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In the Community
Here at the Sheraton Waikiki we believe our responsibilities reach far beyond our property line. We take great pride in caring for our extended ‘ohana (family). In Hawai‘i there is a popular saying “malama ‘aina” which means literally “to care for the land.” We believe caring for the land includes caring for the people who inhabit the land. We strive to make a difference in our community by supporting, sponsoring and hosting various events and programs throughout the year. Our goal is to continue to be leaders in our community as well as in our industry. We believe that life is better when shared, so we would like to share with you some of our recent success stories...
Sheraton Waikiki Swap Meet Fundraiser
Sheraton Waikiki will be hosting its first Sheraton Waikiki Swap Meet fundraiser on Tuesday, May 10 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the resort’s second floor Maui and Molokai Ballrooms. Proceeds from the swap meet will go to benefit this year’s annual Oahu Visitors Industry Charity Walk. This one-day only event will be open to the public through invitation and all Starwood Hotels & Resorts staff. The fundraiser will feature items for sale including artwork, furniture, dishware, office supplies, and clothing at prices ranging from $1 to $50. “Our dedicated staff has collected a wide range of goodies from various departments that had a surplus of used and new supplies. As the saying goes, ‘one person’s junk is another’s treasure,’” said General Manager Kelly Sanders.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Waikiki named local non-profit organization Hawaii Literacy the beneficiary literacy initiative "Being a Literacy Builder."
More than 20,400 books contributed by Starwood employees have been given to Hawaii Literacy at Starwood's annual National Sales "Reach the Peak" Conference on Friday.
Starwood Hotels president of North America Division Denise Coll made the donation to Hawaii Literacy's executive director Suzanne Skjold and president of Hawaii Literacy's Board of Directors R. Scott Simon.
Starwood Waikiki's staff and 600 out-of-state Starwood employees have all contributed several new and used children's books.
"I am just amazed at the response and how we've been able to surpass our initial goal of collecting 11,000 books," said general manager Kelly Sanders of Sheraton Waikiki. "The amount of support from our local employees and staff visiting from other states has been tremendous."
Skjold said, "Hawaii Literacy annually collects an average of 16,000 books so this is the single biggest donation our organization has ever received. We hope to continue this amazing partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and its employees."
Starwood's "Being a Literacy Builder" contribution will go to help Hawaii Literacy increase the Family Literacy Libraries and Bookmobile book collection, provide free books for low-income children, and support high-quality literacy programs for under-educated children and low-income families.
SHERATON WAIKIKI PARTNERS WITH HAWAII ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS TO HOST 13 LOCAL SCHOOLS KICKING OFF “GROW HAWAII” PILOT PROGRAM
HAWAII, O’AHU, WAIKIKI BEACH – November 8, 2010 – Sheraton Waikiki has partnered with Hawaii Association of Independent Schools to share stories of success in assisting local farmers to become safe food certified and offer useful techniques to achieve sustainable lifestyles in various break-out sessions. The resort will host 13 public and private charter schools across Hawaii to attend “Grow Hawaii” on Monday, November 8 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Sheraton Waikiki’s ballrooms. The event will kick-off a three year pilot program in Hawaii schools to incorporate local produce in school cafeteria menus.
The day will include a variety of interactive workshops including pizza making using fresh herbs, growing sustainable school gardens, and farm-to-table cooking demonstrations. As a part of teaching school and children how to incorporate local produce, executive chefs from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii will team up with school chefs and students to create unique “seed-to-plate” dishes featuring a secret ingredient inspired by the culinary gardens of Waimea Middle School. The “Chef’s Challenge” judging panel will consist of public and private sector leaders, government policy-makers, and local celebrity chefs who will select the most outstanding dishes. The winning teams will be announced at an award ceremony where guests will enjoy a farm-to-table “Pumpkin Paina” lunch prepared by Sheraton Waikiki’s Senior Executive Sous Chef Ryan Loo.
The Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii participating chefs include:
- Darren Demaya, executive chef, Kai Market (TIED THIRD PLACE)
- Colin Hazama, executive chef, The St. Regis Princeville Resort (FIRST PLACE)
- Rich Hinojosa, executive sous chef, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa (TIED THIRD PLACE)
- Eric Lelinsky, executive chef, Sheraton Keauhou Resort & Spa
- Miguel Magana, sous chef, The St. Regis Princeville Resort
- Jon Matsubara, executive chef, The Royal Hawaiian’s Azure Restaurant
- Francois Milliet, executive chef, Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas
- Matthew Naula, sous chef, Sheraton Waikiki RumFire (SECOND PLACE)
- James Simpliciano, chef, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
- Alexander Wolf, executive sous chef, Sheraton Waikiki Banquet Department
“Teaching our keiki how to live sustainably will greatly impact the future of our islands. We can set an example by supporting our local farmers which is now possible with H.B. 1471, and increasing awareness on the importance of sustainability,” said general manager Kelly Sanders. “Sheraton Waikiki currently purchases and incorporates 60 percent of certified local produce at Kai Market and catering menus thanks to H.B. 1471.”
In 2009, Sheraton Waikiki and Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, LP partnered with the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau to support H.B. 1471, which authorizes farmers to become food safety certified distributors to local businesses including restaurants, hotels and other hospitality venues. Enacted by the Legislature, the bill provides funding to develop programs supporting existing and new farmers. The support of safe food certification of local farms strengthens Hawaii’s economy and encourages agricultural cooperatives. This is the first initiative in which Hawaii’s tourism industry has stepped up to help another major industry, agriculture. Incorporating this bill using an abundance of certified home-grown produce will allow Sheraton Waikiki’s chefs to increase the amount of green products in catering menus while maintaining top-tier restaurant quality offerings for all dining venues within the resort.
By partnering with Grow Hawaii, Sheraton Waikiki will be able to share ideas with Hawaii’s community on lifelong “buy local, eat local” initiatives and engage students in exploration, experimentation and action-oriented, problem-based learning that will foster their interest in a more sustainable way of life.
Sheraton Waikiki’s Kai Market will host approximately 40 participating teenagers, their immediate family, and community partners to attend an award recognition ceremony for students who recently completed a four-week work and learning program on Saturday, October 30 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Project “tHInk!” is a pilot program providing positive exposure of youth facing adversities to essential learning environments and builds relationships with potential mentors. Kyo-ya Management Company, Ltd. Vice President Victor Kimura has teamed with Nalo Farms and Honolulu Police Community to pioneer this initiative designed for youth ages 11 to 17 on Oahu. Participants of the program attend schools including McKinley High School, Central Middle School, Aiea High School, Farrington High School, and Waianae High School.
The new program is designed to teach teens, who are selected for the program based on their “at high risk” past and financial setbacks, the basics of skills farming learned at Nalo Farms and educational business lessons taught by Kimura. These lessons in finance and business helped students to understand the logistics and skills that coincide with conducting a business. In addition to their daily economic lessons, each teen was mentored by Honolulu Police Community policing officers and Nalo Farm’s and Life 360 Program’s staff to help with the transformation. The mission of the Project “tHInk!” is to cultivate today’s youth to harvest tomorrow’s leaders.