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The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi is one of two recipients of this year’s Bank of Hawaiʻi Foundation Monty Richards Hawaiʻi Island Community Leadership Award, which recognizes nonprofits that provide leadership in community development, education or housing to benefit residents of Hawaiʻi County. The other recipient this year is The Kohala Center. Each nonprofit was awarded $15,000.

The award is named after Herbert “Monty” Montague Richards Jr., a dedicated Hawaiʻi Island community leader and former longtime board director for Bank of Hawaiʻi.

“We are so pleased to help The Kohala Center and ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi continue to fulfill their missions and the good work they do,” says Donna Tanoue, president of the Bank of Hawaiʻi Foundation. “Both of these local nonprofits offer enriching educational experiences and professional guidance through hands-on learning to Hawaiʻi’s next generation of young leaders and innovators.”

ʻImiloa is an education center of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo located in the University Park of Science and Technology. ʻImiloa’s mission is to honor Maunakea by sharing Hawaiian culture and science to inspire exploration.

“As ʻImiloa approaches our tenth anniversary in 2016, we are excited to introduce new programs that will expand our unique brand of place-based science education beyond our center in Hilo to reach new audiences in other parts of Hawaiʻi Island and beyond,” says Kaʻiu Kimura, ʻImiloa executive director. “We aspire for ʻImiloa to become a model for science center-community collaboration and STEM education on a national and international level.”

The Monty Richards award will be used for ʻImiloa’s Maunakea Education Initiative to further its leadership, teaching, program development and community engagement.

The other recipient, The Kohala Center, is a community-based nonprofit that focuses on energy self-reliance, food self-reliance and ecosystem health.

From UH Hilo Stories