Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset recognizes Vocational Service Awards Recipients
At a recent “Celebrations Meeting” the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset presented the sixth annual Vocational Service Awards to an individual and a local non-profit organization.  These Vocational Service award recipients were selected for demonstrating integrity through high ethical behavior that is the foundation of Rotary.  The recipients provide a road map for ethical behavior in the workplace and other areas of life.  This award is presented annually to individuals and a business or non-profit that provides outstanding service to our community and/or our club.  The recipients truly demonstrate the Rotary philosophy of “Service Above Self”.
Ford Ushijima, the Food and Beverage Manager at the Royal Lahaina Resort, was the recipient of the Individual award.  Ford grew up on Oahu and learned values and virtues from his parents. Those virtues have worked well for Ford from being the class president at Kaimuki Intermediate School & graduating with honors at Kalani High School in 1986.
Ford attended University of Hawaii at Manoa and majored in Management. All throughout school Ford held part-time jobs while pursuing his education.  Then during college Ford pledged for Phi Kappa Pi Fraternity.  As a pledge he could only attend the Fraternity party if he agreed to be in charge of the party clean-up!  Ford worked at Little George’s Seafood restaurant on Oahu for 8 years.
In November 2003 Ford was offered a position at the Royal Lahaina Resort as the Accounts Payable manager until a position in Food and Beverage became available.
The rest is history & Ford states that he has truly been blessed to be a part of the Royal Lahaina for almost 20 years!
To quote Ford: “I have never seen a more dedicated and professional group of Rotarians as the members of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.  Many of the values that I was taught by my parents I see every other week at your club meetings.”
Grow Some Good is the recipient of the nonprofit organization Vocational Service award.  This group is dedicated to creating hands-on, outdoor learning experiences that cultivate curiosity about natural life cycles, connect students to their food sources, and inspire better nutrition choices. In addition to helping establish food gardens and living science labs in local schools, the organization provides resources and curriculum support through community partnerships in agriculture, science, food education, and nutrition.
The program was created in 2008 under South Maui Sustainability’s School Garden Committee to support gardens created at Kihei Elementary, Lokelani Intermediate School and Kamali’i Elementary.  Members of South Maui Sustainability felt that working in schools was reaching our future generations to instill much needed knowledge about sustainability, our environment and nutrition. Since its inception, the program has expanded its outreach from one teacher at Kihei Elementary and three small raised beds to 11 schools and more than 4,000 students participating in outdoor learning programs every month. 
The Rotary Tree Planting Program worked in conjunction with Grow Some Good to plant almost 100 fruit-bearing trees in Maui schools.  Representing Grow Some Good was Program Director Havilah Mills and Board of Directors Member Rosa McAllister.