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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

PIAA needs funds to stay afloat

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Last month at Sheraton Waikīkī and in November at the Honolulu Design Center, dozens of Hawai'i high school seniors signed national letters of intent to accept athletic scholarship offers from colleges across the country.

Many were assisted by the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that helps local athletes and their families attract those scholarship offers.

But according to PIAA director Doris Sullivan, unless the organization receives major financial help over the next few months, "we won't make it to Letter of Intent Day next year."

"We've gotten to the (situation) where we have so little funds left, at this point, no, we won't have it (a signing day ceremony)," Sullivan said.

Sullivan said she spent $2,000 out of her own pocket to keep PIAA running in 2009, and has spent "double or triple that" in years past.

"I just can't afford to do that anymore," Sullivan said.

Sullivan said PIAA has assisted in securing millions of dollars in academic and athletic scholarships, financial aid and grants to more than 900 Hawai'i and American Samoa student athletes since its inception in 2001, while charging a one-time membership fee of $60 per student.

"Without funding, PIAA will discontinue its SAT and financial aid workshops, which we subsidize for athletes and non-athletes alike, and can run us about $10,000 annually," Sullivan said.

A major fundraiser the Howard K. Oda/PIAA Benefit Golf Tournament will be held at noon May 11 at Waikele Country Club. The tournament will include a three-man scramble format, $10,000 and $5,000 hole-in-one contests, and awards banquet with prizes, raffle and silent auction.

"We still need sponsors (cash and/or prizes)," Sullivan said, "and we need participants."

For more information, go to www.pacificathleticalliance.com or call Sullivan at 261-5000.


A fast-pitch softball umpires training clinic has been scheduled for 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. March 21 at Mānana Elementary School in Pearl City.

The clinic is for all interested potential O'ahu Interscholastic Association, Interscholastic League of Honolulu and recreational league umpires. No prior experience is necessary.

For more information, contact Walter Yamatsuka at 295-4707 or Warren Okinaka at 927-1360.