The HMSA Kaimana Awards and Scholarship program Saturday in Waikiki honored some of the state’s top high school student-athletes, including four from Maui County.
One of those honored at the Hawaii Prince Hotel is Charisse Manley, who recently graduated from Molokai High School. Manley and Cheyenne Pico of Hana High School both earned $3,000 scholarships plus another $2,000 for being distinguished scholars. Taylor Hori of Seabury Hall and Joni Lynne Sanchez Casio of King Kekaulike High School were the other two scholarship winners from Maui County.
But this was hardly the only scholarship award for Manley, who was a top wrestler in the 130-pound class. She also earned Axa Achievement Community Scholarship $2,000; the Diamond Resort Scholarships $1,000, Albert Y. Inaba Academic Scholarship $2,000; the Foodland’s Shop For Higher Education Scholarship $2,000 Friendly Market Center Math Scholarship $1,000; Friends of Molokai High and Middle Schools Foundation Yola Meyer Forbes Scholarship $1,000; Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching $2,500; Mamoru & Aiko Takitani Foundation $1,000; Molokai Lions Club Service Award $500; Molokai Community Federal Credit Union $1,000; Star Advertiser Citizenship Award $1,000 and Azuza University $8,000 Presidential Scholarship.
Last year, as an 11th grader, Manley was honored by The Maui News as one of its top student athletes. Maui’s only daily newspaper reported that Manley has a grade point average of 4.061, participates in wrestling, cross country and track and field. Her parents are Randy and Louise Manley of Kalae. She also is involved in the Leo Club, Mepo Club and Drama Club. Her personal quote said: “Being an athlete has taught me many character qualities like perseverance, discipline, respect, honesty and many more. I enjoy being faced with a challenge and then using my skills, abilities and most importantly hard work to overcome that challenge and be on the winning side.”
But the honor of the Kaimana Award is one of the most important in the state.
“The HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program is the only program in the state that rewards academics and athletics as well as sportsmanship and community service,” said Robert P. Hiam, HMSA’s chief executive officer.
The program started in August 2005, recognizes all-around accomplishments by high schools, rewards individual student athletes with scholarships, and supports coaches education. The program is sponsored by HMSA and administered by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.
Twenty-two students received scholarships worth $3,000. Five of those students, including Manley, were named distinguished scholars and received an additional $2,000 each. Thirty high schools were recognized for achieving the highest program scores in their league and division in athletics, academics, sportsmanship, and community service. The 10 highest scoring schools received a check for $1,500.
The keynote address was presented by Norm Chow, head football coach for the University of Hawaii Warriors. Longtime University of Hawaii sports broadcaster Jim Leahey and KHON2 sports director Kanoa Leahey emceed the awards luncheon. Guest presenters included Fred Guzman of Pacific Radio Group’s ESPN-AM Radio; Josh Pacheco of ESPN Radio; Dave Reardon of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; Steve Uyehara, news anchor with Hawaii News Now; and Dave Vinton, director of sports programming for OC-16.