Kamehameha Schools alumni are always up for some friendly competition. This is especially evident every June during Alumni Week on the Kapālama campus.
For the past four years, celebrating classes have competed in a competition focused on giving back and investing in our future. The Reunion Challenge encourages celebrating classes to compete in three categories (highest amounted raised, highest class participation and highest number of recurring gifts) and a chance to win over $13,000 in matching funds as they raise money for post-high scholarships. All funds raised from the competition go towards their class scholarship.
“The Reunion Challenge was created to offer alumni a fun and easy way to give back,” said Bran-Dee Torres KSK’93, director of annual giving at the Office of Advancement. “It is inspiring to see classes come together in support of uplifting others in the Hawaiian Community. Imua!”
This year’s “Best in Class” included the class of 1972 for highest amount raised ($39,196) and the class of 1992 for the highest class participation (37 percent) and highest number of recurring gifts (40). These classes received matching funds of $5,000 and $8,000 respectively to go towards their class scholarship.
“Pauahi is our source and inspiration for all that we do,” said Debbie Lau Okamura, a class representative for the class of 1972. “By creating educational opportunities we uplift the Hawaiian Community and the state of Hawai‘i as a whole.”
In addition, the Pauahi Foundation provided extra incentive in matching funds for all celebrating classes that met their individual goals for dollars raised and participation, which are set based on celebration years and class size.
The class of 1992 in particular honored their 25th reunion by setting their goal at 25 percent of their class (105 classmates) with a gift of $25 donors or more. The class ended up exceeding that goal by 12 percentage points.
“We love to be challenged,” said Celeste Montibon-Naeole, a class representative for the class of 1992. “Our focus was not on the matching funds. It was on the students that will benefit from these scholarships.”
This year’s competition generated over $135,000 that will all go towards funding post-high scholarship through the Pauahi Foundation. In total, the competition has raised over $480,000 in the past four years.
“The Reunion Challenge serves as a good indicator of the strength and unity of the Kamehameha ‘ohana.” said Tara Wilson, director of advancement at KS and executive director of the Pauahi Foundation. “Mahalo nui to the celebrating classes for their energy and commitment to building a strong foundation for future generations of Hawaiians.”