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Giving Back

ohg1220_1Hawaii real estate organizations, companies, and individual Realtors extend their support to a wide range of charities and community programs throughout the year. Following are just a few examples of how members of Hawaii’s real estate industry are “giving back” during this holiday season.


At its December General Membership Meeting, the Honolulu Board of Realtors (HBR) presented a check for $10,000 to the Friends of the Library of Hawaii. Shown in the photo are HBR 2009 President Sandra “Sam” Bangerter, Principal Broker of Re/MAX Kai Lani (left), and Byrde Cestare, executive director of the Friends of the Library. The donation came from a Honolulu Board of Realtors fund financed by contributions from its members; the organization’s current membership is over 5,700.


ohg1220_2Yumi Laney (R) and her assistant and daughter Christina Laney Wycheck (RA) of the company’s King Street office carried out an original and carefully executed food collection project for the Hawaii Food Bank. “We distributed flyers to homes in our neighborhood in Pearl City on November 7 requesting donations for the Hawaii Food Bank,” Laney said. “We asked that they place canned and dry goods in the shopping bags, which were provided by Outback Steak House, where my husband works, and explained that we would be back to pick them up a week later. We collected a total of 610 pounds of food that my husband, son, and son-in-law delivered to the Food Bank…it was a real family project that we hoped would make the holidays happier for families not so fortunate as ours.”


Koby Berrington (R), CRS, front and center at the East Oahu Realty Christmas tree, said, “It’s been a family tradition to do something special for others during the holidays. This year I purchased Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners from Safeway and then provided my church, Central Union, with the code numbers so they could pass them along to families in need. Now my children are all adults and my daughter continues the tradition by delivering Christmas gifts to an orphanage in Mexico.” Edgar Miner (RA)is a member of New Hope Christian Fellowship’s Men’s Ministry which throughout the year supports programs of Kalihi Waena School. “We do painting, campus cleanup, whatever is needed,” Miner said. “We just handled the setup and cleanup for the annual Christmas Breakfast with Santa for 150 children and their families.” Cathy Ostrem (left), a kumu hula as well as a Realtor, said, “Each year our halau, Halau Hula Kalehuapuakea, holds a Christmas party at the Waikiki Yacht Club where we collect donations of food and funds for the Hawaii Food Bank. Whenever we have a birthday party or any special halau event, we advise members to bring donations for the Food Bank in lieu of gifts for each other. My husband, Robby Ostrem loads up his truck and makes the deliveries.”

ohg1220_3Realtor Deanna Hayashida, also known as the “Orchid Lady,” decorates and enhances numerous events and venues throughout the year together with her orchid group. During the holiday season, the group provides special orchid decorations for events at the Honolulu Zoo.


RNO members and “Charity Village” organizers shown with donations for the Food Bank are (from left) Steve Saito of BY Realty, Patti Ann Hokama of Real Estate Update, Terry Ewart of Star Realty, and Dale Bordner of Island, Realtors. Behind them is a Hawaii Food Bank representative Kim Bartenstein. The RNO organization, consisting of small, independent, non-franchised brokerages and real estate related industries, held its annual holiday luncheon at the Oahu Country Club and raised a total of $7,121 this year. Since 1998, RNO has donated almost $57,000 to various charities, plus approximately 2,200 bounds of canned goods, school supplies, and toiletries for the homeless. “Everything is donated by the luncheon sponsors, which include real estate affiliated companies such as lenders, appraisers, surveyors, home inspection and pest control companies, title and escrow companies, and Realtors,” Bordner said. This year’s beneficiaries include American Red Cross ($513), Habitat For Humanity ($522), Catholic Charities ($1,014), Institute for Human Services ($1,410), Hawaii Foodbank ($1,743), and Hawaiian Humane Society ($1,919). Patti Anne Hokama added, “Hey RNO! We have heart! So, so happy and so, so proud! We raised more than last year! Thanks to all for your generous support of the charities again this year.”


ohg1220_4The Locations Foundation, a non profit affiliate of Prudential Locations, supports charitable organizations that enhance the lives of children and families in need in Hawaii. In addition to ongoing programs, the organization undertakes special holiday projects, which this year were a Kupuna Christmas and a Holiday Event for Project Visitation at the Neal Blaisdell Center. Kupuna Christmas was a party for 75+ seniors that included Christmas caroling, lunch, and entertainment along with a visit from Santa. About 25 volunteers served and each kupuna received a gift bag with basic necessities and toiletries. Foundation volunteers made and provided cotton candy for more than 3,000 families during the Project Visitation event. Mary Tess F. Edu, a Realtor in Prudential’s Diamond Head office who serves as president of the Foundation, said projects are funded by Prudential Locations agents and staff, who donate one percent of their income to the Foundation. Since it was founded in 1988, the Foundation has donated countless hours of volunteer time and raised over $100,000 annually. Other organizations and projects supported by the Foundation in 2009 included Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs, Back to School Back Packs, the Ronald McDonald Golf Classic, Hawaii 3R’s, HUGS Celebration of Life, Volunteer Legal Services Project Visitation, Make A Difference Day- Honolulu Zoo, Walk the Talk, Sunshine Kids, and many more.


Santa with Greta Richardson of Prudential Locations
Santa with Greta Richardson of Prudential Locations
Difference Day- Honolulu Zoo, Walk the Talk, Sunshine Kids, and many more
Difference Day- Honolulu Zoo, Walk the Talk, Sunshine Kids, and many more

The December meeting of the Honolulu Board of Realtors Leeward Regional Group is traditionally a special Christmas program in which a beneficiary is designated to receive a monetary donation from members. In addition canned goods are collected for the Hawaii Food Bank. This year $2,600 was raised and donated to the Leeward Shelter for Abused Women and Children. The event, held at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, included a breakfast buffet, craft fair, silent auction, food drive, and check presentation. In attendance were approximately 200 members of the Leeward Regional Group, which includes real estate agents, lenders, and title and escrow officers. Shown in the photo above are, from left, Kevin Miyama of the Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties Leeward office, event coordinators Guild Mortgage Loan Officer Tess Pahayahay and Old Republic Title & Escrow Vice President Quentin Chun, Darryl Macha of Century 21 All Islands Waikele Office, and Randy Prothero of Century 21 Liberty Homes.

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