Inaugural Recipient Of HASIR Charitable Fund: Kupu Hawaii

Posted by Island Sotheby's Realty on Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 at 10:37am


Photo: John Leong (left), Ryan MacLaughlin (right)

The Hawaii Affiliates of Sotheby’s International Realty (HASIR) Charitable Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) made a presentation to the fund’s premier grant recipient, Kupu Hawaii, on Wednesday March 16th at the new flagship office of LIST Sotheby’s International Realty, 677 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 111 in Honolulu. 

Ryan MacLaughlin of Island Sotheby's International Realty presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to John Leong, CEO of Kupu. In his opening remarks, Ryan introduced representatives of HASIR, Dodie MacArthur of MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty on the Big Island, Debra Blachowiak of Sleeping Giant Sotheby’s International Realty on Kauai and Myra Brandt of LIST Sotheby’s International Realty on Oahu.

Photo (left to right) Dodie MacArthur, Ryan MacLaughlin, Debra Blachowiak, Myra Brandt

“My father [Paul MacLaughlin, Principal Broker, Island Sotheby's International Realty] started the HASIR fund in 2014 to give our agents and clients the opportunity to support the future of our Islands,” said Ryan. He continued, “It’s all about charity and being proactive.” 

Ryan introduced John Leong, CEO of Kupu, who expressed his appreciation to Kevin Rapp of Hawaii Community Foundation for selecting Kupu as this year’s beneficiary of the HASIR fund. John said,

“Being the first recipient of this fund is significant and meaningful for all of us. We are deeply touched by your generosity. This gift will go towards engaging our young adults in the areas of conservation, green jobs and skill development and building the next generation for leadership.”

John shared a testimonial of a former Kupu member:

“Since my wonderful experience with Kupu, I have finished my undergraduate degree at ASU and am now pursuing a Masters of Social Entrepreneurship at HULT in San Francisco. My passion and goals now have me in the early stages of creating a social urban agriculture start-up here in San Francisco. A key component is to empower inexperienced and underserved youth in marginalized communities around the Bay Area. I want our social business to be just as transformational for the individuals and communities we seek to serve as it was for me during my time with Kupu.”

A former Kupu volunteer and real estate agent at LIST Sotheby’s International Realty, Christina Laney, talked about her experience at Kupu as a team leader for youth. She said,

“You really have an impact on them at a pivotal point in their young lives. I’m proud to say I was a part of this program and excited to see HASIR contributing to such a great and needed cause for Hawaii, our youth and our future.”

Established in 2009 as a 501(c)(3), Kupu was developed in response to the growing needs of Hawaii’s communities to train the next generation in natural resource management, renewable energy, energy conservation and other green job skill sets. Kupu specializes in coordinating service learning, internship and fellowship opportunities for youth and young adults in the natural resource management and sustainability industries. Kupu in Hawaiian means to “sprout, grow, germinate or increase.”

Thus far, Kupu has influenced the lives of more than 2,000 alumni. Each year, Kupu serves approximately 300 youth and young adults throughout Hawaii, including college and high school students, recent graduates and at-risk youth who impact more than 80 partner environmental conservation and sustainability agencies. Last year, Kupu also engaged about 6,000 volunteers and had an overall economic impact of over $14 million.

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The mission of the HASIR fund at HCF is to provide grants that invest in Hawaii’s future through programs that:

  • PROTECT – our natural environment
  • NURTURE – the education of future generations
  • PRESERVE – Hawaii’s unique cultural legacy

About The Fund

Established in 2014, the Hawaii Affiliates of Sotheby’s International Realty Charitable Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation serves as a collective effort across four Hawaii-based offices that contributes to the positive future of the Islands through impactful philanthropy. Grant-making is professionally managed and advised by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

The HASIR Fund at HCF was established by: Island Sotheby's International Realty, List Sotheby's International Realty, MacArthur Sotheby's International Realty and Sleeping Giant Sotheby's International Realty.

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