The Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) inducted its new slate of officers and directors at its annual installation and membership gala on Friday, Sept. 6 at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Among those sworn in that day was 2019-20 RAM President Mike Trotto of Pali Kai Realtors, who succeeds 2018-19 RAM President Gina Duncan of Fine Island Properties.

While there may be a changing of the guard, one thing will remain the same: RAM’s steadfast commitment to the community. On Sept. 6, Trotto unveiled “step it up” as the theme to guide the organization forward through 2019-20. He encouraged RAM members to step it up—not just professionally, but also when it comes to giving back. “So many of our members are out there in the community doing all kinds of things to make Maui no ka oi,” he said. “Each and every one of us has the ability to do that.”

Given what RAM has accomplished over the past twelve months, it’s bound to be another year full of kahiau (selfless generosity). “We had an amazing year and made a difference in the lives of children, graduating students, and in our community,” Duncan said. “All of the different committee members and volunteers for each thing that we did as an organization went well above and beyond.”

At last year’s installation event, RAM launched a fundraising campaign to help Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers install a new playground at its facility in Wailuku. RAM members raised $29,200 for the sorely needed playground, which made its official debut during a blessing ceremony on Friday, Aug. 9. RAM’s philanthropic arm, the Realtors Association of Maui Community Foundation (RAMCF), adopted housing concerns as one of its objectives last fall; the playground fundraiser was RAMCF’s first housing concerns-related initiative.

Since RAMCF was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2007, it has supported the community through its programs: The Wishing Well…for Maui Students, which contributes wishlist items—goods, supplies and services—to public schools countywide, and the Presidential Scholarship Fund, which awards academic scholarships every year to college-bound high school seniors and past scholarship recipients (RAM has awarded $750,000 in scholarships to Maui County students since 1989).

In 2019, 70 students from Maui, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i received scholarships. Funds for those scholarships were raised through Mea Kako‘o (a group of sponsors who collectively donated $26,000 to the program in 2018-19) and events like the Maui Visitor Industry Charity Walk, RAM’s 2018 installation event, and the RAMCF Presidential Scholarship Golf Event.

During the Maui Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Saturday, May 11, a team of 30 walkers and 114 donors helped RAM raise more than $11,000 (along with a percentage match from the MHLA) for the RAMCF Presidential Scholarship Fund, exceeding the initial fundraising goal of $10,000. And on Saturday, July 27, more than 100 golfers took part in the RAMCF Presidential Scholarship Golf Event, which netted $11,000 for the scholarship program.

Duncan extended her gratitude to all of the committee members, donors, and community volunteers who contributed their time and talent these fundraising events. “With your support, we were able to achieve what seemed like the impossible, and most importantly, we made a difference in the lives of so many children on Maui. As the saying goes: ‘TEAM—Together Everyone Achieves More,” and this is truly represented in our volunteers,” she said. Duncan also thanked RAM’s dedicated staff for their tireless support and all of the RAM members who served as board members, committee chairs and committee members throughout the year.

And there are more great successes on the horizon. From golf tournaments to talent show competitions, RAM is gearing up to host events in the coming months to support RAMCF and other worthy causes. For more information about RAMCF or to find out how you can contribute, visit www.ramaui.com/foundation/ram-community-foundation.

By Sarah Ruppenthal
The Maui News – September 16, 2019

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