Maui Economic Opportunity will be announcing the Volunteer and Benefactor of the Year on Monday, Feb. 14, at the 36th Annual Volunteer Celebration.
The in-person portion of the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at MEO in Wailuku, is closed with MEO limiting participation due to the pandemic. However, the festivities can be viewed via Zoom with ID 84963475294 and passcode 343147 or by phone at (312) 626-6799 and
<+13126266799,,84963475294> passcode 343147.
Melissa Unemori Hampe, a partner in Skog Rasmussen, will be the keynote speaker. She provides grant services and government relations, especially on Capitol Hill, to MEO. Hampe, who currently resides on Maui, performed legislative work for the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink and U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and has provided strategic grants and government affairs analysis, advice and advocacy services to nonprofit, education, health care, local government and tribal clients.
The nominees for Volunteer of the Year are
- Corina Gutierrez, director of community advocacy for the New Mexico Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons, who shared her expertise and time with MEO’s Maui Independent Living Center online.
- Butch and Rhonda Fletcher, regular volunteers for MEO’s Moloka‘i surplus food distribution events.
- Tim Terry, a local artist who hosted paint parties for MEO Youth Services.
- Henrietta Chong of Kula Catholic Community, who arranges Thanksgiving meals and Christmas gifts for Head Start children and families.
- Peter Horovitz, MEO board member and attorney, who regularly assists MEO with land-use and property issues, especially with MEO’s partnership in the Ke Kahua affordable rental project in Waiehu.
Other government leaders to offer remarks during the event include Managing Director Sandy Baz and Maui County Council Chair Alice Lee.
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Twenty-two MEO staff and family made about 400 plate lunches that were delivered to Hale Mahaolu residents in Kahului and Wailuku on March 28 as part of the Bayanihan Feeding Program. The plates were made at Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center.