West Side Residents Support Legal Aid Fundraiser


Media Contact: Maile Shimabukuro, Esq.
Phone: 808-696-6322 ext. 4# or 808-349-3075
Email: mashima@lashaw.org
Fax: 808-696-5809


Since 1950, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii has been an important part of the community in Hawaii, providing free legal services to low-income individuals and families. With 10 offices statewide and an office on each island, Legal Aid assisted more than 10,000 people in 2011 with their civil litigation issues.

In the spring of 2012, while facing severe potential funding losses, Legal Aid contemplated layoffs and branch office closures. “It was an extremely difficult time for Legal Aid,” said Nalani Fujimori Kaina, Legal Aid’s Executive Director. Legal Aid continues to diversify its funding and search for new fundraising opportunities. “The Justice Games is unique way for people to support Legal Aid by participating in a scavenger hunt and after-party. We hope to raise awareness and a sense of social responsibility in young professionals who participate in the Justice Games, through a fun and interactive networking event,” Director Kaina explained.

Legal Aid is hosting its inaugural Justice Games Fundraiser, a scavenger hunt for Hawaii’s young professionals in Downtown Honolulu. Individuals will learn more about the services Legal Aid provides and by participating will help ensure Legal Aid can continue to meet the needs of Hawaii’s low-income individuals and families.

Date: Friday, October 12, 2012, 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: M Nightclub, Restaurant Row
Cost: $500.00 per Scavenger Hunt Team (up to 5 members) includes participation in the race as well as tickets for after party Pau Hana event
– $40.00 for Pau Hana event only
Contact for Fundraiser: Elise von Dohlen, elvondo@lashaw.org, 808-527-8056
Twitter: @JusticeGames12

Several of Legal Aid’s former clients are supporting the fundraiser by sharing their stories, photos, and contact information with the media (see their stories below).


Legal Aid Helps Homeless Family Finally Get Benefits and Repay the State

Mikaele Keli, grandaughter Kalida Keli-Hoyohoy, and Jewelynn Keli*

Mikaele Keli and his wife and grandaughter were homeless and had waited nearly 2 years for his social security application to be approved when he came to Legal Aid for assistance. Mr. Keli had struggled with drug addication throughout his life, and was in and out of jail. Although he had worked as a tree-trimmer for several years, he injured his back on the job. Legal Aid successfully represented Mr. Keli, and he was awarded nearly $9,000 in retroactive benefits, and the federal government repaid the state for the welfare assistance he received. Now that the Kelis have income, they hope to finally get into a transitional shelter in Kalaeloa.

Legal Aid Helps Abused and Abandoned Mother and Child Get Favorable Divorce Settlement

Dollyann Guerrero*

Dollyann Guerrero was married to her physically abusive husband for nearly 3 decades. He frequently abandoned the family, eventually forcing Dollyann and her minor son to move into a homeless shelter. In 2011, Dollyann finally mustered the courage to contact Legal Aid for help with a divorce. Legal Aid filed a motion to set the case for trial, and was eventually able to help achieve a settlement. Legal Aid also filed an order so that Dollyann could get a portion of her ex-husband’s retirement. Around June 2012, Dollyann and her 9-year-old son could finally afford to move into public housing on the Windward side of O`ahu, and start a new, more stable life.

Legal Aid Reverses Welfare Termination for Family of Six

Renee Dalija with her daughter, Shawna Egami*

Renee Dalija is a married mother of 4 who has suffered from disabling depression and physical ailments for well over a decade. Her depression was triggered by a series of tragedies: her 4 month old baby died of SIDS; two uncles died; her premature son had to be put down shortly after birth; and her 6-year-old son is medically fragile. Unfortunately, DHS reduced Mrs. Dalija’s benefits after determining that she was no longer disabled. Fortunately, Legal Aid got DHS to reverse the adverse action, and also assisted her with obtaining SSI benefits shortly thereafter.

Legal Aid Helps Bed-Ridden Man Execute Power of Attorney & Advanced Healthcare Directive

William & Billielani Po`oloa*

William Po`oloa contacted Legal Aid through his hospice social worker because he was in need of a durable power of attorney (DPOA) and Advanced Healthcare Directive (AHCD). In addition, his social security benefits were reduced, and the state stopped paying for his Medicare premiums. Three Legal Aid staff members visited Mr. Po`oloa at his nursing home to notarize and witness the execution of his DPOA and AHCD. With the DPOA and AHCD in hand, Mrs. Po`oloa finally had the ability to handle her husband’s financial and medical affairs.

Legal Aid Saves Single Mother of Four from Homelessness

Danielle Nicolas and her son, Macky*

Danielle Nicolas and her four children were faced with an emergency: they were being evicted in four days and at risk of homelessness when she called Legal Aid. She lived in public housing, and fell behind on her rent after being sanctioned by the Department of Human Services (DHS). Legal Aid helped Ms. Nicolas appeal the sanction, and convinced the HI Public Housing Authority (HPHA) to delay the eviction. Fortunately, Legal Aid also convinced DHS to withdraw the sanction by demonstrating that Ms. Nicolas had good cause. Once DHS withdrew the sanction, HPHA also agreed to withdraw the eviction.


Media Contact:

Maile Shimabukuro, Esq., Phone: 808-696-6322 ext. 4# or 808-349-3075;
Fax: 808-696-5809; Email: mashima@lashaw.org

For more information about the event contact:

Elise von Dohlen at Ph 808-527-8056; Fax 808-527-8088; elvondo@lashaw.org
Twitter: @JusticeGames12

Legal Aid clients:

*Client phone numbers and photos available upon request; contact Maile Shimabukuro for further information, at 808-696-6322 ext. 4# or 808-349-3075;
Fax: 808-696-5809; Email: mashima@lashaw.org

Noise Advisory for Aug. 28, 2012

Hawaii Legislature’s Website Wins Online Democracy Award

Pacific Business News

The Hawaii Legislature’s website won the Online Democracy Award at the National Conference of State Legislatures conference earlier this month.

The website – www.capitol.hawaii.gov – was redesigned and upgraded last year.

The award is given each year to a legislature, legislative chamber or caucus website that makes democracy user-friendly.

“Through public input and the teamwork of our diligent staff, the Hawaii State Legislature’s website has become a more user-friendly, accessible portal for citizens of all ages wishing to participate in or learn more about the legislative process,” Senate President Shan Tsutsui said in a statement. “The website helps citizens throughout Hawaii to connect to information and policy issues that directly impact their lives and communities.”

Rell Sunn’s Menehune Surfing Championships 2012 – Menehune Triple Lei of Surfing “Lei Pakolu O Ka Nalu Menehune” – Nov. 23 & 24

Aloha,   ‘Hanahou’ouHou!!

The Rell Sunn Menehune Surfing Championships is back and will be held at Makaha Beach this November 23rd and 24th 2012.

Keiki’s ranging in ages 4 to 12 years old will participate in 3 different categories:  Bodyboarding, Shortboarding, and Longboarding.

37 years ago, the “Queen of Makaha” took it upon herself to develop a program for the youth living on the leeward side of O’ahu. Statistics from the area in relation to youth violence, gang activity, substance abuse were rampant among the youth aged 16 and under.

Knowing this Rell Sunn’s idea was to influence the kids earlier before they were infected and became part of the statistics.  Known as “Rell Sunn’s Menehune Surf Meet”, this event is focused on the keiki’s, to respect the environment and themselves.  This annual event became the foundation for many now pro surfers and executives who realized that they too can achieve and are now productive members of the community.  What began as a community activity to address youth at risk has blossomed into a state wide event where hundreds of children and their families participate every year.

Rell Sunn passed away in 1998, but the surf meet that benefited thousands of youth is still alive.  This year marks the 37th anniversary of Rell Sunn’s dream, and we are asking for your help in making this event a success.

Rell left behind a daughter (Jan) who, for the past 14 years, has been holding this event in her mother’s memory and she needs your help.  A Corporate donation or sponsorship would go a long way to help.  It is your involvement and charitable giving that allows us to continue on.   At this time, I’m asking for your support through Product, Promotional Items/discounts, and of course monetary donations are welcome.  We are a Non-Profit 501c3.  All donations are tax deductible.  If you have any questions, please call Jan Sunn-Carreira at the number listed below.

Mahalo Nui Loa for your Kokua,
Jan Sunn-Carreira
Cel: 949.795.8268
Email: jan@rellsunn.com
Address:  RSEF, 84-012 Makau St., Makaha, HI  96792

November 23 & 24th 2012

We are on our 37th Annual Rell Sunn Menehune Surf Contest out on the West Side at Makaha Beach.  We have about 250 children between 4-12 years old that compete in the event.

The purpose of this program is to educate Hawaii’s youth about sportsmanship, the environment and to combat juvenile delinquency. This contest has been a spring board for many professional surfers who have excelled in their lives and have in turn come back and ‘given’ back to the community.  We stress sportsmanship and environmental education to our keiki’s and everyone for it’s a subject that our foundation is very passionate about.

We also incorporated a new program with the John A. Burns School of Medicine University of Hawaii and provided free medical screenings, blood pressure, eye exams, and glucose screenings for all ages at this event.

August 2012 NMNB Report

Congratulations Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Softball All Stars!


As 2012 State Champions, the 2012 Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Little League softball team represented Hawai`i in the LLWS West Region Tournament that was held July 21-27 in San Bernadino, California.

Photo from the softball world series website.
Go to http://www.softballworldseries.com for many more photos of the team throughout the 2012 LL Softball World Series!

The team won the West Region Championship and moved on to the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon.

At the LL Softball World Series, the team achieved an outstanding 4-2 tournament record and placed 3rd overall by beating the Central team in Game 26 with a score of 6-2.

The players, coaches, manager & staff demonstrated excellence and dedication in achieving a winning record:
Kalyn Higa, Ciena Kauhi, Keani Nahinu, Kodi Benoza, Lena Kotrys, Dallas Pollard-Brownell, Cranci Kamaka, Mahina Piilani, Breisha Wagner, Lyndsey Hernandez, Nahali`aalohalana Faurot, Keelie Pak, Shannon Pascua-Stanton;
Manager Derek Higa and Coaches Vernon Stanton and Cranston Kamaka.

By the way the way the team played and carried themselves throughout the state and west region tournaments, they made the State of Hawai`i proud.