NETWORKING — With toys for tots, festive fun and cheerful laughter, W.M. Keck Observatory hosted the Holiday AfterHours with The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce. Held at Keck’s headquarters in Waimea, over 90 participants came bearing gifts for the Chamber’s annual toy drive and holiday event.
Instead of an admission fee, attendees donated unwrapped toys to benefit children via Family Support Hawai‘I (FSH). Thanks to the generosity of KKCC members, over 100 unwrapped toys were collected for donation to FSH—an organization whose mission is to support families in providing love and care for children. “We are very grateful to the Kona-Kohala Chamber for their generosity,” shared Caleb Milliken, director of the Fatherhood Initiative at FSH. “These toys will bring joy to the keiki in our community during this holiday season.”
During the AfterHours program, Rich Matsuda, Chief of Operations of W.M. Keck Observatory addressed the audience and shared information about the observatory’s history, mission and vision. The first Keck telescope saw ‘first light’ in 1990 and the second, twin telescope in 1996. He explained Keck’s commitment to community through programs such as Akamai Internship and Maunakea Scholars. Highlighting the observatory’s scientific productivity, he stated, “Our mission is simply to unravel the mystery of the universe and to advance the frontiers of astronomy by sharing our discoveries in the hopes of inspiring all.”
With the cooler Waimea weather, attendees were encouraged to wear holiday sweaters. In the spirit of friendly competition, participants were judged on the best, most original and even ‘ugliest’ sweater. Winners Joe Milburn of Venture Sotheby’s International Realty, Carolyn Lucas from Kona Historical Society and Jeff Leicher of Jack’s Diving Locker each received a KKCC Member Marketplace 5 Ad Package – a $195 value!
The next AfterHours is 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15 at Kona Sports Center in Kailua-Kona. Register online at www.kona-kohala.com
or call 329-1758.
W. M. Keck Observatory operates the world’s most scientifically-impactful telescopes on Maunakea, Earth’s best astronomical site. For 25+ years, the twin telescopes have unraveled the mysteries of our universe and we’ve shared astonishing new discoveries with all. This would not be possible without our dedicated team based in Waimea and the amazing support from you, our local community and businesses. For more information on the W.M Keck Observatory and for events and other ways to get involved, go to their website at http://www.keckobservatory.org/
or call them at (808) 885-7887.
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit member organization with nearly 500 business members located on the West Side of the island of Hawaiʻi. The organization exists to provide leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawaiʻi and works to strengthen the local economy and promote the community. Find more information at www.kona-kohala.com