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‘A Time of Renewal’

Cameron Center celebrates 40 years of service to Maui.

May 23, 2013
Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez - Contributing Writer ( , Maui Weekly

Forty years ago, the concept of a central location for multiple social and human service agencies was a new and innovative concept--nationally and on Maui.

The vision that led to the creation of the J. Walter Cameron Center can trace its beginnings to two remarkable men. The center bears the name of one--J. Walter Cameron--then the publisher of The Maui News. The other is Douglas Sodetani, a successful businessman who saw the need for a facility where, as Cameron put it, "the roof doesn't leak, and when the wind blows, it doesn't blow right through the wooden walls."

On Saturday, June 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Yokouchi Estate in Wailuku, the Cameron Center will join with hundreds of its supporters to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its founding.

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Grammy Award winner George Kahumoku Jr. & Friends will headline the J. Walter Cameron Center’s 40th Anniversary celebration, “A Time of Renewal,” on Saturday, June 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Yokouchi Estate in Wailuku.

The theme of the event is "A Time of Renewal."

Entertainment will be provided by Grammy Award-winning musician George Kahumoku Jr. & Friends. The honorary co-chairs are the patriarch of the revival of Hawaiian music, Eddie Kamae, and his wife, Myrna, Mayor Alan Arakawa and County Council Chair Gladys C. Baisa.

Deidre Tegarden, protocol officer in the office of Gov. Neil Abercrombie, will emcee an event that promises a delicious dinner catered by Kihei's Three's Bar and Grill, with specialty desserts prepared by the Maui Culinary Academy.

The evening will include hosted cocktails and wine, and silent and live auctions. Alcohol-free beverages will also be provided.

The mission of the Cameron Center is "To assist people with special needs by providing a home for Maui's social service agencies."

Speaking recently on Akaku: Maui Community Television, Alan Kaufman, the president of the Cameron Center board, said, "Today, located at 95 Mahalani St. in Wailuku, the center is home to 15 nonprofit organizations and serves as a place of hope where miracles happen.

"Today, the Cameron Center's resident agencies serve 30,000 people annually and our meeting facilities host another 40,000 people each year.

"The Cameron Center's plans call for continued infrastructure improvements," Kaufman continued. "We already save tens of thousands of dollars each year as a result of photovoltaic installations and our energy-retrofitting program.

"This is a 'Time of Renewal' at the Cameron Center, and you are invited to help make miracles happen in our Maui Community," Kaufman concluded.

In his proclamation declaring April to be "J. Walter Cameron Center Month" in Maui County, Mayor Arakawa said, "on behalf of families and communities across Maui County, I call on all citizens to support the mission and work of the Cameron Center, and I applaud the tireless commitment of all those individuals who have worked for 40 years to ensure that Maui's critical social service agencies have a well-managed central location to serve those among us who have special needs."

You can support the center and its mission of service. A limited number of tickets and gold, silver and bronze sponsorship tables are still available to help the center and its work of two generations.

The Yokouchi Estate is located at 1650 Ka'ahumanu Ave.

For tickets or tables, call 244-5546 or email



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