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  • Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) - Hawaiian Electric's 2013 Sustainable Gift Contest winners

Karly Tangonan, Ruby Ranoa and Layla Fidel were today announced the winners of Hawaiian Electric Company's 2013 Sustainable Gift Contest for their hand-made gifts using recycled, natural, compostable or locally-sourced materials. The contest, held as part of the company's Grow Hawaiian Festival at Bishop Museum, challenged public school students in grades K-12 to design earth-friendly graduation gifts as alternatives to giving shiny, metallic balloons which can tangle in electric lines and result in power outages.

Cybil Rawlins of Hawaiian Electric Company; Karly Tangonan, age 10 years, of Honolulu with her recycled beach bag; Ruby Ranoa, age 12 years, of Kailua with her rosette soda can earrings; Layla Fidel, age 17 years, of Pearl City with her Bloom necklace; and Briana Ackerman of Hawaiian Electric Company. The three students are the winners of Hawaiian Electric Company's 2013 Sustainable Gift Contest.

Karly Tangonan, a fourth grade student at MaeMae Elementary School won in the Grade K-5 category with her recycled beach bag using an old laundry detergent container, yarn and old shorts. In the Grade 6-8 category, seventh grader Ruby Ranoa of Kailua Intermediate School designed her winning rosette soda can earrings using recycled soda cans and said, "my gift is sustainable because it will not be caught in power lines, it can be used and not thrown away like a balloon, and will not end up our oceans and hurt the sea animals." The winner in the Grade 9-12 category is Layla Fidel, a senior at Pearl City High School. Fidel's "Bloom" symbolizes the blooming of a high school graduate into an adult who is going into the real world, and is made of re-used washed plastic spoons to create the petals and a re-used necklace chain. "Sustainable gifts are not only cost effective, but also safer for the environment," said Fidel.

This year, about 175 public schools were invited to participate in the Sustainable Gift Contest and 27 finalists in three grade categories were selected to have their designs on display at the Grow Hawaiian Festival where the public cast their votes for the top sustainable designs. Judging was based on originality, creativity and gift appeal. Hawaiian Electric awarded each winner $100 for their classroom, an Apple® iPad® mini for their personal use and an eco-friendly "goodie" bag. All finalists will have a koa tree seedling planted in their honor to support the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods sustainable forestry project on the slopes of Mauna Kea.

About Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO)
For more than 100 years, Hawaiian Electric Company has provided the energy that has fueled the islands' development from a Hawaiian kingdom to a modern state. Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO), and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company, Ltd. (MECO), and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO), serves 95% of the state's 1.2 million residents on the islands of O`ahu, Maui, Hawai`i Island, Lana`i and Moloka`i.

The energy we use is an essential but limited resource necessary to maintaining our quality of life. In a changing world, Hawaiian Electric has evolved to offer more than electricity.

Today, the company also provides energy solutions to help customers save money and use energy more efficiently. Hawaiian Electric also continues to pursue the use of more clean, renewable energy alternatives to help ensure a sustainable future for our islands.


Hawaiian Electric Company is dedicated to our community in which we live, work and serve. Rooted in Hawaii and one of the largest companies in the State, Hawaiian Electric takes the concept of malama pono -- to care for and serve -- to heart. The company and our employees have a long tradition of contributing with dollars, time and talent. Corporate citizenship is crucial to Hawaiian Electric's overall business plan because strong communities are essential to the success of the company, our employees and our customers.

Company and employee volunteerism is encouraged and every month, employees walk, run or provide manpower to dozens of non-profits throughout the State. Hawaiian Electric's corporate giving philosophy gives priority to projects that help families, promote education and protect the environment.

The company also sponsors robotics programs and events that promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education, as well as the SunPower for Schools program bringing solar electric power to select schools, the Solar Sprint event where students design, build and race cars using solar power, and the Home Energy Challenge, a school-based competition encouraging elementary school students and their families to reduce energy use at home, among other programs.

For nearly a decade, Hawaiian Electric volunteers have provided manpower, bucket trucks and ladders to install Christmas lights at the Kaimuki Community Park and playground before the annual Kaimuki Christmas Parade in December.

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