Last night we attended the 2017 Five Star Aloha Gala by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California (HCCNC). Our Senior Account Executive, Shannon Honda, is Vice President of HCCNC and we do our best to support the organization.
The event marked the 15th Annual Five Star Aloha Gala and was held at the historic Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. It’s their signature event and serves as a venue for honoring individuals and organizations for their contributions in promoting the Aloha Spirit throughout Northern California and beyond.
Last night I learned more about how HCCNC came about. Co-founder Eric Tao got up on the mic and gave a comedic rendition of how a Chinese guy (him), a Korean guy (Rodney Park) and a Japanese guy (Kurt Osaki) got together in 1999 to form the group.
HCCNC Silent Auction and Raffle Tickets
The Silent Auction and Raffle ticket sales drive revenue to provide scholarships to deserving students. Each year the HCCNC Foundation grants scholarships to deserving students from Hawaii or the Bay Area pursuing their college educations in Northern California.
Before I moved up to SF, practically every fundraiser I attended in Hawaii that had a silent auction had one thing common: San Francisco Giants tickets donated by Duane Kurisu. I was impressed to see his owner tickets up for auction here in SF as well.
Mayor Ed Lee’s connection to Hawaii
Mayor Ed Lee and his wife were there at the gala as well. During his remarks to the crowd, the Mayor told us about his affinity to Hawaii.
While he was a student at UC Berkeley, he felt the best parties were thrown by the kids from Hawaii, so he’d spend a lot of time with them. It was cool to see him continuing to spend time with the Hawaii crew =)
This Year’s Honored Guest: Pacific Islanders’ Cultural Association
For over 20 years, PICA has showcased Polynesian culture through their Bay Area Aloha Festival, a two-day ethnic arts festival held in San Mateo. This popular event has brought thousands of people together to celebrate Pacific Islander culture through music and dance, authentic food and educational workshops.
PICA also provides scholarships to Pacific Islander students residing in California who are either starting or continuing college or professional/trade school studies.