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HFD Donates Over $1K to America Cancer Society of Hawaiʻi Island

April 24, 2021, 8:30 AM HST
* Updated April 23, 6:44 PM
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The Hawaiʻi Fire Department made its yearly donation to the America Cancer Society of Hawaiʻi Island (ACSHI) on Friday, April 23, at its headquarters in Hilo.

Members of the department fundraised the donation of $1,400 by selling Breast Cancer awareness-themed duty shirts internally to show support for cancer patients and help to raise funds for the ACSHI cause. The initiative was spearheaded by Assistant Chief Darwin Okinaka, who has championed the yearly fundraiser since 2019.

Last year, the department raised just over $3,500 for ACSHI. The shirts were printed by Creative Arts Hawaiʻi and sold for an upcharge of $5 to fellow firefighters. All proceeds went to ACSHI. Okinaka also participated in a separate “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign event for ACSHI last year.

“As the son of a mother who passed away from cancer, I am honored to work with our department to raise money for cancer research nationally,” Okinaka said. “Our guys and gals are always willing to give, especially when it comes to efforts that are centered around saving lives. I work alongside amazing men and women that allow us to make the event a success year after year, and for that, I am very proud. We look forward to continuing this partnership with ACSHI and supporting the cause.”

Sarah Luchenbill, Development Manager for ACSHI, said they are humbled by the generosity of Okinaka and HFD.

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“Every donation, whether small or large, is a chance for us to make a difference, and because of the generosity of our firefighters, that is exactly what we’re doing – making a difference,” Luchenbill said.

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Mayor Mitch Roth said it’s amazing to see “aloha in action.”

“The work that the Hawaiʻi Fire Department and many other departments in our county put into giving back to community-led causes is truly remarkable, and I’m proud to be part of a team that puts service over self, day-after-day,” Roth said.

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