Maui Business

Pu‘ukukui Student Earns People’s Choice Award

April 18, 2016, 1:14 PM HST
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Peoples Choice Winners

Toyota Hawai‘i’s Dream Car Art Contest People’s Choice Award winner Justice Wakamatsu (left), age 6, of Pu’ukukui Elementary School, is seen here with winners of the in other age categories. Toyota Hawai‘i photo.

Justice Wakamatsu, age 6, a student at Pu‘ukukui Elementary School, was awarded $100 as a finalist in the People’s Choice Award category for keiki ages 7 and under in Toyota Hawai‘i’s 2016 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.

Toyota Hawaii announced the local finalists and additional People’s Choice Competition winners in two other age categories (see below) at an awards ceremony held over the weekend.

From Feb. 15 to 28, 2016, Toyota Hawaii’s Facebook friends had the opportunity to view all eligible entries and vote for their favorites in each of the three age categories for the People’s Choice Competition awards.

The Facebook contest received an overwhelming response of 6,105 votes and 5,791 unique visitors to the contest page. The three finalists were automatically entered for final judging in the local competition.

Among the hundreds of entries received, nine works of art (three from each age category) were selected to move on to the Toyota MotorCorporation World Contest in Japan.


KHON2 evening news weather anchor Justin Cruz, KITV news anchor Yunji de Nies and Shriners Hospitals for Children–Honolulu Public Relations Director Mahealani Richardson emceed the awards ceremony and also served as judges.


“We received hundreds of creative works of art,” said Glenn Inouye, senior vice president representing the Toyota Hawaii dealers. “Family and friends really rallied for their loved ones as well by voting for their favorite entries in the People’s Choice Competition on our Facebook page in February.”


Category 1 (Ages 7 and under)
1st Place: Aja Middleton, age 6, Punahou School (Hawai‘i Kai)
2nd Place: Sarah Asato, age 7, Iolani School (Honolulu)
3rd Place: Phoebe Hirashima, age 6, Iolani School (Honolulu)


Category 2 (Ages 8–11)
1st Place: Ryan Handa, age 9, Kainalu Elementary School (Kailua)
2nd Place: Camille Quindica, age 11, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)
3rd Place: Raphael Stark, age 9, Home School (Honolulu)

Category 3 (Ages 12–15)
1st Place WINNER: Angelica Devers, age 13, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)
2nd Place: Min Hua Tsou, age 14, Mililani High School (Mililani)
3rd Place: Melia LaFleur, age 14, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)

People’s Choice Winners

These entrants were awarded $100 cash and were automatically entered for final judging in the local competition for receiving the most votes in each category.

Category 1 (Ages 7 and under): Justice Wakamatsu, age 6, Pu‘ukukui Elementary School (Maui)
Category 2 (Ages 8-11): Dylan Yanazakiage, age 9, Waikele Elementary School (Waikele)
Category 3 (Ages 12-15): Angelica Devers, age 13, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)

This year’s judging panel also included Honolulu Museum of Art School Director Vince Hazen; Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum; 94.7 KUMU FM Radio DJ Bryan “Brudduh Bryan” Min; Hawaii Association of Independent Schools Executive Director Robert Landau; APP-AIR Resource Teacher Una Chan; and Toyota Hawaii’s Glenn Inouye.

This international art contest was established in 2004 with the goals of creating an opportunity for children to have fun and to understand the importance of having a dream, while at the same time to encourage them to become interested in cars through drawing their “Dream Cars” using their creative imaginations.

For more information about Toyota Hawaii, visit

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