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A Special Recognition for Years of Service

2023 WWMS School Supply Drive

Photo Caption: Sarah Sorenson prepares a Wishing Well donation for a local school. PC: Evelyn Proctor, RAM Staff

By Alma Tassi

How do you feel when a group of the very best of your peers awards you with a rare Special Recognition? Sarah Sorenson of Whale’s Tail Realty replies, “I was in shock! It is a huge honor as it is not given every year.”

Marilyn Griffin who announced the award at the Realtors Association of Maui’s (RAM) annual installation luncheon this past November said, “So many of our members, RAM as an organization, and our industry at large have benefited from Sarah’s endless commitment to service.”

Sorenson began her career as an elementary teacher in Denver public schools. After getting her Master's in guidance and counseling, she became a high school counselor in Michigan, where she originally grew up. She then went to California to pursue a career in the new field of personal computers.

After visiting Hawaii for her parent’s 50th anniversary, she felt drawn to Maui. She left corporate life and opened an ice cream/yogurt shop on the beach in North Kihei. A real estate company happened to be upstairs from the shop and after a year of people asking her if she knew anyone that could help them buy a property, she decided to get her license. She sold the store and started her own company in 1997.

Through the years she’s taken leadership positions as the president and treasurer of RAM, as well as participated in many committees from education to public relations. Also, her dedication to helping school children has not ended despite changing careers. She says, “Our schoolchildren are the future. If we educate each child to the best of their ability, then we will have productive adults and the communities will have a future.”

In 2007, she founded a 501c3 nonprofit, Wishing Well…for Maui Students, which has donated countless goods, supplies, and services to Maui’s public schools as well as KHAKO, the local homeless shelter. Projects have included working with local hotels to fill five 40-foot shipping containers with furniture and school supplies for Molokai and two for Lanai. The community has stepped in to offer everything from chairs for reading nooks to art supplies, paper, and even appliances.

It takes countless hands to coordinate these efforts and Sorenson is the type of leader who rallies others to her cause. Colleague and volunteer Michelle Bosque says, “Her determination, generosity, and endless hours of hard work is a blessing to the children and teachers of our public schools and have provoked many to follow in her footsteps. Sarah is an inspiration to me.” In 2010, she was awarded the Volunteer Works Award, and in 2016 the Good Neighbor Award by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Sorenson says, “We don’t do what we do for the recognition, but we know how much our efforts can make a difference.“ For more information about the program, call 808-283-3969 or visit, where you can make a PayPal or credit card donation. (Please note that the donation is for the Wishing Well program.)

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