Group 70 Foundation Gives $100,000+ To Local Charities

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Group 70 Foundation has awarded a total of $107,230 to 21 local community organizations, continuing the employee-created foundation's tradition of giving back to the community.

Many of the employee-donors even end up volunteering for the recipients. I'd like to thank Group 70 for its innovative approach to giving back to the community.

Group 70 Foundation has awarded a total of $107,230 to 21 local community organizations, continuing the employee-created foundation's tradition of giving back to the community.

Group 70 Foundation was established in 2002 by the individual employees of Group 70 International, Inc., a Hawai'i-based firm specializing in sustainable development, architecture, planning and environmental services, interior design, and assets management. For the past six years, the foundation has provided grants to non-profit organizations whose missions focus on sustainability in the State of Hawai'i through design, education, culture, environmental sustainability and community development. Funds are administered by the Hawai'i Community Foundation.

"The Group 70 Foundation Fund is a donor-advised fund at Hawaii Community Foundation. It is unique because it is funded by employee contributions so management steps back and employees select the organizations," said Amy Luersen, director of philanthropic services for Hawai'i Community Foundation. "Many of the employee-donors even end up volunteering for the recipients. I'd like to thank Group 70 for its innovative approach to giving back to the community."

"Group 70 Foundation is unique because management steps back and employees run the program," said Amy Luersen, director of philanthropic services for Hawai'i Community Foundation. "Many of the employee-donors even end up volunteering for the recipients. I'd like to thank Group 70 for its innovative approach to giving back to the community."

Cami Kloster, a planner at Group 70 International and employee-donor, said: "When we formed Group 70 Foundation, we collectively wished to demonstrate our commitment to building better communities in Hawai'i beyond our professional services. Our priority is to give back to Hawai'i, our home. The foundation is a testimony to our shared values of generosity, civic duty, service and philosophy. We are pleased to once again have such a worthy group of recipients, each of whom contributes to a sustainable Hawai'i in their own way."

Gladys Quinto, another Group 70 employee-donor, said: "I feel very fortunate to be part of an organization that gives so much back to the community. I especially appreciate it because of organizations like the Y, after school art programs and community centers that had helped keep me out of trouble and encouraged me in the right direction. I've always imagined that one day I'd set up some sort of a trust or scholarship program to give back; however, since I'm not in a position to do so right now, I am happy that I have the Group 70 Foundation to help me fulfill some of that dream."

The foundation made formal presentations to the 2008 grant recipients at an awards reception held July 8 at Group 70 International's office in downtown Honolulu. The following recipients each received between $2,000 and $8,000 in grant monies:

  •     American Red Cross - Hawai'i Chapter
  •     Butterfly Society of Hawai'i
  •     Cooper Center Council
  •     Family Promise of Hawai'i
  •     Friends of Waipahu Cultural Garden Park
  •     Hawai'i Geographic Information
  •     Hawai'i Nature Center
  •     Hawai'i Sustainable Education Initiative
  •     Honolulu Academy of Arts
  •     Kai Makana, Inc.
  •     Kaua'i Planning and Action Alliance
  •     The Kohala Center, Inc.
  •     Kona Association for Retarded Citizens
  •     Na Maka Walu, Inc.
  •     National Tropical Botanical Garden
  •     The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i
  •     North Kohala Community Resource Center
  •     Palama Settlement
  •     Re-use Hawai'i
  •     Storybook Theater of Hawai'i
  •     YWCA of O'ahu

Donations to the Group 70 Foundation Fund are primarily distributed through a grant-making process in which proposals are requested from community organizations. Group 70 International employee donors review the proposals, make selections and celebrate with the awardees. The grant-making process provides a direct way for employees to participate in the selection of awardees and, through the process, learn more about community activities. For more information, visit http://www.group70foundation.com.

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Keith Demello
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