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Police Commemorative Fund contributes money for UH Hilo scholarships

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Date: Monday, June 9, 2003
Contact: Paula Thomas, (808) 933-3112

For Immediate Release

Detective Esteban makes presentation to Chancellor Tseng

University of Hawaii at Hilo recently received a donation of $2,400 from the Hawai`i Police Commemorative Fund. Making the presentation to
Chancellor Rose Tseng was Detective Greg Esteban, chairman of the Hawai`i Police Commemorative Tournament, an event that raises money for the Fund.

The donation to UH Hilo will fund two annual scholarships for students enrolled in the Administration of Justice program in memory of two officers, Ronald "Shige" Jitchaku and Kenneth Keliipio, who died in the line of duty.

The Police Commemorative Fund Tournament is a three-day multi sport event. The 13th annual event was held in early May at Kawananakoa Gym and Hualalai Park in Keaukaha, featuring events named after the three

Big Island officers who were killed in the line of duty.
"We wanted to do something that would pay tribute to these officers," Esteban said. "The tournament keeps their memory alive and also raises funds that support a private effort to construct a memorial in their honor."

But the success of the tournament has also enabled the department to pursue another important goal, which is to forge relationships within the community.

"Building community partnerships is a critical element of police work, which these officers dedicated their lives to," Esteban said. "These scholarships that support students in the Administration of Justice program are one way that we can partner with the University, by providing opportunities for others to pursue careers in law enforcement."

"We deeply appreciate the generous contributions that the Hawai`i Police Commemorative Fund Tournament has made to help students in this program achieve their educational goals," Tseng said. "This is another great example of how the men and women of this department work tirelessly to strengthen our community, and UH Hilo is proud to be a partner in that effort."

The Police Commemorative Fund tournament began in 1994 with the Shige 5K Run and 1.5 Mile Walk; in honor of Jitchaku, who was killed in 1990 while attempting to break up a large brawl on Banyan Drive in Hilo.

Other events include the Manuel Cadinha Memorial Softball Tournament; held in memory of Officer Manuel Cadinha, who died while arresting a combative male in 1918. And the Kenneth K. Keliipio Memorial Co-ed Softball Tournament; in honor of the South Hilo Patrol Officer, killed in a motor vehicle collision while assisting a stranded motorist in 1997.

Organizers have also added the Daison 'Froggie' Morita Mixed Volleyball Tournament; established in memory of the airport firefighter killed in a motor vehicle collision in 1998, along with a basketball and golf tournament. Thus far, a total of $20,000 has been donated for scholarships.

For more information about the scholarships, please contact the UH Hilo Financial Aid Office at (808) 974-7323, or (808) 974-7324.

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