HOW TO PARTICIPATE

  1. Create a Facebook or Instagram post with your hero's photo and share a few sentences about why you are nominating them!

  2. Use the hashtag #vibehiheroes and include @vibranthawaii in your comments.

  3. We will message you to request the mailing address of your hero and to send out their Hero Care Pack!

RULES

  1. Nominees must be at least 13 years old.

  2. Nominees must currently live on Hawai'i Island.

  3. Heroes can be nominated multiples times, but only one Hero Care Pack will be sent.

Brittany Anderson

Nominated By: 

Mariah Williams

I would like to nominate Brittany Anderson, a local farmer and food advocate who works hard to feed her community good food that is also good for the Aina. She coordinated with other farmers and producers to give them a platform to get their product to the community. When a local family couldn’t afford their CSA box she provided an opportunity for the community to support the family in need, even when her own health was not 100 (not COVID related!). She is a #VibeHIHero who cares for and supports the land, animals, people and other businesses. Thank you for all that you do!

Kehau Costa

Nominated By: 

Larkin Correa

I am nominating Kehaulani Costa to be a Vibrant Hawaii Island Hero. Kehau always steps up to the plate when it comes to the betterment of our Association, Hawaii Island REALTORS, its members, and our community. Her peers, counterparts and other community leaders often call upon her for guidance and request her participation in groups because they respect and appreciate her bright and creative ideas and positive attitude. Her latest idea was collaboration with Kui’kahi Mediation Center and Councilwoman Kierkiewicz to help property managers, landlords and tenants work together during this difficult time. She is a level headed, calm and definitely an awesome person to know and work with.

Mike Tabil, Kory Urada, Raynell Mata and Charlene Wolske

Nominated By: 

Jolene Armstrong

Aloha, Vibrant Hawai’i ~ It is with tremendous gratitude that I would like to nominate four of Umekes’ employees who have tirelessly volunteered their time and talents to serving our community.

From the beginning of the pandemic stay-at-home orders, and at the direction of proprietor, Nakoa Pabre, Umeke’s has donated and delivered meals on several occasions to Kona’s kupuna, COVID testing volunteers, fire stations and police station.

These amazing individuals continue to work tirelessly, reaching out to our community in need and always doing so with humble hearts and smiles of aloha: Mike Tabil, Kory Urada, Raynell Mata and Charlene Wolske.

Mahalo nui to all the team at Umeke’s for their selfless devotion and compassionate community care during this season of challenge and uncertainty.

Dr. Kaʻohimanu Dang Akiona

Nominated By: 

Kristin Alice

I nominate Dr. Kaʻohimanu Dang Akiona from Premier Medical Group as a #VibeHIhero! Dr. Akiona has been working day & night to open and operate pop-up public testing clinics, with the goal of making COVID-19 screening accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of where they live or how much money they make. She’s also been working with HOPE Services to test people who don’t have a home to go to. On top of all this, she takes the time to explain things clearly, accurately, and compassionately. Mahalo Dr. Akiona!!

This is a photo of her from last year, treating a patient with HOPE Services’ Street Medicine Team.

Leon No'eau Peralto

Nominated By: 

Jessica Kaneakua

I’m nominating Leon No'eau Peralto for #vibehiheroes Hero Pack. No words express the amount of aloha HuiMAU shows and spreads in their community. They’re awesome!

Lisa Ann Kaneshiro

Nominated By: 

Shelly Ogata

Since it’s #nationalnursesweek I would like to nominate a fellow nurse as a #vibehihero. Lisa Ann Kaneshiro is a public health nurse on the frontline of the COVID19 pandemic. Not only is she caring for our neighbors who test positive, but she is also part of the contact tracing team. She is a mother, wife, and daughter to name a few of her other roles. Lisa is always very professional and caring and going out of her way to support everyone else. Nurses tend to neglect our own selves as we are trained caregivers so I would like for all of us to give Lisa a huge virtual Vibrant Hawaii hug.

Sharon Hirota

Nominated By: 

Janice Ikeda

Vibrant Hawaii Island today Iʻm celebrating Sharon Hirota!! Sharon was the advocate and coordinator for the recently completed project to provide temporary shelters for folks experiencing homelessness which included feeding all the volunteers, Sharon works long hours for the County and then volunteers her nights and weekends to cut fabric to make cloth masks. Sharon listens, is open to good ideas, outside the box ideas, other peopleʻs ideas. She multiplies energy and efforts because she is a connector. She is a #vibehihero!! AND...... ITʻS HER BIRTHDAY!!! Show her some LOVE!!

Dion Maeda

Nominated By: 

Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita

I would like to recognize Pastor Dion Maeda of Connect Point Church for his unwavering support in our community especially during times of high need. Pastor Dion has served on many multi-disciplinary teams, gone above and beyond the call of duty, and is a major community convener to help quickly mobilize services and resources. Mahalo Paster Dion Maeda for being a community superhero. #VibeHIHeroes @Vibrant Hawaii Island

Traci Figueroa

Nominated By: 

Joel Tan

When I think #vibehiheroes I think of Kumu Traci Figueroa who goes above & beyond to teach Kohala High School students cooking basics. Currently she is preparing hot meals for local families during quarantine. We love you Traci!

Leslie Nugent

Nominated By: 

Joel Tan

When I think #VibeHIHero I think of Leslie Nugent so I nominate Leslie and celebrate her passion for farming and food sovereignty. Mz Nugent is an invaluable asset to our communities with the work sheʻs doing to organize North Kohala change makers to ensure keiki to Kupuna are cared for in this time of pandemic. We love you Leslie AND NKCRC!

Keala & Ekela Kahuanui

Nominated By: 

Joel Tan

When I think #VibeHIHero and SHEROES I think of Keala Kahuanui and Ekela Kahuanui as individuals and as a Moku O Keawe powAH couple. so I nominate Ekela and Keala and Ekela and Keala to celebrate their deep passion and lifeʻs work of cultural activism and aloha ambassadorship. Separate and together they are powerhouse educators who are inspiring generations of Hawaiʻi folk and beyond to connect to what true ALOHA is and can be. Currently, they are working above and beyond to ensure that Hawaiʻi island Kupuna to Keiki are receiving and growing food, technology and other needs in time of quarantine. PLUS theyʻre just about the cutest, arenʻt they? We love you Ekela and Keala!

David Fuertes

Nominated By: 

Joel Tan

When I think #VibeHIHero I think of David Fuertes so I nominate Beloved Papa David aka Mr. Fuertes and celebrate his lifeʻs work of educating and raising generations of Hawaiʻi students to deeply connect with the land, each other and themselves. Currently he is running a program to teach Kohala families Korean Natural Farming methods toward food sovereignty. We love you Manong David!

Leandra Keuma

Nominated By: 

Uilani Amanitad

I would like to nominate Circle of Life Hilo and Leandra Keuma for #VIBEHIHEROS. She is bringing voice to the artist community in Hawai'i and all the amazing offerings artists are sharing during this time. Mahalo Leandra and Mahalo Circle of Life Hilo. If you haven't participated in a Circle of Hilo event check out their Instagram @circleoflifehilo for 'Artists Interviews' and other beautiful offerings.

Lorna Saito

Nominated By: 

Olelo Paʻa Ogawa

Auntie Lorna has fostered over 50 children. She is aware of all the children and know each child name at Waikoloa Elementary School. All the kids love Auntie Lorna. She is a living example of unconditional love.

Asamiʻs Kitchen

Nominated By: 

Sherrie Galdeira

I am nominating without hesitation on @vibrant hawaii island uncle @Joseph Bernabe @Jacob Bernabe Tania Shimazu Weston Towata and @Asami Shimazu from @Asami’s Kitchen as our #vibehiheroes for their relentless commitment to continuing to deliver Asami’s well known delicacy’s to our less privileged community.

According to Owner, Tania Shimazu, uncle Joey presented the idea of delivering FREE bentos to our underprivileged resident communities every Saturday during the lunch hour for the past 4 weeks and counting. Tania did not hesitate and opened the team of helpers to her husband, Weston and a friend Jacob.

They deliver keiki lunches to Lanakila Housing, Hilo Terrace, and Val Hala Apartments. If there are left over bentos, they take it to keiki at Hope Services Homeless Shelter.

At a time when our local eateries are not as productive as they were pre-pandemic, Asami’s continue to contribute their dedication to the health and wellness of our community keiki.

So mahalo nunui to the crew at Asami’s Kitchen for your humble service to our community.

You can find them at:

Asami’s Kitchen
308 Kilauea Avenue
Hilo, HI 96720
Business: (808) 935-2242

Shelly Ogata

Nominated By: 

Janice Ikeda

Vibrant Hawaii Island before another day goes by I’d like to nominate Shelly Abe Ogata as a #vibehihero 🌻 Shelly steps in to help in nearly every project I take on. In the past few weeks she has entered pages of kupuna data in a spreadsheet so we could share information with collaborating agencies, she’s cut fabric for hundreds of masks and gone with me to pick up fabric and drop off masks. She is my second pair of eyes when I need a review, answers her phone always when I need to “bounce ideas” and make a decision, gets things printed at the drop of a hat, and what means more to me than any of that is she is my listening friend when I am frustrated or sad or 😩 or 😱 or 😳. I could go on forever, but I will end by saying our community is blessed to have a servant hearted leader like Shelly, a lot of the “final projects” that get attention and photo ops would not happen without Shelly behind the scenes, and I hope everyone in their lifetime is fortunate to have a friend like her. #vibehiheroes 💗

Aaron Esparza

Nominated By: 

Landon Chinen

I wanna nominate Aaron Esparza from Catholic Charities who has been an intricate part for our Kona community. He has been a go-getter in connecting volunteers with community agencies in need, but as well as connecting agencies with agencies as well. Someone who works nonstop through this pandemic and is always looking for ways to problem solve for our families! #vibehiheroes #community #covid_19 #kona

Joyce Davis

Nominated By: 

Landon Chinen

I wanna nominate Joyce Davis for the #vibehiheroes Joyce has a big heart for her community! She is always asking how she can help those in need and has been going out of her way to support our Kupuna as well. She has made them care packs and gone shopping for them. No matter what she does she always does it with a full heart and a big smile! Mahalo Joyce for what you do for our community!!! #community #hero

Jessica Cruzan

Nominated By: 

Janice Ikeda

Vibrant Hawaii Island - this is Jessica Cruzan. She has just sewn her 2,000th mask!!! WHAT!?!? AND She has committed to sewing 2,000 masks for the doctors and clinics and social services who’ve made requests through the Vibrant Hawai’i website!! GIVE IT UP FOR JESSICA Sew Da Kine 🎉🎉🎉🎉 She is generous in “sew” many ways, even sharing professional tips on how to mass produce masks. (Mask produce 😂) She is my hero!! #vibehiheroes 💗💗💗

Under The Bodhi Tree

Nominated By: 

Hawaii Diaper Bank

Our #VIBEHIHEROES nomination is for Abraham and Keani Go of Under the Bodhi Tree. These hero’s put on a free keiki fest at the The Shops at Mauna Lani and are always looking for ways to help the #commUNITY. Before deciding to close the restaurant to the public due to the #coronavairus, they were offering breakfast and lunches to keiki 18 and under for free amid the school shutdowns. Now through awesome donors and their own funds they hold regular drive thru food giveaways (again for free) for the community. These are the people that make Hawaii special and they deserve to be recognized! 🙌🏼 Vibrant Hawaii Island #covid19 #heroes

Carrie Hoopii

Nominated By: 

Denise Oguma

Vibrant Hawaii Island - I am nominating Carrie Hoopii to receive a Hero Care Pack! Carrie is - amazing, outstanding advocate, inspiring team leader who is always generous, supportive, motivational and encouraging. She is one the when things are asked of her she GSD! She goes above and beyond and advocates for those who can’t advocate for themselves. Please help me to show some love and gratitude to her. #vibehiheroes

Laycie Khadijah

Nominated By: 

Mariah Williams

I am nominating Laycie Khadijah to receive a Hero Care Pack! Laycie Khadija has always been an advocate of the community before the pandemic. She has consistently funded and organized a program to feed the houseless in our community. Since this lock down began, she has gone out of her way to do food and care package drops, advancing information for free resources and being an advocate for anyone afraid to speak up. Sometimes her family eats late because she is busy doing drops. No one more deserving than Lacie.

Breeani Sumera Lee

Nominated By: 

Janice Ikeda

Vibrant Hawaii Island - I am nominating Breeani Sumera-Lee to receive a Hero Care Pack! Bree is - amazing - always generous, always encouraging. If you talk to her, I swear she is like the Tony Robbins of Keaukaha. She started handing out toilet paper to kupuna from Day 1 and when people got confused and thought she was giving away diapers, she just did her best to make it happen, even giving out her own baby’s diapers. 💗 Bree runs Hawai’i Rise Foundation which has been the pass through for smaller projects like the Keiki Care Packs and Cloth Masks and Kupuna Care Packs and when I asked if she was taking an Admin fee for any of these grants and donations she said “No”. That’s pretty much unheard of. Please take a moment and show some celebration and love and gratitude for Bree!! #vibehiheroes

Kako Needham

Nominated By: 

Maggie Kahoilua

This is my friend Kako Needham! While once an Armed Security Officer w/TW & Co. Hickam Air Force Base, he is now the first friendly face you’ll see upon entering the new Keahuolū Courthouse. Kako provides security for our Kona Judiciary and community six days a week, leaving little time for personal interests. Even so, he’s always friendly and armed with a smile. As a bail bondsman, I’ve witnessed his “spirit of aloha” in action as he welcomes every individual through the secure entrance to this massive and intimidating structure. You are a “Vibrant Hawaii Hero” my friend and your community appreciates your dedicated service. Mahalo! 🤙🏽🌈✨ #vibehiheroes Vibrant Hawaii Island

HOW TO SUPPORT #VIBEHIHEROES

  1. Help write thank you cards or notes of encouragement! Do not include envelopes. All cards/notes will be reviewed for appropriate content. Drop off your notes to the Office of Aging: 1055 Kino'ole Street, Hilo. 

  2. Follow Vibrant Hawai'i on Facebook or Instagram. When you see a post with the hashtag #vibehiheroes LIKE, LOVE, and LEAVE A COMMENT to celebrate and encourage the hero!

©2019 by Vibrant Hawai'i.