2016 marks Easter Seals Hawaii 70th Anniversary of providing programs and services to generations of individuals and families in Hawaii who live with disabilities or special needs.
In honor of this momentous anniversary, April has been designated Easter Seals Hawaii Awareness Month via Proclamations sponsored by Mayor’s from Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island, and Kauai on behalf of their respective counties.
Commemorating its 70th anniversary this year, we mark this special anniversary with a one hour prime time television special airing April 24 at 6:30p- 7:30p on KFVE channel 5. In this documentary film directed by award-winning filmmaker, Edgy Lee, the diversity of families and the vast array of needs served by Easter Seals Hawaii over the past 70 years, is revealed. Historical highlights and personal reflections span decades. They include stories from community supporters like Don Robbs, Danny Kaleikini, Ed Sultan and others. Whether one is familiar with Easter Seals Hawaii services or new to learning about Autism Spectrum Disorder, Customized Employment (where businesses hire Easter Seals Hawaii clients) or Youth Enrichment services that empower young people through skill development to maximize their independence as they embark upon adulthood and build their self esteem – this is a biopic about a great legacy of a community service organization in Hawaii. Most compelling are the real-world glimpses into the daily lives of children and their families, Hawaii families who found themselves at childbirth, unexpectedly stepping into the world of special needs.
Narrated by Danny Kaleikini, the 70th Anniversary TV Special “Easter Seals Hawaii: Serving Hawaii’s Families for 70 Years,” the documentary film takes you into a unique and different world, a reality that redefines “ohana” to include not only family members and close friends, but dedicated staff and the many volunteers whose every day jobs are to provide life-enhancing services to people with disabilities and special needs so they may achieve independent fulfilling lives.
“Our programs and services at Easter Seals Hawaii are as important and necessary today as ever, and our dedicated staff, like their predecessors, work hard every day to empower people with disabilities and special needs to achieve their goals and live independent fulfilling lives,” said Ron Brandvold, CEO of Easter Seals Hawaii. “Through a 70th anniversary TV Special and a Gala dinner event, we look forward to honoring many individuals who have helped shape our organization and to sharing our vision for providing disability services well into the future.” Ron Brandvold, President and CEO.
WHAT: “Easter Seals Hawaii: Serving Hawaii’s Families for 70 Years”
WHEN: Sunday, April 24, 2016; 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Aired on KFVE, Channel 5, (UHF Digital Channel 22)
About Easter Seals Hawaii
Offering 7 programs that offer a range of services on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lāna‘i and Hawai‘i Island, for 70 years, the organization has changed the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, by providing resources and support to entire families.
Easter Seals Hawaii is the state’s largest provider of Early Intervention services for infants and toddlers and is one of the state’s largest providers of Medicaid Waiver services for adults with disabilities.
As the mission grew to include services for adults with disabilities, the organization became known as Easter Seals Hawaii, which now has 14 facilities and serves more than 2,000 individuals with disabilities every year across the Hawaiian Islands.
Easter Seals Hawaii’s programs are accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), assurance that the organization meets nationally accepted standards. For more information, visit http://www.eastersealshawaii.org.
History of Easter Seals Hawaii
In 1946, Edward and Olga Sultan founded the Sultan Foundation Nursery School, and with support from a group of business leaders and parents committed to helping children with disabilities, their vision expanded and The Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children was founded. Charter members included Dorothy Devereux, Olga Sultan, Governor John Burns, Hilo Hattie, and Judge Chuck Mau. As the mission grew to include services for adults with disabilities, the organization became known as Easter Seals Hawaii, which now has 14 facilities and serves more than 2,000 individuals with disabilities every year across the Hawaiian Islands.
In the early days, a star-studded group of local entertainers, including Al Harrington and Danny Kaleikini, raised funds and awareness through the Easter Seals Hawaii Telethon, which also featured national stars like Arthur Godfrey, Ethel Merman, Henry Winkler and others who helped launch the early events in Hawaii. Hosted by sports radio and TV icon, Don Robbs. Over its 70-year history, Easter Seals Hawaii has continued to raise funds by also hosting, “Taste of Honolulu” on the grounds of Honolulu Hale, a popular holiday event known as “The Gingerbread Festival,” and an annual Golf Classic, which will be held this year on September 23 at the Hawaii Prince Golf Club.
The Easter Seals Hawaii Anniversary Gala will be held on April 29, 2016 at the Hawaii State Art Museum with master chefs from