Kokua Award
The Festival's logo

The concept and the word 'Kokua' describes being eager to help wherever you can with no expectations of reward. Kokua is a concept of selflessness that has helped Hawaiian people keep their communities and relationships intact for centuries.

The Kokua Award recognizes Arizona residents whose helping spirit fosters better understanding of South Pacific Islanders through service to others. Many share culture through teaching the arts, education, community service, and more. All are inspiring examples.
Arizona Aloha Festival seeks nominations from individuals or organizations from communities across Arizona for candidates exemplifying the spirit of the award.

We can't possibly know of every possible candidate for this award. We depend upon you to tell us their stories.

How to nominate someone:
Please review the criteria in the Nomination Packet and complete the information. Tell us their story.

When do we take nominations? Nominations are taken year-round and reviewed in December for the next Festival. Send yours now!
2020 Kokua Awardee:
Bunny Halverson
Bunny Halvorson picture
Send the information to us in one of two ways:
  Mail the completed form to:
Arizona Aloha Festivals, Inc.
Kokua Award
PO Box 24237
Tempe, AZ 85285
Email to:
Picture of the Award
The award is a calabash (bowl) carved of wood. Calabashes were used for communal serving bowls in old Hawai'i.

It represents the spirit of community created from sharing food with others from the same bowl.

Past Kokua Awardees
2020 - Bunny Halvorson (Coming soon)
2019 - Marguerite Tafuna (Coming soon)
2018 - Lizzie Renaud (Coming soon)
2017 - Rudy Dolfo (Coming soon)
2016 - Herman Lavatai (Coming soon)
2015 - Deanna Arroyo
2014 - Lacretia Bacon (Coming soon)
2013 - Sione Fa
2011 - Claudia Kaercher
2010 - Kehau Chrisman
2009 - Lisamarie Leina'ala-Pua'ala Ibarra
2008 - Kaimikahu Mathews-Valdez
Past Kokua Awardees (cont'd)
2007 - Dana "Moon" Kahele
2006 - Edwin Tampos, Hazel Soares, Lono Navarro
2005 - Laupanana Iaululoa
2004 - Ray Tso
2003 - Sione Toetuu Hola
2002 - Benny Stillman
2001 - Uncle Ernie Menehune
2000 - Clayre Banks Jones
1999 - Taua Papalii
1998 - Joseph L. Leuck
1997 - Carlton Stant

(we are adding information on past awardees as we go through our archives)
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