Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Sports Hall of Fame Photos Return to PKP

Big Island Sports Hall of Fame - 114 photos at PKP

   After more than two years and a cost of several thousand dollars all 114 photos belonging to inductees of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame have returned to grace the walls of the Prince Kuhio Plaza.

  The 144-square-foot wall space next to Macy’s Men Shop and across from IHOP is the new home for those inductees. Then on Saturday, May 22 at 10:30 am there will be a special dedication.

   “We’re hoping we can locate and notify all 114 of the inductees and their families to have them join us for this special dedication,” BISHF chair Jerry Chang said.

   The BISHF photos were part of the plaza for nearly eight years before mall management decided to sell the wall space in February 2008, leaving the Hall of Fame without a home.

  For over two years the photos and plaques honoring Big Island sports volunteers, which had a combined 4,000 years of community service, needed to be placed into storage.

  “We had to have some of the photos redone,” BISHF treasurer Ellsworth Fontes said.  “All the photos had to be remounted onto new 4’x8’ boards then mounted onto the plaza wall.”

  Fontes estimates that the refurbishing of the photos and boards cost the BISHF committee $3,500 and that the job still isn’t complete.

  “We had some volunteers, Wilfred and Wendell Miyazu and Dwayne Iwashita, help with the installation of the panel board, but we still need to buy some Plexiglas and have that installed over the photos on the bottom half of the wall to prevent tampering,” Fontes said.

   With the monthly cost to PKP for rental of wall space and the growing cost of installing and maintain the photos the BISHF board has needed to go out and solicit donations from major sponsors.

   Several prominent businessmen and companies have stepped forward to help with the cost.  Ken Fujiyama has donated $2,000 and Pat Aiona $1,000 along with the Big Island International Marathon $500 donation the BISHF was still short of their first year goal.

   “Fortunately KTA’s Barry Taniguchi has agreed to be the major sponsor and they will donate $5,000 per year to help maintain the Wall of Fame,” Chang said.

  The BISHF had entered into an agreement with Plaza management to rent the wall space, starting from this past January, for $260.41 per month and the rent along with the cost of maintaining the photos made it necessary for Chang and the board to find monetary sponsors.

   “For KTA we always believe in athletics as it teaches our youth teamwork,” KTA Executive Vice President Derek Kurisu said.

   “Every one of these men and women in the Hall of Fame has the values that our youth should learn and know,” Kurisu said.  “The inductees are all local athletes with local values and we should never forget those who built the foundations to our community.”

   After the dedication of the new wall on May 22 the BISHF will start accepting applications for its next class of inductees and has selected Derek Shigematsu to chair that committee.

  “We will be looking for those residents who have spent a minimum of 20 years as an athlete, coach or official in sports,” Shigematsu said.  “Preference will be given to those individuals that were amateurs or volunteers and they must have exhibited strong character and discipline in the sport for which they are nominated.”

   Nominations for the new class of inductees will be accepted until July 1 with the Installation Banquet scheduled for mid-August.  For more information call Shigematsu at 315-1400 or email waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

   “We’re also encouraging all those inductees or their surviving family members to provide us with contact information so that we can include them in all future events that we have,” Chang said. 

   “We also want to establish a historical data base and a web page so that we can collect and keep this information well into the future,” board member Wendell Kaehuaea said.  “We will begin the process of digitizing the photos and contact with inductees and their families are important for us to insure that all the information collected is accurate.”

   Hall of Fame inductees and/or their family members are encouraged to call 969-7400 or email waiakeabigdog@aol.com with their contact information.

   Donations may also be made to Big Island Sports Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 11211, Hilo, Hawaii 96721.

  The late Jack Matsui was the founder of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.

April 27, 2010 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment