Maui Business

UH Maui College Receives Scholarship Fund from MCAA

April 30, 2015, 1:12 PM HST
* Updated April 30, 1:17 PM
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Leona Wilson presents the MCAA donation to UH Maui College Chancellor Lui K. Hokoana: Left to right. Leona Wilson, Chancellor Lui K. Hokoana, Marseu Simpson

Leona Wilson (left) presents the MCAA donation to UH Maui College Chancellor Lui K. Hokoana (center), Marseu Simpson (right). Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

The the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College recently received $5,000 in scholarship funding from the Mechanical Contractors Association of America as part of its ongoing effort to give back to local communities and foster students’ pursuit of higher education.

MCAA CEO John R. Gentille was scouting for a location to host a group luncheon prior to MCAA’s Annual National Convention. One of the potential lunch venues was Leona Wilson’s burgeoning flower farm in Wailuku Heights, where Wilson also offers small tours to showcase Native Hawaiian plants and local honey.

“Of course, I immediately thought we should see if the Maui Culinary Academy at UH Maui College could cater, and once we were on the topic, I mentioned what a great program it is, and how so many students struggle to earn enough to keep the lights on and get their education,” said Wilson. “I didn’t think much about it afterwards and had no idea that they would make a donation so quickly, and for such a large amount. I’m thrilled.”

“Simply put, MCAA is a national trade association that greatly appreciates the value of education and training, and I was moved by Leona Wilson’s passion for providing educational opportunities for Maui’s young people,” said Gentille. “MCAA wanted to express that gratitude by supporting local students at UH Maui College. Higher education is the infrastructure for building better lives, and we’re excited to play a part in that.”


The MCAA Annual Convention took place at the Grand Wailea and the Wailea Beach Marriott from March 8 through 12, drawing over 2,500 attendees to Maui. The conventions featured speakers such as the Honorable Leon Panetta, “The Fault in Our Stars” Author John Green and CBS Sportscaster James “JB” Brown.


“I really admire organizations that come to a community like Maui and feel a responsibility to support it on a deeper level,” said Wilson. “Their event boosted the economy by bringing an influx to local businesses, but they also left behind a gift that will help students reach their potential. Perhaps this donation will inspire more organizations to follow their example.”

The check for $5,000 was presented to UHMC Chancellor Lui K. Hokana by Wilson on the MCAA’s behalf in early April.

To make a contribution to the Maui College scholarships, or learn how to create a scholarship in your name or in the name of a loved one, contact the UH Foundation at Maui College by calling (808) 984.3471 or via email.

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