The Rotary Club of Kahului recently held a fundraising event benefiting the Michael H. Lyons II Memorial Scholarship Fund and the prestigious 2011 Mike Lyons Palaka Award ceremony and luncheon at The King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu.
The 2011 recipient of the Palaka Award was Helen Nielsen of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust; Rob Shelton of the Lahainaluna High School Foundation.
The Mike Lyons Palaka Award, created to honor Lyons’ commitment to community, is presented for outstanding long-term service to a leader of one of Maui’s nonprofit organization.
“The Palaka Award is the ultimate accolade,” said Leslie Mullens, Rotary Club of Kahului president. “It acknowledges consistent and meaningful hands-on philanthropy while honoring Mike Lyons’ legacy as one of Maui’s most inspiring leaders.”
Throughout his career, Lyons served on the boards of numerous community groups and was instrumental in founding several nonprofit organizations on the island. Among his many roles, he served as founder and chairman of the Maui Economic Development Board; governor of District 5000 (Hawai’i) Rotary International; president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce, Kahului Rotary Club and the J. Walter Cameron Center; chairman of Maui United Way; and treasurer and board member of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
“Lyons was the epitome of a Rotarian and a prominent, tireless Maui figure,” added Mullens.
Lyons passed away on March 26, 2004, leaving a legacy that continues to impact and inspire to this day. The award is named for his signature palaka shirts.
The innovative golf ball drop fundraiser was held just prior to the luncheon. Participants were asked to make a cash donation to acquire one or more numbered golf balls, which were then dropped from a helicopter 250 feet above a target on the King Kamehameha Golf Club driving range. Balls landing closest to the target were awarded prizes, including a Napa Valley Getaway and a Grand Wailea Hotel Staycation package.
Net proceeds from the golf ball drop directly fund Rotary Club of Kahului’s Michael H. Lyons II Scholarship program, which provides college scholarships for exceptional Maui youth.