In response to an article that appeared in The Maui News on September 27, 2015 ‘Pay for Play,’ the following information is being provided by the Board of Directors of the Mayor Arakawa Community Kokua Fund.
The mission of the Mayor Arakawa Community Kokua Fund (Fund) is to give aid to Maui County citizens and organizations. For individuals, the Fund provides assistance to those most in need and who are often unable to receive help from other sources. This often involves a medical emergency. The Fund also assists community organizations that have fallen short of their fundraising efforts and need additional assistance to reach their goal.
The Kokua Fund was founded in 2002 and was granted 501 ( c ) (3) nonprofit status by the IRS. The Fund’s Board of Directors are volunteers who see a need in giving back to the Maui County community. They recognize a need to help individuals who have fallen on hard times often through sudden illness, accidents, or a loss of a job.
While the Fund bears the name of the Mayor it is in no way associated with his political aspirations. In fact, this information is clearly stated on the Fund’s website as well as in any advertising materials that are used to solicit donations. Fund applicants are not asked any questions related to voting. The money raised is used only for the benefit of the citizens of Maui County. Attending a fundraising event does not provide any more access to the Mayor than attending any one of the multitude of community events that the Mayor attends on a weekly basis.
Further, while the Mayor did create the Fund he has not been a board member while serving as Mayor. Also, while serving as Mayor, Alan Arakawa has had no say, nor is he even made aware of who receives or does not receive assistance.
The Fund measures its success simply by the number of Maui County citizens and organizations that have been helped in their time of need. Over the last thirteen years this number has been in the hundreds. The Fund fulfills its mission each time the Board meets and provides much needed financial assistance to individuals and groups of our community.
Board of Directors of the Mayor Arakawa Community Kokua Fund