Wahine sports launches $10 million campaign
By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer
In a stark, sweaty display of progress yesterday, the University of Hawai'i officially announced a $10 million endowment campaign for Wahine athletics in the clammy confines of Klum Gym, its former home.
The 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Rainbow Wahine this school year will launch the effort to pay for all 105 scholarships over the next decade. Wahine athletics started in 1972 with 20 athletes in volleyball and track and field. There are now nearly 200 athletes in 11 sports. The Wahine have won the school's only national championships four in volleyball and one in sailing.
A brochure created for the anniversary calls Wahine athletics "a legacy that we feel obliged to perpetuate." Momi Cazimero, chair of the celebration's steering committee, recalled sitting on the Klum floor to watch games while she was a regent, and characterized the campaign as a "promise of the future."
Kelvin Shoji, director of development for athletics, is in charge of realizing the $10 million goal. He was on vacation yesterday, but Marilyn Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano, UH's senior woman administrator, said the campaign is hoping to attract a major donor to complement charitable giving.
"We are confident that the community will strongly support our fund-raising efforts," Shoji said in a statement. "Wahine athletics has a loyal, statewide fan base that has grown steadily and consistently rallied around our teams."
Moniz stressed the importance of "developing a program so we can focus beyond gender ... where the focus is solely on excellence." She admitted $10 million would take time.
"It might take us 10 years," she said. "But that's OK. I already said when I retire I'm going to work on this scholarship endowment. If there's a legacy I leave, it will be this."
The schedule of events for the 30th Anniversary Celebration includes a "Back to Klum Gym" party for invited guests Saturday, Homecoming Alumnae Weekend (Nov. 8-11), National Girls & Women in Sports Day Clinic (Feb. 9), Prime Time Workshop for Women (Feb. 27) and the Rainbow Wahine Athletics Recognition Dinner (May 2).
The dinner, which will replace the individual sports banquets, will be a scholarship fund-raiser. Former Wahine swimmer Maureen O'Toole, an Olympic silver medalist in water polo, will be keynote speaker.