About 450 Hui Makaala supporters braved the rains brought on by Tropical Storm Ana to attend the organization’s 45th annual scholarship fashion show luncheon on Oct. 19 at the Pomaika‘i Ballrooms at Dole Cannery. The always-popular show featured the creations of three popular Hawai‘i designers — Nui Mono, Rix and Calista.
The audience was also treated to a lively Okinawan entertainment program that included a medley of the popular Okinawan songs, “Hana” and “Izayoitsukiyohama,” sung by the mother-and-daughter team of Chikako and Carolyn Shimamura. Carolyn was the grand prize winner of the 2013 KZOO Karaoke Taikai. Also crowd-pleasers were the brothers Terukina — 13-year-old Tomofumi and 3-year-old Ryuto — the talented grandsons of Afuso Ryu sanshin grand master Choichi Terukina-Sensei, who is a National Living Treasure of Japan in Ryükyüan sanshin. A proud Terukina-Sensei was in the audience for his grandsons’ performance. The brothers, their father Tomokuni and grandfather were in Honolulu to perform in the 25th anniversary program of the Afuso Ryu Choichi Kai Hawaii a day earlier.
The entertainment program also featured a shishi-mai (Okinawan lion dance) by students of the Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts, and an energetic eisä daiko performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii. Attendees also had a chance to win some valuable prizes.
The outfits were modeled by professional models as well as Hui Makaala and Hawaii United Okinawa Association members and supporters. The non-professional models clearly were the audience favorites. They included 2014 HUOA president Chris Shimabukuro, past presidents David Arakawa and Maurice Yamasato, Honolulu city prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, state Rep. Marcus Oshiro and his wife Lauzanne, Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi and state Senate president Donna Mercado Kim.
Proceeds from the fashion show benefit Hui Makaala’s scholarship program. For the 2014-15 school year alone, the organization awarded $18,000 in education grants to 11 Hawai‘i high school students who are pursuing higher education. The fashion show was co-chaired by Hui Makaala members Valerie Kato and Ryan Okunaga.
It was announced that next year, the fashion show will be held in July at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and will be merged with Hui Makaala’s scholarship awards banquet.