Kauai News

2021 Outstanding Older Americans Recognized at Drive-Thru Ceremony

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The Agency on Elderly Affairs held a drive-thru ceremony on May 6 at the Līhu‘e Civic Center, recognizing this year’s Outstanding Older Americans.

“Every May, as part of Older Americans Month we pay tribute to adults 65 years and older who have made exceptional contributions to their community,” said Kealoha Takahashi, Executive for the Agency on Elderly Affairs. “We are grateful to have been able to recognize and honor our outstanding kupuna in a safe and positive environment. Seeing their smiling faces in person really brought joy to all of our hearts.”

Shirley Akita, Anita Aquino, Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano, Brian Kasperek, Crescencia Labuguen, Leonora Lizama, and Russell Maeda are the 2021 Outstanding Older American nominees and were presented with certificates, lei, and custom-made awards.


This year’s theme, “Communities of Strength,” recognizes that older adults have built resilience and strength through their experienced successes, failures, joys, and difficulties.

During a virtual presentation, Mayor Derek SK Kawakami proclaimed May as Older Americans Month, and announced Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano and Russell Maeda as the two honorees who will represent Kaua‘i in the State of Hawai‘i’s recognition ceremony in June.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and mahalo for the incredible contributions you’ve made to our community over the years,” Kawakami said. “Aunty Dimples and Uncle Russell, we are so excited for you both and know you will represent Kaua‘i well at the state-level virtual event. I am truly grateful for our older Americans because as we have learned this past year, during these extremely difficult times, we find strength in each other. Thank you for being a beacon of light wherever you go, and for reminding us all where resilience and strength can be found.”


The drive-thru ceremony was held at the Līhu‘e Civic Center’s Pi‘ikoi Building Porte Cochere. Also in attendance were members of the Kaua‘i County Council, Governor’s Kaua‘i Liaison Carrice Gardner, Rep. James Tokioka, Kaua‘i Police Chief Todd Raybuck, and Kaua‘i Fire Chief Steven Goble. All attendees wore masks and were separated throughout the outdoor event.

To learn more about the 2021 Outstanding Older American nominees, visit www.kauaiadrc.org.

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