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Palolo-Kaimuki youth tennis program strengthened by Hawaiian Electric donation

Students at Jarrett Middle School participate in the Hawaiian Isle Tennis (HIT) project which has received a grant from Hawaiian Electric that will be used to continue the free afterschool leadership and character development program. Photo credit: Hawaiian Isle Tennis

The Hawaiian Isles Tennis (HIT) project has received a $15,000 grant from Hawaiian Electric. The funds will be used to continue the flagship Play Tennis afterschool leadership and character development program focused on underserved middle school children in the Palolo-Kaimuki community.

Since 2008, the free, grassroots after school program has impacted more than 1,000 at risk children primarily at Jarrett Middle School by providing opportunities for play, competition and character building life lessons through the sport of tennis. HIT is a project of the non-profit Tri-Isle Research Conservation & Development Council.

"Hawaiian Electric's donation will sustain the program so we can continue to educate about 100 students annually on leadership and character development through the medium of play -- the language children speak," said Leilani Magee, HIT founder and principal. Magee also is an award winning certified Elite USPTA Professional with more than 25 years of tennis teaching experience. "The long-term goal is for every public park to have a similar free afterschool program so children know there is a place where they belong," said Magee.

A native of Maui, Magee took tennis lessons at the Shigesh Wakida Front Street courts in Lahaina where the experience led her to see how the sport can assist in teaching life skills through winning, losing and problem-solving. After living out of the country, Magee returned to Hawaiʻi and settled in Palolo Valley with its diverse ethnic communities. "Through tennis, we show students they are fully capable regardless of age or ability, and teach them to depend on and believe in themselves while they learn in a safe environment," she said.

The tennis curriculum is delivered through tennis teaching professionals, high level tennis players and after school program providers. HIT has one coach on staff and three volunteer coaches. The tennis program is offered twice a week throughout the school year on Mondays at 4:30 and Wednesdays at 3:45 p.m. for one hour each. Community Day, a free one-hour lesson for anyone in the community, is offered throughout the school year every Wednesday at 5 p.m.

For more information on Hawaiian Isle Tennis, call (808) 354-6373.

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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