Download the full PDF of the April 2021 Newsletter by clicking here. (2021 LACA Las Vegas Luncheon sign-up form is included on the third page of the newsletter.)

The Lana’i Connection is published twice a year to inform members of the purposes of the Lana’i Alumni and Community Association (LACA).

Articles and photos may be submitted by no later than a month prior to publication via email to info@lanaiconnection.com  or via mail at LACA, P.O. Box 814, Pearl City, Hawaii  96782.  (NOTE: Our PO Box has changed!) We reserve the right to edit and or accept any article before publication.

Editor:                Coochie Tanodra Cayan

Copyreader:       Monica Cockett

Designer/Webmaster:   Donna Shiroma Nakasue

LACA MEMBERSHIP is only $10.00 for your lifetime.  Membership is open to all alumni, residents and community supporters.  Email for more info and how to apply for membership info@lanaiconnection.com or go to website lanaiconnection.com/blog.

The LACA Scholarship Fund are sent by the board of directors to Lanai High School for the yearly awards.  All donations at this time to the LACA are not tax deductible.  The LACA is working towards a non-profit status to assure your donations may be tax deductible in the future.  LACA scholarships are awarded at the annual LHES Awards Assembly in May by board representatives.  Your checks should indicate it is for the LHES scholarship fund.  Mahalo nui loa for your consideration!

HOW TO CONTACT LACA BOARD OF DIRECTORS:  You may write to the LACA at P.O.Box 814, Pearl City, HI  96782 or via email at info@lanaiconnection.com


Co-chairman:  Monica Cockett and Coochie Tanodra Cayan

Treasurer:       Ruth Nakasone

Secretary:       Coochie Cayan

Directors:      Marge Asato, Susanne Damian, Marilyn Fernandez, Norante Fernandez, Bruno Oroyan, Linda Degamo (Lana’i), Suzanna Kincaid (Lana’i), Bill Ruidas (Maui Connection).

Letter to LACA members

Aloha kakou!

We hope this update finds you all in good health and spirit amidst the health and safety rules during this Covid19 pandemic.  Please keep safe with your masks on, wash your hands often, and keep your 6’ distance when in public areas. Get your vaccinations to make travel easier for you, too.

As you may know, all events including the 2020 LACA Vegas Annual Scholarship Luncheon was canceled at the California Hotel due to the Corvid19 epidemic. We are happy to announce that there will be a 2021 LACA Vegas Scholarship Luncheon on September 25th at the California Hotel. We look forward to seeing you all at the 2021 LACA Vegas scholarship luncheon. Download the registration form to sign-up.

Due to the lack of the scholarship luncheon fundraiser in 2020, the LACA scholarship fund is sorely depleted.  The amount of the scholarships has varied yearly from $500 to $1,500 each depending on the success of the annual scholarship luncheon.  The awards this year will be funded with two significant donations from Maisie Nagishi and Sue Damian.  Mahalo to both for their timely donations!.

May we ask all members to consider making a donation in any amount to the LACA Scholarship Fund to keep the annual awards funded?  Any amount is greatly appreciated. Please send your checks to the Lanai Alumni & Community Association, Attn: LACA Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 814, Pearl City, Hawaii 96782.  Note this is a NEW post office box number.

The last scholarship luncheon in 2019 was a full house of 100 alumni, friends and family from the islands to the far reaches of the East Coast.  It was wonderful for many first-time attendees to mingle with classmates and fellow Lanaians.  Memories of Lana’i in his childhood was shared by Clayton Oyama, Class of 69 with many folks giggling or smiling at a long-ago memory.  The Silent Auction sold out handmade Hawaiian print quilts, Kona coffee, and other island goodies.  One unnamed attendee bid and got all the Spam!!! The table decorations included a handcrafted crochet octopus embracing a fresh pineapple and mementos at each place setting.  The Class of 56 and the Class of 69 were present to celebrate their class reunions, too.  It was also good to see many old-timers in attendance and enjoying the company of old and new friends.  Music was provided with the Kevin Brown Trio of Maui, all island-born musicians.  Some of you may know Kevin from his many gigs over the years at the Lana’i hotels.  And the Cal’s catering staff provided an onolicious buffet that had folks going up for seconds! 

A newsletter will be mailed out in late April with more updates.  In the meantime, make plans to attend the 2021 LACA Vegas Scholarship Luncheon on September 25, 2021.  See you there!

A hui hou, your LACA Board of Directors

Class of 2019 LACA Scholarship recipients

Two LACA Scholarships were awarded in 2019 to the following successful seniors:  

  • The Suzanne Damien Pascua Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 was awarded to Joel Marthin Nisperos.  Joel is the son of LHES Alumni Jose Dinong and his wife, Marites.  Joel was on the LHES Honor Roll for 12th grade, played Varsity Basketball and was active in community services.  Joel is presently attending Honolulu Community College on the island of O’ahu and majoring in Carpentry Technology.
  • The Thomas Roy Nunotani Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 was awarded to Jomel Etrata.  Jomel is currently attending the University of Hawaii – Maui Community College via the Lana’i Education Center.

IN MEMORIAM from 2020-2021

Naha ke kanaka, ka hale o ke aloha.
Broken is man, the house of love.
One is grieved by the death of a beloved.

(Olelo Noeau 2210)

Ron McOmber

Wade Tamashiro

Frances Pagay Doctolero

Frances “Dimples” Alboro

Myles Saruwatari

Fred Guillermo Camero, Sr.

Wallace John Hanog, Sr.

John Ornellas

Sheila Awakuni Eligado

Alfredo Bandalan

Ken Escolito

Stanley Oshima

Valentine “Pang” Tanodra

Pu’u pehe, sweetheart rock

“Pu’u Pehe, also known as Sweetheart Rock, is one of Lâna’i’s most recognisable landmarks. On the Southern coast of the island, between Hulopoe Bay and Manale Bay, stands this magnificent rock, steeped in Hawaiian legend.

Legend tells of two lovers, a beautiful Hawaiian maiden from Lahaina called Pehe and a young warrior from Lâna’i called Makakehau, who gained his name from the Hawaiian words maka, meaning eyes, and kehau, meaning mist. He was so taken by Pehe’s beauty that he would well up every time he saw her.

Makakehau took Pehe to Lâna’i as his wife and hid her in a sea cave at the base of Manele’s cliffs so that no other men could see her. One day Makakehau was out gathering supplies when the weather drastically changed and the raging surf began to pound on the side of the island. He rushed back to the cave but it was too late, Pehe had drowned by the surge of storm waves. Stricken with grief Makakehau gathered her in his arms and, with the help of the gods, he climbed the steep rock island. He buried Pehe in a tomb and then jumped off the 25 metre (80 feet) tall rock to his death.”

From Uncover Travel website© 2021 Uncover Travel. All rights reserved.