Kamehameha Alumni Association Seeks Help for Statue Repair
Eighteen years after helping to bring the King Kamehameha statue to Hilo, the Kamehameha Schools East Hawai’i Alumni Association, Mamalahoa Chapter is seeking to restore the statue to its original splendor after a vandal forcibly removed the top portion of the statue’s spear.
The incident, which happened on Labor Day weekend, gained statewide and national attention.
According to the Hawai’i Police Department, the top portion of the spear was forcibly ripped off between Sept. 5-6. On Sept. 8, the spear was recovered by HPD in an overgrowth behind the statue, located at Wailoa State Park.
Skylark Rossetti, who is leading the alumni association’s efforts to restore the statue, told Big Island Now that necessary repairs include fixing the spear and two adjacent signs, as well as adding light fixtures and a new night light that will illuminate the statue.
“We are hoping to get the spear back in its place by October, although the other repairs will take some extra time” Rossetti said.
After scratching it out on paper and factoring in generous donations of time and labor, Rossetti said the costs of repairing the statue are between $10,000 and $15,000.
“That kind of money is not something that people have in their back pocket at the alumni association, so we are going to do a series of fundraising efforts to try and cover the costs of fixing the statue up to its glory,” Rossetti said, noting that details on fundraising events are being worked out.
Fundraising isn’t the only thing that the association is leaning on to help with the repair costs. Donations of resources will also help the association complete the repairs.
“Wes Hammond, a very kind gentleman, offered to help make us a new spear. Once it was found, he said he knew how to fix it and is going to volunteer his time,” Rossetti said.
In addition, Rossetti noted that Yamada & Sons, whose family plays a role in the alumni association and was part of the group that brought the statue to Hawai’i, is also donating resources to complete the project. They will be donating a cherry picker to get to the top of the statue to remove the bottom portion of the spear.
Rossetti believes that by next year’s lei draping ceremony at the statue, scheduled for June 10, 2016, all repairs and installations should be in place.
The Kamehameha Schools East Hawai’i Alumni Association, Mamalahoa Chapter, is a 501-(c)(3) non-profit organization that meets to discuss scholarship funding for Kamehameha Schools graduates. Maintenance of the King Kamehameha Statue falls under the group’s responsibilities.
On Friday, a 31-year-old former Oahu man, William Roy Carroll III was charged in connection to the stolen portion of the spear. He was charged with second-degree theft, third-degree theft, and second-degree criminal property damage.
Carroll made his initial court appearance in Hilo on Monday.
Those interested in assisting the Kamehameha Schools East Hawai’i Alumni Association, Mamalahoa Chapter, can send donations to the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association, East Hawai’i Region, Mamalahoe Chapter, P.O. Box 5845, Hilo, HI 96720.