By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Ace Hardware bills itself as the place with the helpful hardware folks. To Hawaii’s only Children’s Miracle Network hospital, Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women &Children in Honolulu, the Hilo Ace store is much more than that.
The store on Kilauea Avenue was recently recognized for being one of the Top 5 stores in the nation in raising funds for the Ace Cares for Kids campaign for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. The Hilo store ranked fourth nationally among the hardware chain’s outlets by raising $5,259 for the campaign in July.
In addition, the Ace Foundation kicked in a $5,000 Top-5 bonus to the five individual stores that raised the most money during July via donations and icon sales. That bonus brought the official total raised for Kapi‘olani by the Hilo Ace store to $10,259. Hawaii donors paid to have their name written on an icon bearing a photo of Kapi‘olani’s Children’s Miracle Network poster child, 10-year-old Ikaika Kaahanui of Oahu, and displayed in the store.
“Ace believes in giving back to the community and especially for a cause like the children,” Kelvin Nishiura, the Hilo Ace store manager, said Thursday.
The funds will be donated to support the lifesaving care Kapi‘olani provides every day to keiki and families from across the state and throughout the Pacific Rim.
“In the past year, Kapi‘olani Medical Center has provided over 2,200 Big Island families with critical care uniquely available at Hawaii’s only Children’s Miracle Network hospital. Of those, 146 keiki, some as small as a few pounds, came by the life-saving and specialized care of the Kapi‘olani Transport Team. Without these specialized services, many families would be forced to travel to the mainland or possibly face an uncertain future. Partnership efforts like the one with Ace Hardware Hilo and the support of the community provides Kapi‘olani the tools to give every family the care they deserve,” said Stacey Acma, director of Kapi’olani’s Children’s Miracle Network.
Ace Hardware stores across the country hosted a fundraising campaign supporting their local Children’s Miracle Network hospital. This is the first time a Hawaii-based Ace Hardware cracked the national Top 5 fundraising stores.
To date, the 2013 in-store fundraising campaign has raised more than $815,000 for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals nationwide, nearly doubling the campaign’s original fundraising goal, according to the Ace Foundation.
Nishiura said he’s not surprised by the success of his store’s fundraising efforts on behalf of Kapi‘olani and Children’s Miracle Network.
“Our people here are generous. They care about the children. Many of them have children going there or know people who have children going there, so they support this cause,” he said. “All of our employees worked very hard to raise as much money as possible to support the campaign. We knew that all the funds raised would stay here in Hawaii and would help our keiki.
“It’s a rewarding thing to see people who care about other people and who are willing to share what they have and give generously for those who need it.”
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.