<p>HONOLULU – Hawaii Schools Federal Credit Union has donated $3,000 to the American Lung Association of Hawaii, with proceeds from the credit union’s 4th Annual Middle Schools Student Talent Competition held at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. According to Douglas Mashino of Hawaii Schools FCU, the competition is the only organized event that features talent from middle and intermediate schools on Oahu. Competition included 22 middle and intermediate schools, and was the culmination of school-based talent shows during the 2001-2002 school year. Hawaii Schools FCU sponsors the individual school talent shows and the Talent Finals, as part of the credit union’s efforts to promote community relations. The talent competition, Mashino explained, was originally conceived as a way of advocating a tobacco-free lifestyle with middle and intermediate school students. It requires students to recite a message, as part of each act that demonstrates each performer is tobacco-free. Hawaii Schools FCU President Charla A. Kato said, “That our talent competition requires a portion where performers share why their lives are free of tobacco, adds value to the program, and strengthens our credit union’s original intent in sponsoring the talent series. We’re here to make a difference with our keiki (children). That’s why we looked for a partner like the American Lung Association of Hawaii. It matters that everyone knows our credit union is serious about how we give back to the community in many ways.” Kato noted that the talent series has been garnering attention. Earlier this year, the credit union received a national community service award from credit union peers for sponsoring the competition series. Recently, the credit union has received calls from local businesses interested in supporting the talent series. Judges for the Talent Competition included State Schools Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto and Honolulu TV station KHNL News 8 General Sales Manager Stuart Chang. Judges for the messages advocating tobacco-free lifestyles were Dept. of Education Resource Teacher in Health Lynn Shoji, American Lung Association of Hawaii Program Director and Hawaii Pacific University Professor Dr. John Hunter, and Education America Financial Aid Coordinator Josephine Hunter.</p>

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