Aloha mai kākou (aloha to all of us),
As 2014 draws to a close, let me thank all of you for your generous support and effort to move the Pacific American Community Center forward. May Ke Akua’s blessings be with us all throughout the holiday seasons and into the New Year. Know that we are thankful for the guidance and wisdom He provides for us through our k?puna, community leaders, family and friends and all who are involved with capacity building across Moana Nui and the Pacific American community.
2014 saw many accomplishments and disappointments for us. As we worked on developing a Pacific Island Charter School in the Carson area, it became apparent that we needed to take a step back and start with an early education program instead; a pre-school environment that we hope to have in place by the fall of 2015. We are still collecting names of people who are interested in working on the school project that will one day provide employment for community educators.
Our accomplishments this year include the addition of the Pacific Island Community Council (PICC) into the PACCC ‘ohana as the Cultural Heritage Committee. The Council is a collaboration of Pacific Island cultural practitioners from Guam, Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, Cook Island, Marshall Islands, New Zealand and Fiji whose mission is to promote and perpetuate the cultures of Pacific Island peoples.
In March we hosted our first annual “O Mai Fa`atasi” that took place at the Ken Nakaoka Center in the city of Gardena. Performing groups from PICC entertained in traditional attire, and served island dishes indigenous to their ‘aina. This year the event is scheduled to be held on March 28th; the name of the event has been changed to “Afio Mai Fa`atasi” (the coming together of all people) at the request of our Samoan community leaders. Monies raised at the event will go towards enhancing the cultural programs of PACCC; we invite everyone to join us.
Planning is underway for a PACCC Gala Event in November 2015 in the city of Torrance and the work continues on the production of the “Hawaii Sons of the Civil War” documentary of which PACCC is the fiscal sponsor. Sadly, the Pacific Islander Heritage Night at Dodger Stadium was not a profitable venture for us this year; we will reassess this program for upcoming years.
The 2009 tsunami that devastated the Samoan Islands and Tonga offered an opportunity for PACCC to engage directly with our families back home. PACCC now sponsors a scholarship through the One Global Family Foundation supporting educational and clothing expenses for a child from Upolu who survived the tsunami but lost his/her parents in the devastation. This scholarship will continue through college if the student continues to meet educational benchmarks.
We invite everyone to visit our booths at community events like the ho’olaule’a in the city of Beaumont and at Alondra Park. We also host a booth at the annual Heritage of Aloha festival along with our Cultural Heritage Committee. Come by and talk story. We welcome any suggestions for improvement going forward and all volunteers interested in helping us achieve our goals; all proceeds from the events go toward realizing a community center that will one day be the hub of all activity and events hosted by community organizations that we all support.
Ke Akua Pu
Lono Kollars, President
Pacific American Community Cultural Center