There’s a new omnipresent judge watching over Kihei, and it’s not God or Santa Claus. A mysterious organization runs the unheard of Kihei Award Program, which gave the Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation (HARF) the 2015 Best of Kihei Award in the Non-Profit category. The random award notification shocked Dawn Hall, the owner of HARF.
“We didn’t know anything about it, never heard of it,” Hall said when asked about the award. “We almost thought it was a joke until I got another email.”
The official Kihei Award Program biography (included in the press release that announced the HARF award) could go within the flap jacket of a classic dystopian novel. The award delegators claim to focus on “quality, not quantity” and base their winners on research gathered from the Kihei Award Program itself and unspecified “third parties.” The organization’s jab against voting polls almost sounds like it’s taking a stance against the democracy of our own Best of Maui issue.
While the award-selection process sounds more like a clandestine operation from the CIA, the cryptic reputation of the organization doesn’t diminish the legitimacy of HARF’s award. The rescue organization picks up the work no one else wants—literally. HARF saves dogs about to experience the sting of a euthanization needle and treats both their medical and behavior problems, increasing the chances for potential owners to fall in love with them. All of this is done without even a permanent location; while a No Kill shelter is in the blueprints, all the dogs stay with volunteer foster parents when not at adoption events.
It makes sense that the Kihei Award Program deemed HARF a non-profit winner. The mobility of the animal rescue organization means that its efforts aren’t as well known compared to that of Maui Humane Society’s. The Kihei Award Program is apparently set on bringing these smaller groups into the South’s spotlight:
“The Kihei Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Kihei area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. The Kihei Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.”
My attempt to send an email to the address provided with the award press release resulted in Google Mail informing me that the recipient address was rejected.
Photo: Soccersmp/Wikimedia Commons