Maui Business

Chamber Scholarship Honors First Filipino County Official in US

February 1, 2013, 1:05 PM HST
* Updated February 1, 2:00 PM
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Richard Caldito. Courtesy photo.

Richard Caldito. Courtesy photo.

By Sonia Isotov

The Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently announced the availability of several scholarships, including the inaugural $1,000 Richard Caldito Government Service award.

“The Maui Filipino Chamber Foundation is pleased to announce it will award several $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors who will be graduating in 2013.  The Foundation will also award several $500 scholarships for students enrolled in the Maui Culinary Academy at the University of Hawaii,” said Sharon Zalsos, president of the Maui Filipino Chamber Foundation, in a written statement.

“And the Foundation, thanks to the generosity of the Caldito family, will award the inaugural $1,000 Richard Caldito Government Service Scholarship for a college student majoring in Government, Political Science, or a related field.”

Richard Caldito was the first American of Filipino ancestry to be elected to county office in the United States. In 1956, he was first elected to the Maui County Board of Supervisors. He continued serving on that body, which became the County Council, until 1972. Caldito passed away in July 2011 at the age of 98.


“Caldito’s advice to young people was to get educated by going to college as their future depended on their education.” Alfredo Evangelisto, a Wailuku-based attorney and chairperson of the Chamber’s Cultural Committee.


“The Richard Caldito Government Service Scholarship was created by the Maui Filipino Chamber Foundation to honor Mr. Caldito’s memory and to inspire our youth to pursue a career in government service,” said Elizabeth Ayson, chairperson of the Scholarship Committee.  “We are grateful to the Caldito family for its financial support in establishing this scholarship.”

Since 1995, the Maui Filipino Chamber has awarded scholarships to 88 graduating seniors.

Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce annual golf tournament raises funds for several scholarships every year. Coutesy photo.

Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce annual golf tournament raises funds for several scholarships every year. Coutesy photo.

The Maui Filipino Chamber Foundation raises funds for the high school scholarship program through its annual scholarship golf tournament, which is scheduled for March 16, 2013 at The Dunes at Maui Lani.


“Last year we raised enough funds to provide for six $1,000 scholarships and we hope to improve on that,” said Bill Ruidas, chairperson of the golf tournament.  There are three different levels of sponsorship:  Platinum ($1,100 for six golfers); Gold ($500 for three golfers); and Team ($375 for three golfers).  Silver/Tee Sponsors are also available at $100.

The deadline for the three person full scramble tournament is February 28, 2013 but those who submit their paid application by February 15, 2013 will be eligible for an early bird drawing.

The scholars will be presented during the Maui Filipino Chamber’s Gintong Pamana Leadership and Scholarship Awards scheduled for June 19, 2013 at the Maui Beach Hotel.

The applications for the various scholarships  and are available on-line at and must be postmarked by March 31, 2013. Graduating high school seniors may also contact their principal or their senior class counselor for copies of the application.  The materials for the Gintong Pamana Leadership and Scholarship Awards Banquet will also be available on-line.

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