StarWish, a Lahaina-based non-profit organization founded by associates of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, recently awarded $16,000 in scholarships to 23 students to use toward college tuition. The StarWish Scholarship Fund was founded in 2004 by a group of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa associates to raise educational funds to support their children and grandchildren.
The ninth annual StarWish Scholarship recipients include Jinky Aguiran, Raquel Casio, Leigh Corpuz, April Joy Damo, Brittany Joan Damo, German Failano Jr., Alyssa Ferrer, Orlando Ferrer Jr., Daniel Galano, Leilani Cruz Garcia, Christian Guzman, Taylor Kowalski, Krystle Joy Lopez, Fredelyn Princess Misay, Bianca Nicolas, Quinten Pagan, Janah Pagatpatan, Aysha Nishibdyashi Rincon, Kristel Sabas, Jenica Salvador, Rozcel Santos, Brigette Tomas, and Dayna Yoshimura.
“At StarWish we say ‘for the ohana, by the ohana’,” said Nicha Attawut, StarWish president. “Our associates are very passionate and committed to raising this money to put back into Maui’s youth. We’ve even received donations from long-time guests of the resort that are committed to giving back to the associates who’ve made their vacations memorable over the years. We see the annual scholarship program as an investment in Maui’s youth and our future generations.”
StarWish raises funds through its annual Easter and July 4 rubber duck races, car washes, bake sales, silent auctions and by recycling bottles and cans through the HI-5 program. StarWish also undertakes a major community commitment each quarter, identifying projects in need of support and partnering with relevant community organizations to make it happen. Some of these projects include beach and highway cleanups and painting local schools.
A group of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa associates created StarWish primarily to provide scholarships for their families. However, some of the money raised is donated to community-minded organizations including the Visitor Industry Charity Walk, the Starwood Associate Relief Fund, as well as local schools.
Since its creation in 2004, the StarWish Scholarship Fund has distributed more than $111,000.
Photo of the Sheraton Maui: Bgabel/Wikimedia Commons