February 2015 Newsletter

February 2015 (Vol. 37, Issue 1) –

The Lana’i Connection is published two times a year (February and August) to enhance the purposes of the Lana’i Alumni and Community Association.

Editor: Donna Reyes Ching
Copyreader: Coochie Cayan
Designer/Webmaster: Donna Shiroma Nakaue
Contributing Writers: Class Reps, Alumni, Lanaians

Interested in Membership?
Life Membership in LACA is only $10! Cost to replace membership card is $5.00.

Correspondence may be sent to:
The Lana’i Connection
P.O. Box 515
Pearl City, HI 96782
Or info@Lanaiconnection.com

We reserve the right to edit any article before publication.

July 15 for August 2015
January 15 for February 2016

Class of 1959 – Two Reunions in one year!

Submitted by Lea Nobui Suzuki

The Lanai High School Class of ’59 celebrated our 55th year reunion twice this year.  Our first reunion was held earlier in the year on Oahu at Apolonia Agonoy Stice Beach House to accommodate those who could not make it to reunion scheduled for September 26th in Vegas.  The Vegas reunion was at the Garden Court Buffet, Main Street Hotel & Casino, where the Class of ’58 joined us with a total of 28 classmates & friends. 

The festivities began honoring our late classmates by ringing a bell in remembrance as each name was read.  Marge Asato did a good job handling games with some difficult questions for those of us who have not lived in Hawaii for a while.  We had prizes galore and everyone left with a bagful of goodies filled with gifts and favors generously shared by their classmates.

That evening our class of ’59 hosted a fun-filled LACA Slot Machine Tournament  then the following day was our enjoyable LACA Lunch Banquet, for which we filled two plus tables.  Donna Reyes Ching & her Ohana did an outstanding job arranging and everything!

Everyone commented on how much fun they had. Afterward we gathered in Lea’s Suite for “talk story” & it was amazing how people could remember details of our childhood days. So much fun and laughter was had by all.

Those in attendance were Janet Anbe Otani, Alan Dumling, Joanna Endrina Timbreza, Francis Goshi, Mary Lapitan Fierro, Lucena Magaoay Ramirez, Marge Morita Asato, Lea Nobui Suzuki, Sonja Okamitsu Tyau, Laraine Saranillio Avery, Harry Yamatusuka, Gloria Obado Reyes & George Ramaila. Class of ’58 was represented by Irene Dalde Seawright, Jeraldine Hirayama Iba, Mae Morita Takata, Carol Ann Tsumura Fujimoto & Emidgio Jamero.

We are looking forward to more fun and laughter as we will celebrate our 75th birthdays in 2016. 

Breaking News

By Donna Reyes Ching

Effective May 31, 2015 I am relinquishing my positions as Treasurer and Editor of the Lanai Connection. If you’re interested in filling one or both of the positions, please direct inquiries to:

Coochie Cayan, LACA Recording Secretary
E-mail: ccayan@hotmail.com
P.O. Box 515
Pearl City, HI 96782

Marge Morita Asato has volunteered taking over the Membership Database. Thank you, Rosita Hueu for helping to teach her.  Marge also have been my co-signer for checks through my years as treasurer.  My Dad Vince Reyes picks up newsletters from the printer to be folded at the LACA building & helps me deliver to the post office. 

Currently, the following serve as Directors: Marge Asato, Coochie Cayan, Monica Cockett, Suzanne Damian, Linda Degamo (Lanai), Susana Kincaid (Lanai), Ruth Nakasone, Bruno Aroyan, and Bill Ruidas (Maui).

My service through the decades has been a labor of love for the Lanai Alumni and Community Association.  I am deeply grateful to the general membership and my Ohana for the confidence placed in me during my tenure.

Mahalo Nui Loa for your splendid support, generosity, enthusiastic participation and cooperation throughout the years.  My best wishes and much success to the board of directors and general membership as you go forward to successful achievements.

Class of 1958 75th Birthday Bash

Jeri Hirayama Iba, Hideko Saruwatri, Bob Hirayama, Ted Nobui, Back Row:  Mae Morita Takata, Mejoe Jamero, Irene Dalde Seawright, Elaine Fujimoto, Lane Fujimoto, Carol Ann Tsumura Fujimoto
Jeri Hirayama Iba, Hideko Saruwatri, Bob Hirayama, Ted Nobui,
Back Row: Mae Morita Takata, Mejoe Jamero, Irene Dalde Seawright, Elaine Fujimoto, Lane Fujimoto, Carol Ann Tsumura Fujimoto

by Jeri Hirayama Iba, Class of 1958

The committee for the Class of 1958 will begin planning for their 75th birthday in Las Vegas for Friday, September 25, 2015.  Classmates please mark your calendar for this “Special Event”.  Having lost almost half of our classmates. consider making an extra effort to attend.  More information will be sent after the committee meet to discuss time, place, cost and etc.

Thank you Class of 1959

by Jeri Hirayama Iba, Class of 1958

The Class of 1958 were invited to join class of 1959 for their 55th anniversary in Las Vegas on September 26, 2014 at the Main Street Garden Buffet for lunch. Marge Asato as MC did a terrific job of coordinating games, party favors and prizes.  Class of 1958 Carol Ann Fujimoto, Mae Takata, Irene & Jerry Seawright would like to thank the class of 1959 for inviting us. We had a terrific time.

LACA Volunteers Needed for the Following Positions


President – shall serve as the chairperson of the Board and preside at the meetings of the Board and the Membership

Vice-President – shall serve as the president during the latter’s absence or inability and perform other duties as assigned by the President of the Board.

Treasurer – shall receive contributions, make payments, perform related banking duties, and submit written reports at each regular Board meeting.


Editor for “The Lanai Connection” Newsletter

Record Keeper of LACA’s Membership Database

Contact Information:
Coochie Cayan, LACA Recording Secretary
P.O. Box 515, Pearl City, HI 96782


Compiled by Phyllis Coochie Cayan

A new tradition is born as alumni Juan Degamo started a wonderful singing contest for the high school classes.  All classes competed in singing our dear Lana’i High Alma Mater.  The best singing was awarded to the Sophomores, Class of 2017.  Judges were alumni Max Kincaid (’70), Darren Lopez (’77) and Donovan Ozoa (’07).  Kudos to all the singing classes!

The homecoming basketball games were exciting as the Pine Lads matched their court skills against the Molokai Farmers.  Many alumni, community and students cheered at both games whereby the Pine Lads won both games!  Go Green & Gold Go!

Juan Degamo also coordinated the Homecoming King & Queen Court with the following results:  Senior King Noel Urbano and Senior Queen Liane Michie Costales.  The other classes were represented by Freshmen Adriana Cui Sanchez and Desmond Joseph Akio Ige;  Sophomores Colleen Hanae Ang Sakuma and Blahyze Kaonohi Botelho; and Juniors Jayde Hokulani Fernandez and Shane Kaleikaumaka Hanog.  Congratulations all!

The annual Homecoming Parade on Saturday, February 14th went on despite the heavy rains blessing everyone who turned out at the town square.  The classes decorated floats and walked/danced/sang with much gusto to the cheering crowd.  The Class of 2017, the Sophomores added the Best Float and Best Dance Performance to their kudos!

Special mention of the Pine Lasses basketball team stranded on O’ahu due to weather.  The Pine Lasses made it to the Girls High School State Basketball Championships and played fearlessly against Castle High School and Damien High School, ending in a consolation game against Molokai.  Unfortunately, Molokai prevailed in the last minutes.  Good job, Pine Lasses!

Last but not least on your next trip home to Lana’i, please check out the wonderful art mural painted by Lana’i’s own middle and high schoolers under the guidance of community arts non-profit Urban 808, John Prime, Michelle Fujie and Simon Seisho Tajiri, the Lanai Commnity Foundation and Lanai Changes.  The mural depicts a celebration of Lana’i’s living environment, culture, and history.  These are the next generations of alumni, of community leaders and they have shown their pride and aloha for Lana’i in this distinctive mural.  Kulia i ka nu’u!

A Kokua Request to All LACA Members 
for the Lanai Academy of Performing Arts

By Alberta Morita De Jetley

As you may know, the State of Hawaii’s Department of Education (DOE) uses a weighted student formula to determine how much funding each school receives.  Small schools, especially K-12 schools in Hana and Lanai are always short of funding based on our student count to provide the teachers/custodians/administration the monetary help needed which results in the principals always scrambling to figure out how to manage what little money it receives.

We have been fortunate that Pulama Lanai, the company that runs Lanai for landowner Larry Ellison has given the school $340,000 this school year.  However, it is really the State’s responsibility to provide our school with the money needed for our students and teachers.

For example of how Pulama Lanai’s funding has helped this school year.  The Lanai High & Elementary School (LES) hired a teacher, Matt Glickstein, whose salary is totally funded by Pulama Lanai.  Matt teaches music to our students in all grade levels, working with about 300 students.  Also, he is the director of the Lanai Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA), an organization he started more than two years ago to produce performances by the LHES students.

To date, his performing students have done three plays, with the last being Annie, Jr.  One of the LHES classes in the past three years, also performed for the Dali Lama’s visit last year.  All in all, Matt is an exceptionally gifted teacher who has been able to draw out the very best in each child as witnessed in their outstanding performances.  When he first started working at the school, Matt was an Educational Assistant to our Special Education students. 

We have been told that Matt’s position will no longer be funded for the next school year.  LHES Principal Elton Kinoshita informed a group of concerned community residents that he can offer Matt Glickstein a part-time teacher’s position for the next year and continue his musical studies and activities with the students.

Thus, we are organizing a larger group to include other Lanaians to kokua and to raise the rest of the funds to keep Matt at a full-time salary.  We worked with Principal Kinoshita on that salary range.  Our target goal is $26,000 to augment Matt’s part-tme salary for a total of $40,000 for the next school year.

Presently, Matt’s wife, Kerri, is the school’s band teacher.  They are expecting their first child in June.  At this time, Kerri would like to be able to take a year’s family leave to stay home with their baby.  Both Kerri and Matt are an integral part of LHES and our community in their dedication to offer music opportunities to all of the students.  Without a full-time salary for Matt, we may lose both of them which would be a terrible loss to the school and community.

The board of directors for Tri-Isle Resource, Conservation, and Development Council is the receiving fiscal sponsor to help keep Matt Glickstein at LHES.  Please donate any amount to this effort to help LHES keep Matt Glickstein at a full-time salary for the next year.  The Tri-Isle Resource, Conservation, and Development Council, is a fully staffed non-profit organization which manages more than $10 million in grant monies from federal, state and county sources and private donors, for small organizations in Maui County with a few clients from Kauai and the Big Island. 

As a director on the Tri-Isle council, I am personally pledging $100 to kokua and I hope other LACA members will match my donation.  Please make your check payable to:  Tri-Isle RC&D and in the memo section of your checks, write it is for the Lanai Academy of Performing Arts or to the LAPA.  Please mail to P. O. Box 630601, Lanai City, HI 96763.

With aloha from Lanai, an alumni and concerned resident, Alberta Morita De Jetley

Disclaimer: This is a private request and LACA in no way obligates itself or its members.

20TH ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2015

by Coochie Cayan, 2015 LACA/Vegas Chairperson

Aloha LACA members!!!  Some quick facts for the 20th Lanai Connection in Vegas this year.  Due to the early printing of this newsletter, some information is not available.  It will be posted on our website as soon as details are confirmed.  Or you may contact the LACA board of directors via the on-line newsletter or write to us at P.O. Box 515, Pearl City, HI 96782.

SLOT  TOURNEY will be organized and coordinated by an alumni class who have experience in this activity.  Details will be forthcoming on-line and in the August newsletter for interested folks.

GOLF  TOURNEY will be organized and coordinated by alumni golfers who have experience in this activity.  Details will be forthcoming on-line and in the August newsletter for interested folks.

SATURDAY LUNCHEON PROGRAM has open microphone time for any alumni who wants to share their musical talent, their witty humor and or their best memories of Lana’i High and growing up “small kid time” on Lana’i.  No hilahila .  Come and share your mana’o.

NAME TAGS may be picked up the day before in the LACA Hospitality Room hosted by LACA Director Susanne Damian at the California Hotel.  More details in the next newsletter to remind you all.

PICTURE TAKING will commence after the luncheon buffet on Saturday, September 26, 2015 in the Ohana Room.  One huge group picture is usually done for the event.  Also, you can arrange a group picture with your classmates or family at the event with the photographer.  A small fee is charged for photographs.

Have a burning question?  Want to have some open mic time at the luncheon?  You can email Coochie Tanodra Cayan at ccayan@hotmail.com or write the LACA Board of Directors at P.O. Box 515, Pearl City, HI 96782.