Board Meeting Notes from January

Piʻilani Hawaiian Civic Club Minutes

Board Meeting held 01/14/2017 at St. Bernadette’s School & Parish, Lakewood, Colorado

Recorded by Recording Secretary Puahau Aki


9:10am Call to Order

– Present: Karen Nussman, Phil Swain, Esmond Ah Leong, Brandy Toelupe, George Beppu, Puahau Aki, Kamuela Schroeder, Keoni Lagunero, Susan Kodani,, Jacques Delaguerre (arrived 9:46 am)

– Pule: Phil

9:11am Aloha New Board Members

– Karen: Welcomed new Board members Brandy, Susan, and Keoni, and explained why Pi‘ilani Board (and other?) meetings are held at St. Bernadette’s. Father Tom and St. Bernadette Parish have given Pi‘ilani a home base for meeting and also provided storage space, which is why we meet here. We will keep Board meeting start time at 9:00 am.


9:16am Treasurer’s Report

– Karen: Do we need to transfer any monies from checking account to the scholarship CD account? George will talk to Lynette Asperin about this. Scholarship CD renews in March; it renews every 90 days.

– Pua moved to accept Treasurer’s Report; seconded by Esmond; motion passed unanimously.

9:20am Minutes from last meeting held 11/12/16

– Phil moved to approve Minutes of 11/12/16; seconded by Kamuela; motion passed unanimously.

9:21am Setting Board and Club Calendar for 2017

– Regularly scheduled Board meetings: Changed from every second Saturday of each month to every third Saturday, as Esmond has a conflict. Meeting time is still 9:00 am. Board will now meet in Teacher’s Lounge off Cafeteria in school basement. Installation of new Board, Board meeting and general meeting tentatively scheduled for 2/11/17, but Brandy will be out of town. Karen is in Seattle 2/18/17 at the quarterly Mainland Council meeting. Installation, Board, and general meeting are therefore scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2017. After much discussion, Pi‘ilani’s regular Board, general meeting, and special event calendar for 2017 looks like this:



28 Saturday – Deadline to mail membership renewals.



18 Saturday – Mainland Council meeting, Seattle; Karen attending.


25 Saturday – Board meeting 9 am; General meeting, potluck and Installation 11:30 am. (Board members please arrive 8:30 am to help set up for General mtg.); place: Dorrity Hall at St. Bernadette’s Church, 1100 Upham Street, Lakewood, CO 80214. Brandy will do a presentation (15 min?) about the history of the Hawaiian Civic Clubs and their continued relevance, especially in light of possible Federal legislation that could create some kind of Hawaiian nation entity where showing membership in a Hawaiian civic organization (right now defined as a Hawaiian Civic Club?) might be a requirement to be recognized as a citizen, especially for those living outside of Hawai‘i.



18 Saturday – Board meeting 9 am; General meeting (11 am? time TBD); place TBD. General meeting presentation topic: Teach club members to sing, play and/or dance club mele, “He Hawai‘i Au.”



22 Saturday – Board meeting 9 am.


29 Saturday – Pi‘ilani Lū‘au.



6 Saturday – Mainland Council meeting, Phoenix; Karen attending.


13 Saturday – Board meeting 9 am; General meeting and potluck (11 am? time TBD); place TBD. General meeting presentation topic: Keoni will demonstrate/conduct workshop on how to draw and create Polynesian and Hawaiian tattoo designs. He will also talk about the meaning of tattoo symbols and how tattoo designs convey deep Polynesian history and stories.



3-4 Saturday-Sunday – People’s Fair Fundraiser.


17 Saturday – Board meeting 9 am.



15 Saturday – Pi‘ilani Founder’s Picnic; time TBD; place TBD—Keoni will check on possible lake park site in Windsor/Fort Collins area; Pua will check on parks in Boulder.



12 Saturday – Mainland Council meeting, Orange County, CA; Karen attending.


19 Saturday – Board meeting 9 am.


26 Saturday – Ho‘olaule‘a.



16 Saturday – Board meeting 9 am; General meeting (11 am? time TBD); place TBD. General meeting presentation topic: Workshop and discussion about 2017 AOHCC Convention, to be held in Seattle; report on Ho‘olaule‘a (if possible); open period to nominate candidates for available Pi‘ilani officer and director positions in 2018.




21 Saturday – Board meeting 9 am; close period to nominate candidates for Board; announce 2018 Pi‘ilani Officer and Director Election Slate.


29-31 Sunday-Tuesday – AOHCC Annual Convention 2017, Seattle.



1-5 Wednesday-Sunday – AOHCC Annual Convention 2017, Seattle.


18 Saturday – Board meeting 9 am.


21-28 Monday-Monday – Conduct Pi‘ilani Election for 2018 Board [vote via Survey Monkey?]



2 Saturday – Christmas Pa‘ina, time and place TBD; Board meeting, time TBD; General meeting, time TBD. General meeting presentation topic: Announce newly elected officers and directors of 2018 Pi‘ilani Board; report on AOHCC Annual Convention; [scholarship recipients’ reports?]

– Other calendar mentions and discussion:

-Phil: May 27-29 Saturday-Monday (Memorial Day weekend) – Celebration of historic village of Iosepa, Utah, settled by Hawaiians [in19th century?] This gathering and event happens every year, and Phil is planning to go this year, if anyone wants to join him. [Perhaps this can be a general meeting presentation topic? If Phil attends, he could give a presentation sometime after he gets back?]

-Pua: Set class dates? Ask membership what classes they would attend, and when is best for most people to attend such classes? Esmond: We need to keep putting this information out there to our membership, keep Club’s activities and events fresh and at the front of people’s minds [and higher profile]. Keoni: He wants to teach a workshop (or workshops?) about Hawaiian and Polynesian tattoos, music, ‘ukulele, food(?), get members involved and sharing their ‘ike with membership and especially keiki. He makes a good point that if you appeal to people’s children, they will come and be interested.

-Pua: Should we get information from the Scholarship Committee regarding application and other pertinent deadlines to put on the Pi‘ilani calendar? Phil: Could Brandy get that information from the Scholarship Committee and forward it to the Board and especially to Kamuela so he can publicize that info on the website and other Pi‘ilani venues [Newsletter? Email?].


10:15am Membership

– George: Do we need to make any changes to our membership application forms? Board decided that wasn’t necessary this year. Karen: The actual mailing—do we have labels and/or an actual mail-merge document or program? George: Cynthia usually does the labels. George (or Esmond?) will contact Cynthia about labels and mailing. Phil asked if Esmond would be the point person on getting the membership renewals mailed out this month. The Board set a deadline of January 28, 2017 for mailing out the membership renewals. Karen needs to write the President’s membership renewal letter as soon as she is able (which she will also use as the President’s Address in the first club Newsletter of 2017).

– There was much discussion about whether Pi‘ilani should switch to having members renew their memberships electronically or online. Keoni pointed out the club could gain substantial savings on postage. Jacques suggested that using PayPal was convenient and did not have onerous fees(?). However, other Board members were leery of trying to set up a system for people to pay online. Phil recalled an incident where $800.00 went missing from our accounts that George got PayPal to reimburse; George said that was because someone got hold of our PayPal password and got into our accounts.

Someone else proposed having people call George and having him run their credit cards with the Square to pay their dues. George said that Pi‘ilani loses money on credit card transactions because the credit card companies charge a percentage fee on each transaction we do. Other Board members were concerned with any kind of online or electronic payment system because of possible fees. Kamuela spoke about using some kind of PayPal-like alternative that doesn’t charge fees to the recipient of the monetary transaction. (Rather it charges the person making the payment? Also, what is this payment system/application called?)

In the end, the Board felt it was more economically feasible and also monetarily safer to stay with the current system of mailing out renewals and applications and having people send in checks with their new or renewing applications. George also said he preferred people to send in forms with a check because this way the dues and the member information arrived and could be kept together. [Perhaps there will be a way to enable people to apply, renew, and pay electronically or online in the future. It will need to be researched further.]

– Building membership: Esmond said he had heard of other Civic Clubs elsewhere (Alaska? Arizona?) that encouraged membership through partnering with area hālau. The way this worked was that if a hālau student or member also joined the local Hawaiian Civic Club, the hālau reduced that hula student’s membership or class fees. Kamuela mentioned connecting with local colleges and universities along the Front Range.

Karen talked about having current club members ask their immediate (and extended) ‘ohana to become Pi‘ilani HCC members here, even if they don’t live in the Front Range or Colorado (was this the idea from Alaska?).

Brandy said there is possible federal recognition of Native Hawaiians or a Hawaiian nation entity out there that could have a proof-of-citizenship requirement in the form of asking people to show longstanding membership (at least two years?) in a Hawaiian civic organization (defined as the Hawaiian Civic Clubs?). This possibility makes Hawaiian Civic Clubs very relevant and very important. Brandy will give a presentation about this at the February Installation and general meeting.

Keoni suggested that if Pi‘ilani focused on the keiki, and having a consistent schedule of at least one cultural, service, or social activity (perhaps each month? It could even be something as simple as a fundraising car wash) oriented toward or involving the children, people would come and become involved. Perhaps find ways to have teens and children suggest or participate in presentations/demonstrations and other club activities as teachers and helpers?


– Hawaiian Homestead Associations as a possible model for augmenting membership and increasing cultural and sociopolitical relevancy, as well as a way to connect with broader Hawaiian community and issues? (Phil and Brandy.)


10:48am Lū‘au

– Set for Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Dorrity Hall, St. Bernadette’s Church in Lakewood. (Note: There is a Confirmation celebration there on the evening of Friday, April 28, so we will not be able to cook or set up the night before. Everything will therefore have to be done on Saturday the 29th. Be prepared to be there that morning and work the whole day.)



-Mac salad


-Stir-fry/chow mein style noodles

-Kalua pig

-Shoyu chicken

-Lomi salmon

-Poke? (Ask Lynette Asperin if she will make it. Esmond knows new owner (John?) of Iwayama Sushi. He will talk to him and see if he will still be able to order fish for us at commercial/restaurant rate.)

-Haupia (Pua)

-Guava cake (Brandy)


– Ticket prices: $100 = Family Rate (for 4 people); $40 = Adult; $30 = Kupuna & Starving Student (students must show college ID to get this rate); $20 = Keiki aged 6-12; Free = Keiki aged <1-5. If we have poke, it is $10 added to the price of the tickets of those who wish to purchase it.

– Karen (lū‘au theme): Should we have a lū‘au theme? Maybe have “He Hawai‘i Au” as the theme? Kamuela: Polynesian voyaging? Kamuela’s uncle(? related to Thompsons?) is closely connected to the Hōkūle‘a and Polynesian voyaging. Polynesian voyaging could also be a general meeting presentation topic or a cultural education session for ‘ōpio and keiki via Skype or something.

– Keoni (inviting vendors): If Lū‘au is a fundraiser, a good way to increase revenue is to have vendors. Offer 8 or so spaces at a flat rate of, say, $50 each. If all vendor spaces were taken, this could provide an income of $400, which would help defray costs of putting on Lū‘au. Keoni also said in his experience, if there are vendors at an event, people will come. George asked if the vendors would be selling non-food items only, in order not to compete with Lū‘au. Board agreed to limit vendors to selling non-food items only. Also, Karen noted that vendors would be welcome to buy Lū‘au tickets for a meal, but food would not be provided to them.

Motion to have vendors at Lū‘au: Following the above discussion, Phil moved to add vendors to sell non-food items at the Lū‘au; Kamuela seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Following the motion, there was more discussion regarding the question of how many vendors would fit at the Lū‘au venue. This discussion was tabled for another meeting.

– Phil (raffle): Are we going to have a raffle? Pi‘ilani still has a current Raffles & Bingo license, but Karen reminded the Board that we do not currently have a trained and authorized Raffles & Bingo manager. Keoni: What about a silent auction? Phil: What about St. Bernadette’s Raffles & Bingo manager? Can he/she run a raffle at the Lū‘au? Karen said she needs to ask that person, and also suggested that we could ask the vendors who come to sell goods if they would donate an item for the raffle, explaining that the proceeds of the raffle are designated to go to scholarship funds. If St. Bernadette’s Raffles & Bingo manager agrees to supervise the Pi‘ilani raffle, then 1) we could split the raffle proceeds 50-50, with half going toward the Pi‘ilani scholarship fund and half going toward St. Bernadette’s scholarship to fund a (homeless? underfunded? underprivileged? foster?) student, and 2) we could offer to give the Raffles & Bingo manager tickets (max 4?) to the Lū‘au for their family.* A bucket raffle would be easiest.

*[Note for future meeting: If St. Bernadette’s Raffles & Bingo manager agrees to conduct our raffle, will we need a motion to authorize donating kōkua Lū‘au tickets to him/her?]

Motion to hold a raffle: Pua moved to have a raffle at the Lū‘au, the proceeds of which are to be split between Pi‘ilani and St. Bernadette’s—one-half to go to the Pi‘ilani scholarship fund and one-half to go to St. Bernadette’s (homeless?—ask Karen for the exact name) student scholarship fund. Kamuela seconded the motion, but there was further discussion. Phil thought the club should definitely provide more raffle items as well. And it was noted that holding the raffle was contingent on St. Bernadette’s Raffles & Bingo manager agreeing to conduct it.

Following further discussion, the motion to have a raffle at the Lū‘au passed unanimously.

– Return to themes: He Hawai‘i Au? Lili‘uokalani (100th anniversary of her death—commemorate Hawai‘i’s last monarch?). It was decided to table this discussion for another meeting.


11:23am People’s Fair

– Karen asked Board if Pi‘ilani wanted to participate in the People’s Fair this year. After a brief discussion, the Board decided to participate in the Denver People’s Fair as a nonprofit booth selling water and other non-alcoholic beverages as a fundraiser. Phil: We are guaranteed $600 (and if we manage to sell more drinks, we can also make more money) for manning a drinks booth for both days of the People’s Fair, which takes place June 3-4, 2017.

Pua moved that Pi‘ilani participate in the People’s Fair by having a booth selling beverages to raise funds for the club. Kamuela seconded, motion passed unanimously.


11:25am Hoʻolauleʻa

– Kamuela: (Speaking of themes): Commemorate 100th year of end of Hawaiʻi’s monarchy? (Queen Liliʻuokalani died in 1917.)

– Phil: He is willing to be the Hoʻolauleʻa Chair, and he asked Esmond and Keoni to help him. But Phil also thinks that we need to open up membership and participation in the Hoʻolauleʻa Committee to non-Piʻilani members and other Hawaiian organizations. Pua asked if doing what Phil proposed was permitted by Piʻilani’s Constitution and Bylaws. Karen was not sure. She did not recall seeing anything in Bylaws or Constitution that prohibited what Phil proposed, but she thought it would be a good idea to check.

Phil mentioned the Hoʻolauleʻa put on in Arizona, which he found very impressive. It started as an event put on by just one organization (Arizona Hawaiian Civic Club?) but the event has grown so large that they have handed it over to a full-time event planning organization(?). Esmond also believes we need to open up organization of Hoʻolauleʻa Committee and process of putting on Hoʻolauleʻa to other people and organizations. We don’t have enough manpower and input/buy-in from the rest of the community.

Pua thought if we decided to handle Hoʻolauleʻa Committee and organization this way, it seems Piʻilani might be changing the original feel and purpose of the event. If that is the case, should we perhaps put Hoʻolauleʻa on hiatus this year and let Phil and others have time to revamp the process of putting on the event? This is partly also because we are (again) starting late with planning and implementing tasks to be done in order to put on Hoʻolauleʻa. This puts us behind (again) with securing sponsorships or other funding, attracting food and other vendors, planning/conducting possible raffles, and planning publicity and subevents (like Kanikapila) to attract attention to and disseminate publicity about Hoʻolauleʻa. Esmond agreed that these difficulties exist, but Piʻilani has already let it be known that Hoʻolauleʻa is an annual event. The club would create negative impression and publicity by not putting on the event.

Keoni: Another way to attract and create people’s interest is by partnering with local area acts and musicians when they perform at local venues in Denver and other areas around the Front Range. For instance, he (Keoni) is performing with John Coelho at an event (or venue?) called “Sands in the City.” Events like this are good to draw people in and get them interested. Also, would it be possible to draw in or invite more vendors of more and different kinds of food to participate in Hoʻolauleʻa? Having all kinds of food is a big draw. The same goes for the types of non-food vendors that are invited. Would it be possible to have more of a variety, even if perhaps not all the vendors would be selling food or items originating in or connected to Hawaiʻi/Polynesia/Oceania? Further discussion of Hoʻolauleʻa specifics was then tabled for another meeting or other meetings.

Motion to confirm Phil as Hoʻolauleʻa Chair: Pua moved that the Board accept Phil’s offer to be the Hoʻolauleʻa 2017 Committee Chair. Kamuela seconded; motion passed unanimously.

– Following the motion it was agreed that Phil is to set up a schedule of Hoʻolauleʻa Committee meetings as soon as possible.

– Also, Brandy said she would be willing to check or vet vendor and other contracts, check up on city, board (as in Board of Health?), and other permitting processes and requirements, etc. The Board was pleased and willing to take her up on her offer.

– Phil said he would contact Lynette Asperin and/or Lynette Rogers to obtain organizational and other pertinent and necessary information concerning past Hoʻolauleʻa events and how they were put on and managed.

– Pua: Is Piʻilani still going to seek $1500 sponsorship from OHA? Phil said yes and he will contact people at OHA.

11:45am AOHHC Annual Convention 2017

– Karen: As the Convention is being held in Seattle, WA this year, we should try to get more Pi‘ilani members to attend.

– Phil: Do any other people who attended have a report or something to say about their experiences at the Convention in Las Vegas? Jacques: It was interesting seeing the connection between the Kanaka Maoli and Native Americans on the Continent that was made at the opening ceremonies, where the Chief of the (Southern Paiute? Name of Chief?) was clearly overwhelmed by the gifts he received from the Hawaiians in thanks for the permission and blessing he gave for them to gather there. These kind of connections are very important Continent-wide and beyond when thinking about acceptance of recognition for Native Hawaiians or a Hawaiian nation entity. It was pretty amazing to see the intersectionality of Native people—to witness something that even as it was happening was creating a synergy, reaching beyond the imaginations and the intentions of the participants.

– Karen: My daughter Leilani dances with a hālau in the area, and she (and they) are working with the steering committee for the 2017 Convention. Idea/question: Highlands Ranch—who are (or were) the indigenous people who lived there? Brandy: Southern Utes? Pua: Arapaho? Is there anyone from these tribes who would be willing and able to do a blessing at beginning of Hoʻolauleʻa? Is this a good way to bring in other Native Continentals? Brandy said she would check on Native peoples of the area.


11:50am Other

– Phil: Something is really going on with the Hawaiian Homelands Associations, and the meetings are getting very interesting. Maybe we could bring speakers from one (or some) of the HHAs for a special presentation or a general meeting? Eddie Aiyau? He worked for the Hawaiian Homes Commission? Also, the Native Rights Committee meeting went on for two days with a lot of very animated discussion. But happily, can report that the level of animosity between the full sovereignty/independence and the nation within a nation camps seemed to be calming down and they were beginning (maybe) to come together.

– Kamuela: Had various queries (from the Pi‘ilani Yahoo Inbox? from the Pi‘ilani website?) that the Board dealt with: 1) Antelope Ridge Elementary in SE Aurora asking about a lū‘au(?) Hawaiian(?) themed event at the school—musicians, food/catering, etc.; 2) a man named Jim Scott looking for an ‘ukulele club to join—will give him info about Keoni’s ‘ukulele classes [and should see if he’s interested in becoming a Pi‘ilani member!]; 3) Someone looking for someone to do a Hawaiian blessing (for a house? business?)—John Coelho can do the blessing; 4) Chef of local restaurant, Andrew Castillo, wants help trying to describe/define the term “poke bowl” on his menu—we came up with something like “cubed raw fish [marinated?] in various ingredients, served over hot rice.”

– Reiteration: Installation to take place Saturday, February 25 at Dorrity Hall at St. Bernadette’s. Board meeting 9 am (but please arrive early—8:30 am—to help set up for general meeting). Board meeting ends by 10:30 am, general meeting and Installation begin at 11:30 am.

Keoni: It would be a good idea for all the Board members to exchange or have each other’s phone numbers (sign-in sheet passed around so everyone could add their phone number). Also, Keoni mentioned he was told his ‘ukulele classes could be mentioned or have a link on the Pi‘ilani website. Kamuela said he would do this.

– Phil (or Kamuela?): Email from Uncle George about the presentation about Kalaupapa (by Mark Kahalekulu?) at the Aurora History Museum, Saturday, January 21, 2017, 1:00 pm. Talk will be from 1-1:30 pm; ‘ukulele class to follow from 1:30-3:30 pm (Keoni will be teaching).


12:10pm Adjournment

– Pua moved to adjourn the meeting; Kamuela seconded; motion passed unanimously.