, 2019) Hawaii Nature Center (HNC) announced it will present its inaugural Kūpaʻa Award to Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) in recognition of over thirty years of partnership and financial support. The award will be presented at HNC’s annual “Green Gala” fundraiser to be held on Friday, May 24, 2019 at The Pacific Club.

HNC created the Kūpaʻa Award to recognize community partners that have embodied the Hawaiian value of kūpaʻa, which means to stand firm and steadfast. A&B has been a committed partner to HNC for over thirty years through capital grants, program partnerships, annual fundraisers and volunteer leadership service on its board of directors over the last three decades. During that time, A&B contributed nearly $600,000 to support HNC and its programs.

Most recently, HNC was awarded a $30,000 grant from Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) for its ʻĪao Valley Education Center and keiki programs on Maui. The facility in Wailuku, Maui was significantly damaged following the September 2016 flooding of the Wailuku River, one of the largest floods in Maui County’s history. A&B’s contribution will support critical capital improvements to the facility to help keep HNC’s educational programs running on Maui.

We reached out to A&B and they responded, as they have for decades. We are deeply grateful to A&B for their dedicated support throughout the years, and for their commitment to Hawaiʻi’s keiki,” said Piia Aarma, HNC board president. “A&B’s generous support will allow us to continue our programs and facility improvements for years to come. We couldn’t ask for more committed community partners.”

Meredith Ching, A&B executive vice president and former HNC board president and director, said, “Hawaii Nature Center’s educational programs are so well-loved and teach our keiki to cherish and respect the world around them through hands-on learning. HNC continues to touch the lives of so many families in our communities, and we even have employees who grew up attending the programs or whose children look forward to attending every year.