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Events of the Past

Dec 12, 2020

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Staying Well in These Uncertain Times


Click Here to DOWNLOAD the Flyer.

Dec 12, 2020

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Invitation to Sunrise Foundation Zoom Meeting December 12, 2020


Click Here to DOWNLOAD the invitation and learn how to register for the zoom meeting.

Nov 23, 2020


Foundation Board Annual Report


Click Here to DOWNLOAD the Annual Report.

Apr 17, 2020


The following are essays and verses written by members of the Sunrise Foundation Board that were inspired by the unprecedented challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. Click to read...

The Praying Mantis


Prayers and Gratitude for Our Healthcare Workers

Coping with COVID with Calm and Conviction


Being Hopeful--A Reflection


COVID Cultural Changes: Expressing Aloha While While Wearing a Mask

Complacency to Turbulence

More will follow.

Aug 17, 2019

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Senior Fellowship Gathering at Home of David and Debbie Laeha


August 17, 2019

To view photos of the event, click here.


When we see people smiling and living in a loving manner, we gain confidence in the future.

- Thich Nhat Hanh


God fills your mouths with laugher and your lips with shouts of joy.

- Job 8:21


These two sayings set the tone for our fellowship gathering on Saturday, August 17, 2019, 6:00 pm, at the spacious and artful Maunawili home of David and Debbie Laeha. 


Clearly, cruel death, pain and despair are a big part of our world today. The evidences are mounting and numbing. They include the recent hate-driven mass killings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the recurring immigration tragedies happening in our southern borders and a frightening environmental crisis looming on earth.  The list goes on and on.   These realities cannot be ignored by us. They need our thoughtful attention and bold action.


Simultaneously, we are called to also lift our heads high, and offer to each other, including our adversaries, an outstretch hand of aloha with a heartfelt smile. Fear may then be overcome by grace, hate, diminished by love, and brokenness, by coming together.   That is what Buddhist Thick Nhat Hanh and the Bible teach.  Our gathering was thus the timely occasion to transcend the negativities of our world and enter into the joy inherent to our Sunrise Foundation fellowship.


The gathering began on a hopeful note, with the introduction of Rev. Anke Flohr and Art Lum, new members of the Sunrise Foundation Board. A wonderful connection was made when each spoke to the group, with Art also introducing his wife, April. New people, new possibilities, new hope.


Corey Wong then led us in helpful, yet simple stretching exercises and a breathing meditation.  We became centered and calm.  He was followed by an unexpected surprise. His teen-age son, Kapono, enlivened us with an amazing virtuoso performance on the ukulele. WOW!  Wide smiles beamed on all the faces present.


It was a perfect prelude to enjoying an impressive potluck supper, preceded by the singing of an inclusive and gender-free version of the Doxology and a grace offered by Rev. Sharon MacArthur from Community Church of Honolulu.  Mahalo to Yolanda Hernandez and Debbie Laeha for coordinating the potluck and overseeing the clean-up –  tasks vital to the evening’s success.


Following the meal, enhanced with soft drinks, beer and wine, the group settled into sharing their stories.  David Lahea facilitated this important segment of the evening’s program. Its purpose is to offer support to each other, and thereby, enrich our community of trust.  The stories shared  included the telling of a pilgrimage to a distant homeland, turning points in the  lives of members or their family members, coping with physical ailments,  loss of a loved one,  challenges and promises in aging and personal triumphs over setbacks.  Those who had not yet spoken, were then invited to speak. Nearly all did. Spontaneous prayers and laughter bubbled up as vapors from a flowing volcano. Inspiration and gratitude were widely felt.


Ron Yamauchi gave a heartfelt and detail announcement on Journeys to Wellness VIII, the major public event of Sunrise Foundation, that is taking place on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. Arising from his announcement, several registered to attend.  Currently, registration has reached near 100!  Encouraging news.


Then came the “icing on the cake”. Woody Chock and Hari Bayani presented us with an upbeat musical journey that featured memorable songs from Hawaii and jewels from the classics!  Woody charmed us with his rich voice and Hari mesmerized us with his versatile performance on a newly acquired keyboard.  A pleasurable evening was coming to a close in a flourish. 


Sister Bitrina Kirway blessed us as we stood together with hands clasped in a Circle of Aloha. The twenty-two inter-spiritual, inter-cultural and inter-generational souls gathered then departed with joy-filled hearts and an abundance of happy memories.    We have overcome, and will continue to do so, with the help from above, within, and others.


Wally Fukunaga

Apr 18, 2019


Click here for photos of this special evening



​Sunrise Foundation’s beloved founding President, Sr. Joan Chatfield, Ph.D., M.M. (Oct. 7, 1932-March 1, 2019) was honored at our support fellowship gathering on April 6. Twenty-four people attended. The setting could not have been more fitting – the Maryknoll Sisters’ beachfront home in Lanikai. Residents Sr. Bitrina Kirway warmly welcomed us and Sr. Yoo Soo Kim inspired us with her striking interpretive dance.  Touching testimonies of remembrances freely flowed from those gathered in a circle. This was followed by Woody Chock’s moving rendition of Ave Maria (J.S. Bach/C. Gounod).  Others who shared their musical gifts to honor Sr. Joan were Michael Yano who sang his composition, A Gathering of Minds and Souls, and Hari Bayani, who performed on the flute, Dance of the Blessed Spirits (C. W. Gluck).  A sung Mass and prayer of thanks was followed by a sumptuous potluck supper.  It was indeed a joyous celebration of the life of one who selflessly and boldly embodied the prophet Micah, who called us all to a life lived in faithful service to God.

Nov 03, 2018


Click here for photos of this fun evening.



It was a joyous and memorable event.  On Saturday, November 3, 2018, twenty-five participants and helpers of Journeys to Wellness VII gathered at the artistic Maunawili home of David & Deborah Laeha for a Mahalo Dinner and Celebration hosted by Sunrise Foundation.


Following a welcoming of the guests by David, and the sounding of the Pu by his son, Adam, inviting also the spirits, baritone Woody Chock moved us with his evocative rendition of Kanaka Wai Wai, a song about learning life’s eternal values: how to give and how to love.


The speakers and workshop leaders then introduced themselves and offered their insights on Wellness VII. Mentioned was the diversity of the 160 people present, ranging in age from 15-95, able-bodied and handicapped, and from all parts of the island!  It was observed that their response was generally positive and vibrant.


To prepare us for the meal, Wally Fukunaga spoke on the importance of gratefulness as a measure of our aliveness.  His reflective words were followed with flautist, Hari Bayani, beautifully performing Jules Massenet’s soulful, Meditation.  In silence, we lifted up the blessing for which each of us were deeply grateful.


The meal, catered by Sarah Loui Lum, bore her unmistakable trademark- healthy, creative, varied and tasty.  It included mixed greens with roast duck, broccoli spears with shrimp, vegetarian stir-fried vegetables with tofu, steamed salmon with black bean sauce, lobster fried rice, Singapore style vegetarian curry rice noodles and gin dui for dessert.  There were also  assortments of pupus and other desserts brought by the guests. Wine and beer flowed freely.


With our appetites saited and our spirits kindled, we then spent about an hour sharing our thoughts on Wellness VII and our suggestions for the future.  Most centered on how to allow the participants to attend more than two workshops. It echoed a similar concern raised in many of the feedback sheets that were turned in.  We will address this common request.


Then came the fun, fun part – the live entertainment provided by Woody Chock and Hari Bayani, on the keyboard.  They were masterful in displaying the breadth of their musical talents, and the audience loved it!  Woody warmed their hearts with Broadway hits and Hawaiian songs on his ukulele. Hari pumped them up with his dazzling skills on the keyboard and his vocal skills with a Filipino number.  Guest Chad Imano then stood up and wowed the group with his singing of Waialua Skies and his joke-telling.  We thank Chad, who works fulltime as the computer specialist for Bishop Estate, for sharing his other talents.  The memorable entertainment, that evoked much laughter and applause, capped the evening’s celebration!


Sr. Joan Chatfield offered heartfelt blessings for our return to our families and home, as we stood in a Circle of Aloha, then lifted our voices in singing, Hawaii Aloha. We departed, having been energized in body, mind, spirt and community, with plenty of hugs, left-over food and broad smiles on our faces.

Oct 13, 2018

“Fantastic.” “Uplifting.” “Rejuvenating.” “Awesome!” “Strong spiritual connection"


“A spiritual high.”  “A true community resource.“ “A wonderful, heart centered day with lots of aloha.”  This is some of the feedback that were given on Journeys to Wellness VII that took place on Oct. 13, 2018 at the Community Church of Honolulu.  The crowd of over 150 began arriving early, in handi-vans, cars, public transportation and on foot. They were warmly greeted and registered by a friendly band of ladies, guided by Sharlene Yamauchi.


The morning session began with an enthusiastic welcome by Rev. J.P. Sabbithi. Flautist, Hari Bayani, then played Bach’s “Air” as the anticipatory audience meditated in silence.  Rev.  Sabbithi then introduced the keynote speaker, Randal K. Wada, who spoke on the topic, “Resilience and Mortality: Conversations Your Doctors Wish They Could have With You”.  Dr. Wada’s message was more personal than professional; more story-telling than scientific.  It evoked smiles and tears that connected us into one ohana, in the midst of our striking diversity.  We were given renewed hope and joy.  Serving as respondents were Wendi Hirsch Major, Ph.D. and Ruey Ryburn, Ph.D., who both also awakened our hearts and minds and caused us to say, “Yes!” to life.


This year’s Puaka`ana o ka lā (“Rise Up!”) Awardees were then called forward: Amy Agbayani, introduced by Jeffrey Acido, Rev. Teruo Kawata, introduced by Janet Fujioka, and Frank DeLima, introduced by Sr. Joan Chatfield. The award recognizes those who have given longstanding service to promoting wellness of the body, mind and spirit in our community. The recipients represented three distinct areas of service- education, ministry and comedy, respectively.  DeLima sent the audience into roars of laughter by his acceptance speech! Vocalist Sherwood Chock honored the awardees with his moving rendition of “One Moment in Time”.


This was followed by the presentation of the following workshops that offered diverse paths to wellness, along with their facilitators:

1. Conversations with Dr. Wada and the Respondents;

2. Millennials’ Pursuit of Wellness in Today’s World: Jeffrey Acido, Ph.D., Kevin Faller, Grace Jean-Pierre, Gregg Yamauchi and Reiki Young;

3. Improve Everything, Including You!: Rev.Gabrielle Fackre Chavez and Thomas Chavez;

4. Meditation and Principals of the Martial Arts: Rev. Gary K. Omori;

5. Pathways to Your Peak: Christa Wittmier and Michelle Garcia;

6. Mindfulness- A Way to Enhance Awareness and Reduce Stress: Gregory Pai, Ph.D.;

7. Good Soil-Organic Farming, Holistic Health & Sustainable Communities: Mark Hamamoto.


Participants had the opportunity to attend two workshops, before and after lunch. Each of the workshops were well attended and received.  During the workshops a “wellness fair” was also held offering free massage therapy by Chad Imano. Also offered were tea ceremony, flower arrangement and Okada Purification Therapy by MOA Hawai`i.  Blessings of all sorts flowed and filled lives. As in prior Journeys to Wellness, the lunch catered by Sarah Loui Lum was a huge hit! The people loved it, with some regarding it as the highlight of the day.


The program concluded with a Summation Session moderated by David Lahea.  People shared their experiences.  An elementary school boy, when asked what he liked about the day’s event, replied, “They let me speak.” That said it all.


We then stood in a large Circle of Aloha that covered the whole of the sanctuary and symbolized our awakened unity. Norman Oshiro gifted the circle with thoughtful parting words of encouragement and empowerment.


A special mahalo goes to Community Church of Honolulu for its gracious opening of its campus, Ron Yamauchi who oversaw the physical set-up for the day-long event, Ardis Gomes for technical support, Martha Hernandez for the graphic design of the printed program, Ann Miller for editing,  Ryan Urabe for handling the sound system, Art Lum who “jumped in” to give a helping hand wherever help was needed at the event, and for many others who willingly volunteered their kokua, with smiles on their faces, strength in their bodies and compassion in their hearts.


Aloha kakou!

Submitted by Wally Fukunaga

Jul 28, 2018


Click Here for a Photo of the Mahalo Event



On Saturday, July 28, the Sunrise Foundation Board of Directors awarded Janet Fujioka with a striking koa bowl in appreciation of her 7 years of service as its founding secretary.

The award was made at a luncheon meeting held at the Pagoda Floating Restaurant that was attended by eleven members.

In the photo,  Janet Fujioka, with the koa bowl in hand, is flanked by Wally Fukunaga, president and Sr. Joan Chatfield, vice-president.

Jul 21, 2018

Professor Abdul-Karim Khan's Presentation and Discussion

On Saturday, July 21, 2018 forty persons filled the classroom at Community Church of Honolulu to hear Leeward Community College Professor Abdul-Karim Khan give a fascinating power-point presentation on "Islamic Teachings on Wellness of the Body, Mind & Spirit."  Respondents were Alice Tucker, from the Jewish community, Rev.Gabrielle Fackre Chavez, from the Christian community, and Gregory Pai, Ph.D., from the Buddhist community.

In the discussion that followed, one person expressed his gratitude in hearing for the first time such a clear and compelling description of Islam's commitment to the health and wellness of the whole person.  Another person remarked that Dr. Khan's presentation should be "made available to all the schools in our country'".

Fresh delicious  refreshments prepared by Sarah Loui Lum were served to the satisfied audience.

The event emerged from Sunrise Foundation's vision of affirming and celebrating our inter-spiritual universe.

Those in the photo are Gregory Pai, Gabrielle Fackre Chavez, Abdul-Karim Khan & Wally Fukunaga, modeator.

Jul 21, 2018

Islamic Teachings on Wellness of the Body, Mind and Spirit


in Partnership with Community Church of Honolulu


Islamic Teachings on Wellness of the Body, Mind and Spirit

By Abdul-Karim Khan, PhD

“When I become sick, He (Allah) heals me.” Quran, 26:80

Islam is a religion as well as a way of life.  The two main sources of Islam, the Quran and Hadith, have guidance for one’s private and public lives, and from toilet to temple.  While prevention is the best medicine, Islam has a cure for physical diseases as well as for mental and spiritual sickness. 

Dr. Abdul-Karim Khan, a Professor of History at the University of Hawaii’s Leeward Community College.  His talk will cover religious practices of Islam, beginning with TAHARA, i.e., cleanliness and/or purity.



Alice Tucker, Vital and vibrant member of the Jewish community, known for her outstanding lifetime service to Hawai`i’s people and organizations.

Rev. Gabrielle Fackre Chavez, Interim Conference Minister of the Hawai`i Conference of the United Church of Christ and author of Alive in Grace.

Gregory Pai, Ph.D., Teacher of a meditation class at the Broken Ridge Korean Temple, who also taught meditation at various hospitals and institutions.

Saturday, July 21, 10 a.m.

Community Church of Honolulu

2345 Nuuanu Avenue

Refreshments will be served

Email: or call: 808-222-6452                

(Wally Fukunaga) or the church office 595-7541 for more information

Oct 13, 2018


Journeys to Wellness VII









Nov 03, 2017


The Hawaii Herald article on Journeys to Wellness


Click on the title to see the article on Journeys to Wellness VI published on 11/3/17 in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. . 


Jul 15, 2017



at the Maunawili home of David and Debbie Laeha



Sunrise Foundation Fellowship Gathering (click here to view photos)


It began with David Laeha and his son, Adam, sounding the pu to call us together as one ohana in the garden patio of the Laeha home, and remind us of the presence of the creative Spirit in our midst.  The honored guests were then welcomed:  Doug Young, artist, Rev. J.P. Sabbithi, new member of the Sunrise Foundation Board, and JoAnn Farnsworth, recent new participant in our book study. JoAnn's husband also joined us. Later in the evening, Doug's daughter, Reiki, came.

This was followed by an uplifting opening reflection offered by Carol Ohta, a gift of music by Michael Yano, grace by Sister Joan Chatfield, and a sumptuous potluck supper. Mahalo, Debbie Laeha, for coordinating the potluck and to all who contributed to it. We outdid ourselves.

With our appetites well satisfied, we settled to awaken our minds and souls by hearing our guest speaker, Doug Young, share his mana`o. Go to to view his magnificent art work.  Reiki and Adam, from the younger generation, then eloquently spoke on their passion and labors. Their integrity glowed brightly.

After a break, many among the nineteen people present opened up by sharing their own recent awakening experiences. The fellowship group graciously extended their  compassion, encouragement and support.

Ron Yamauchi concluded the community healing and building time by informing us of Sunrise Foundation's forthcoming Journeys to Wellness VI  and participation in Foodland's Give Aloha Fund Drive. Your kokua in both events is warmly appreciated.

David Lahea then gave a compelling personal closing reflection that was followed by Michael Yano bidding us aloha with an Hawaiian song that touched our souls.

The next gathering will be announced shortly.  You may, however, put on your calendar the annual "alternative" New Year's celebration at Wally's condo, now in its 7th year!

Attached is the program of the July 15th gathering.

I leave you with this Tibetan Buddhist blessing:

May the precious compassion and loving kindness

Be awakened in those for whom it has not arisen.

And for those in whom it has awakened,   

May it not decline, but ever increase.

Aloha kakou,

Wally Fukunaga

May 13, 2017


Held on May 13, 2017 at MOA Hawai`i Wellness Center in Kaka`ako. (Click here to view photos)



It was a memorable event, with a diverse and enthusiastic crowd in attendance. Some were from our board, others from our book study group, some from MOA, and most from the community.


Pamela Rotner Sakamoto did superbly in introducing her book, Midnight in Broad Daylight. She told how the inspiration had come from her friendship with the Fukuhara family, especially middle son, Harry, while living and working in postwar Japan for seventeen years. He invited her to write their story.


Thus, came her well-researched and warmly written book. In it, she shared many poignant insights into our nation and Japan before, during, and following the Second World War, and its divisive, yet healing, impact on families such as the Fukuharas. Her presentation was personal, engaging and delightful.


Her talk was followed by a heartfelt conversation with those in attendance. We then all enjoyed a delicious lunch presented by MOA.


Sunrise Foundation is grateful to MOA for its gracious hospitality, Rev. Irene Matsumoto for her touching blessing, Alan & Wanda Avanaydo for organizing the fantastic lunch, and Yolanda Hernandez for serving as our congenial receptionist.


Some comments….

Thank you for having me join the wonderful group in having a conversation with Pamela Rotner Sakamoto.  I related with the events of that period in which she had written in her book, MIDNIGHT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.  I wondered if my translation of her tile in Japanese is correct, “Mahiru No Yonaka.”  I enjoyed her proverbs “koto waza” for each chapter.

With metta, Irene


I have NEVER been to an event like this. I enjoyed Pamela’s stories very much.  I was also deeply moved by what Amy Mizuno and BettyAnn Igawa-Kamakani, in the audience, shared.  Let me add that the lunch was excellent!



Dear Wally, I want to follow up your Saturday event with a huge mahalo. I enjoyed having the interesting audience with their dynamic questions and close reading of my book.  As an author, I feel gratified to the core when I know that the book has reached people. I also enjoyed the many thoughtful touches – your kind introduction, Rev. Matsumoto’s moving words, the gorgeous blossoms, the taste bento (one of the best that I have had) and your beautiful card and honorarium. Thank you!

Wishing you wellness in spirit and body!

Warm aloha, Pam

Apr 08, 2017


by Wally Fukunaga (Click Here to View Photos)





It was a magnificent evening when seventeen of us gathered at the oceanfront home of the Maryknoll Sisters in Lanikai. We laughed as we greeted one another, soaked in the renewing energies from the Pacific Ocean, feasted on a sumptuous potluck meal, and felt our spirits soar by the thoughtful and creative presentations of Sister Bitrina Kirway, Sister Joan Chatfield, and Sister Yoo Soo Kim.  It was a blessed prelude to Holy Week. 


FEEDBACK FROM SOME WHO CAME, in the order when they were received.….

Special thanks for a moving evening.  To hear the personal sacrifices, journeys and spiritual commitments of the Maryknoll Sisters was so impressive. Another Hawaiian Kahu friend also shared the deeper meaning of Aloha as emptying of one’s breath, the receiving of another’s breath and the openness to receive the mana of others. Their “no two alike” was another interesting concept as they seem to embrace their differences and embody tolerance, compassion and humanitarianism.

David Laeha


The instant fellowship that occurred amongst friends and new acquaintances was meaningful and fun. The invitation to share new songs for our evolving family of Sunrisers was a pleasure to fulfill.


Thanks, Sisters, for sharing your stories and enlightening our understanding of the mission of the Maryknoll order of Catholic compassion. The shoreline outdoor sunset was such a beautiful setting to enjoy a peaceful dinner.

Malama pono ka kou e malama kou kino.   Take care of your Spirt and body.  

Michael Yano


Appreciated the evening full of sharing talents, passion, service, prayers, support and friendship. Potluck dishes were delicious and nourishing.  Gentle breezes, ocean view, full moon and sun setting were so beautiful. I am grateful for the opportunity to experience joy among us. God was with us. His calling, faith and enduring love was truly felt. Thank you!

Jenny Son


‘Twas a beautiful evening spent in “My Mother’s Garden”. The beautiful Lanikai oceanfront setting set the mood for a wonderful gathering of friends sitting in an intimate circle. It truly was an awakening of all of our senses – eating delicious foods, listening to beautiful music, moving poetry, and inspiring stories of 3 courageous Maryknoll Sisters, admiring beautiful paintings, sharing person journeys and engaging in mindful meditation.  I came away with my spirit renewed and refreshed.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Sharlene Yamauchi


Jim said “it was terrific- a real experience.  I got an understanding that I never had of what service to humankind the Maryknoll order provides, and the gentle manner in which they do. It was really enlightening.”


We both thank the sisters for their gracious welcome and for opening their home to us and sharing their journeys. Their sharing motivated us to think about our own lives and goals and re-examine our priorities.

Carol Ohta

May 13, 2017


A Conversation with Pamela Rodner-Sakamoto


Author of Midnight in Broad Daylight--A Japanese-American Family Caught Between Two Worlds

r.s.v.p. to

Oct 14, 2017

8:30AM ~ 3:00PM


Journeys to Wellness VI: COMING SOON


The sixth annual Journeys to Wellness will be bigger and better than ever.


Click here to see our exciting AGENDA.


Please subscribe to our email list for announcements and early-registration discount offers!

“Journeys to Wellness” Keynote Speakers and Topics

1. “Journeys to Wellness I”  Oct. 13, 2012

Keynote Speaker:   Joanne Doi, M.M., Ph.D.

Topic: “Transformative Journeys Toward Wellness”

Dr. Doi served for many years in southern Andes of Peru among the Aymara people where she engaged in popular education and religion.  She spoke on the Ph.D. dissertation, “Bridges to Compassion: Theological Pilgrimage to Tule Lake and Manzana.” It focused on the spiritual practices of collective memory, post-trauma reconciliation and solidarity as ways of healing and wellness for the individual and community.


Respondent:  Rev. Teruo Kawata, UCC Conference Minister(ret.) and former relocation camp internee during World War II.


2.  “Journeys to Wellness II”  Oct. 5, 2013

Keynote Speaker:  Rev. Teruo Kawata, D. Min.

Topic:  “The Healing Power of Gaman (persevere in Japanese)

The Rev. Teruo Kawata is the former conference minister of the United Church of Christ in Hawaii.  His address was based on how he and other Japanese interned during World War II survived the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona.  It was to practice gaman or endurance.

Respondents:  Rev. Barbara Grace Ripple, former superintendent of the Hawai`i District of the United Methodist Church, and Rev. Thomas Okano, former Bishop of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai`i.


Download the 2013 Event Program 

3.  “Journeys to Wellness III”  Oct. 18, 2014

Panel on the topic, “The Role of Spirituality in Healing and Wellness”

Panelists:  Jeffrey Akaka, M.D., medical director of the Diamond Head Community Mental Health Center;

Kalani Brady, M.D., internal medicine, Lau Ola Clinic;

John Houk, M.D., internal medicine, Queen’s Medical Center;

Naomi Morita, M.D., staff physician, St. Francis Hospice


Moderator:  Sr. Joan Chatfield, M.M., Ph.D.


The panel presented the role of spirituality in healing and wellness from the perspectives of Buddhism, Christianity and Hawaiian spirituality.  It also offered insights from general medical practice, psychiatry and hospice care.


4. “Journeys to Wellness IV”   Oct. 31, 2015

Keynote Speaker:  Frances H. Kakugawa

Topic:  “The Healing Power of Voice and Silence”

Frances Kakugawa is an award winning author, poet, educator and inspirational speaker. Among her 12 internationally published books, several are about bringing dignity and compassion to Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Her talk lifted up stories of her own and from others that told of how both words and silence can bring healing and hope.


Respondents:  Bishop Eric Matsumoto, current Bishop of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai`i; and Rev. Ron Williams, senior minister of the Community Church of Honolulu.


Moderator: Puanani Burgess, widely acclaimed poet and cultural translator. She has also been recognized for her work in mediation and the development of community-based organizations.

Download the 2015 Event Program


5. “Journeys to Wellness V”  Oct. 22, 2016

Panel on the topic, “Alternative Paths to Wellness that Work!”

Panelists:  Claire Ku`uleilani Hughes, Ph.D.,  served the State Dept. of Health for33 years as a public health administrator, nutritionist and registered dietician. She spoke on the path offered by Hawaiian spirituality;

Arnaldo Oliveira, Ph.D., is a facial-trauma surgeon trained in Brazil. He currently is in private practice at the Lam Clinic in Honolulu, specializing in electro-dermal screening and therapy and electro-acupuncture according to Voll;

Norman Oshiro, B.S. in Human Development, is the executive director of MOA Hawai`i Wellness Center in Kaka`ako, which offers a range of integrative services for physical and spiritual enrichment and improvement. He is a MOA purification therapist, organic farm specialist and licensed massage therapist;

Ruey Ryburn, Ph.D. in public health and Master’s in nursing. In 2201 she started the Sacred Path Healing School in her Maunalni Hts home that offers a three-year program of study leading to a diploma in spiritual healing. She is also a certified teacher of Sacred Health Yoga.


Moderator:  David Laeha, CPA, president and founder of CFO Hawai`i, with over 30 years of financial “healing” experience of various mainland and local firms.

Download the 2016 Event Program

6.  Journeys to Wellness VI                               Saturday, October 14, 2017


Keynote Speaker:  John Houk, M.D., primary care internist, physician leader and teacher

Topic:  “Aging: A Doctor’s Perspective”

Sub-topics: What can you expect as you age? The secrets of aging well. Caring for aged. End of life: preparation and completion.


Puanani Burgess, widely acclaimed poet, teacher and cultural translator.

Rev. Dr. Jayaprakash (JP) Sabbithi, Director of Counseling Services, Hospice Hawai`i

Rev. Dr. Teruo Kawata, past Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ in Hawai`i


Moderator: Rev. Dr. Wally Fukunaga, President, Sunrise Foundation

Download the 2017 Event Program


7.  Journeys to Wellness VII                           Saturday, October 13, 2018


Keynote Speaker:  Randal K. Wada, M.D., Associate Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, and Division Chief of Hermatology/Oncology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai`i.

Topic:  “Resilience and Mortality: Conversations Your Doctors Wish They Could Have With You”


Wendi Major, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children

Ruey Ryburn, Dr. PH,  Founder and Director of the Sacred Path Healing School in Hawai`i.


Moderator:  Rev. Dr. JP Sabbithi, Board member, Sunrise Foundation

Download the 2018 Event Program

8.   “Journeys to Wellness VIII”                            Saturday Sept, 28, 2019

Keynote Speaker:  Caroline Sakai, PhD.  Dr. Sakai is a psychologist in private practice. She is an authorized trainer of Thought Field Therapy(“Tapping”) for two decades and has conducted many training courses for health professionals. She has done extensive work helping genocide victims in Rwanda and at-risk youth in Hawai`i.

Topic:  Helping hands for health

             Overcoming adversity

             Promoting growth in spirit, mind and body

             Enhancing well-being

Respondents: Rev. David Rivers, Sr. Minister, Central Union Church

             Pōkā Laenui, attorney & former Executive Director, Waianae Coast Community Health Center  


Download the 2019 event program


Note:  The teachings and practices presented in these workshops do not necessarily reflect the views of or constitute an endorsement by the Sunrise Foundation.


The workshops offered and their presenters listed in a chronological order:

1.   Aloha: from Violence to Wholeness   Presenters: Kahu Kaleo Patterson & Ha`aheo Guanson, Ph.D., Pacific Justice & Reconciliation Center

2.  Balancing One’s Energy   Presenter:  Corey Wong, Asian Horizons

3. Contemplative Prayer & Christian Practice   Presenter: Rev. Ron Williams, Community Church of Honolulu


4. Healthy Eating    Presenter: Kathy Maddux, Mohala Organic Farms


5. Mindfulness Meditation   Presenter: Ernestine Enomoto, Honolulu Mindfulness Community


6. Forgiveness   Presenter:  Michael North, Hawai`i Forgiveness Project


7. Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary  Presenter: Jeff Acido, Ph.D., Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services


8.  Reiki  Presenters:  Alan & Rosemary Goto, private practitioners


9.  Music as a Source for Healing  Presenter:  Tom Poole, Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church


10.  Finding Your Greatness   Presenter: Kahu Lahela Johnson, private practitioner


11. Creative Expression in Art   Presenter: Michael Yano, private artist


12. Magic as a Way of Healing   Presenter: Rev. Don Asman, UCC minister (retired)


13.  Dances of Universal Peace   Presenter: Valerie Noor Kerima Payton, M.A., M.S.W., Dances of Universal Peace in Kaneohe


14.  Essence of Ho`oponopono   Presenter: Puanani Burgess, One-Peace-At-A-Time


15. Qigong & Taijiquan    Presenter:  Corey Wong, Asian Horizons


16. Loving Kindness & Compassion   Presenter: Gregory Pai, Ph.D., Broken Ridge Korean Temple


17. Yoga   Presenter:  Ramdas Lamb, Ph.D., University of Hawai`i


18. Mindfulness Meditation and Practices  Presenter: Gregory Pai, Ph.D., Broken Ridge Korean Temple


20. Movement: The Prayer of the Whole Self   Presenter: Sr. Soo Yoo Kim, M.M., Maryknoll Sisters Community in Lanikai, Oahu


21. Okada Health & Wellness Program   Presenter: Norman Oshiro, MOA Hawai`i Wellness Center


22. The Tao of Caregiving: A Map    Presenter, Clarence Liu, Hospice Chaplain (retired)


23. Lomilomi: Traditional Hawaiian Spiritual Healing Touch  Presenter: BettyAnn Kamakani, private practitioner


24.  Tai chi   Presenter: Tommy Amina, Nuuanu YMCA & Community Church of Honolulu


25.  Laughter Yoga & Meditation   Presenters: John and Inessa Love, Honolulu Laughter Club


26. Ho`oponopono in Daily Life   Presenter: Bruce Keaulani, Living Life Source Foundation


27. Introduction to Reiki   Presenter:  Melissa Clark, Usui Method of Natural Healing


28.  The Christian Healing Ministry: Grounded and Experiential Experience of the Divine  Presenter: Rev. Christopher Golding, Episcopal Diocese of Hawai`i


29. Nakem Pedogogy and Popular Education Healing Presenter: Jeffrey Acido, Ph.D., Kokua Kalihi Valley


30. 5 Elements Healing Sounds  Presenter: Corey Wong, Asian Horizons


31. Spirituality and End of Life Issues       Presenter: Rev. Dr. JP Sabbithi


32. Building the Beloved Community with Storytelling   Presenter: Puanani Burgess


33. Sacred Paths of Energy Healing                   Presenter: Ruey Ryburn, DrPH


34. Writing and the Coming Together of Body, Mind and Spirit    Presenter:  Jimmy Toyama


35. Secrets on Reclaiming Your Health                 Presenter: Leslie Sharp


36. Millennials’ Pursuit of Wellness in Today’s World    Presenters: Jeffrey Acido, Ph.D., Kevin Faller, Grace Jean-Pierre, Gregg Yamauchi & Reiki Young


37. Improve Everything, Including You!               Presenters: Rev. Gabrielle Fackre Chavez &

                                                                                                           Thomas Chavez


38. Meditation and Principles of the Martial Arts        Presenter:  Rev. Gary Omori, Zen priest


39. Pathways to Your Peak                                    Presenters: Christa Wittmier & Michelle Gracia


40. Mindfulness: A Way to Enhance Awareness and Reduce Stress   Presenter: Gregory Pai, Ph.D


41. Good Soil: Organic Farming, Holistic Health & Sustainable Communities Presenter:  Mark Hamamoto

42. Blue Zones Project                                         Presenter:  Molly Mamaril & Pono Shim

43. 21st Medicine                                              Presenter:  Norman Oshiro & MOA volunteers

44. Acupuncturists Without Borders Clinic                Presenter:  Corey Wong, Asian Horizons, LLC

45. Tao Calligraphy and Meditative Movement         Presenter:  Diane Fujio & Orlena Wong

46. Centering Prayer Meditation                             Presenter: Carol Alevizos


The annual Puaka`ana o ka lā award presentation was launched in 2014 to recognize and honor those who have made longstanding and significant contributions toward the promotion of wellness and of the body, mind and spirit to our people and community.

2014 Recipients

Clarence Liu  Mr. Liu is a retired hospice chaplain who served for 18 years as the Director of Patient and Family Services at Hospice Hawai`i. Of his work, Malama Ola, the newsletter of Hospice Hawai`i wrote, “Clarence’s impact on the hundreds of patients and families he has touched will last and continue to blossom.”

Rose Nakamura   In 1989 Ms. Nakamura co-founded Project Dana (Sanskrit for “selfless giving”) as a program to provide volunteer assistance to homebound elderly and disabled persons in order to ensure their independence and dignity. Today, it has grown into a statewide coalition of more than 30 churches with over 750 volunteers.

Mark Kawika Patterson  As warden of the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC), Mr. Patterson recognized that the inmates did not need a place for punishment, as much as they need a place to heal. He thus set to reinvent WCCC as a pu`uhonua -a sanctuary for forgiveness and transformation.


2015 Recipients

Ho`oipo De Cambra  As a member of the Board of the Wai`anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Ms. De Cambra, long promoted the over-all wellness of the Leeward Coast’s large population of Hawai`i’s indigenous people.   Her work included the protection of the civil rights of the people and the promotion of the Peace Education Program.

Kalani Brady, M.D.  Dr. Brady has had a longstanding impact in the promotion of wellness in our community from his medical practice at the Lau Ola Clinic in Kaka`ako, serving on the faculty of the UH John A. Burns Medical School and, for the past 18 years, on the weekly program “Ask the Doctor” that airs on KHON TV.

Frances H. Kakugawa  Ms. Kakugawa is an award winning author, poet, educator and inspirational speaker.  She has written and spoken extensively about brining dignity to Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.  Currently she writes a monthly column in the Hawai`i Herald. Her books include, “I Am Somebody”, “Mosaic Moon”, and “Breaking the Silence”.


2016 Recipients

Sister Maria Rosario Daley  For over 60 years, Sr. Rosario taught at Catholic schools throughout Hawai’i ( Maryknoll, St. Ann’s and St. Anthony’s) and touched countless young lives. Many fondly remember her till this day for the helping them become productive adults. She now considers her primary assignment as praying for our world and the betterment of Hawai`i.


Gregory Pai, Ph.D.   Gregory Pai has practiced meditation since the mid-70’s in several Buddhist traditions and under several notable teachers.  Today, he teaches a widely attended public meditation class at the Broken Ridge Korean Temple.  He has also taught meditation to the mentally disabled at the Hawaii State Hospital, as well as veterans at Tripler Hospital.

Terry Shintani, M.D., J.D.  Dr. Shintani teaches at the UH John A. Burns Medical School and directs its Wellness Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. He is perhaps vest known for his promotion of health in the Hawaiian community and for his whole person health programs. He is the author of 12 books on integrative health and wellness.


2017 Recipients

Nancy Aleck   Nancy Aleck has extensive educational and program development work experience with the Hawai`i State Department of Education.  From 2003-2016 she served as Executive Director of Hawai`i’s People Fund.  The Fund identifies and supports with seed grants grassroots organizations whose mission is to promote justice and progressive social change.


John Houk, M.D.  Dr. Houk has been a primary care physician for 37 years in Hawai`i. He also serves as Medical Director of Arcadia and Craigside Retirement Residences and as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai`i.


David Shoji  Coach Shoji was University of Hawaii’s winningest coach, retiring in 2016 with 1,202 victories, nine NCAA final four berths and four national championships.  He coached 87 All-Americans and inspired hundreds of girls and women to reach their potential and represent Hawai`i proudly.


2018 Recipients


Amy Agbayani  Dr. Agbayani worked for many years as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Diversity at the University of Hawai`i, during which she helped build the Students for Excellence, Equity and Diversity Department and fought for policies that helped underserved and oppressed communities.  


Rev. Dr. Teruo Kawata  Dr. Kawata served with distinction for over 50 years religious communities at home and abroad. From 1980-1990 he served as Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ in Hawai`i. During his tenure he worked tirelessly in strengthening the Hawaiian congregations. He also taught at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley and Silliman University in the Philippines.


Frank DeLima  Frank DeLima is one of Hawai`i’s most popular and beloved comedians. For over 30 years he has been entertaining and brightening the lives of countless local residents and visitors. In 1980, he founded the Frank DeLima Student Enrichment Program that is devoted to helping Hawai`i’s students understand the importance of education. Since its inception, he had made 350 visits to schools throughout our State.

2019 Recipients

Alice K Tucker  Alice Tucker has long been a vital and vibrant presence of aloha and wellness in Hawai`i. She has led and served on various boards, including Pacific Health Ministry (immediate past president), Samaritan Counseling Center (a founder), and the Hawai`i Medical Association(past president).  Our community has been richly blessed by her compassion, wisdom and wit.


Kahu William H. Kaina  Rev. Bill Kaina has been a notable and dedicated healing presence in Hawai`i. He served with distinction as senior pastor of Kawaiahao Church (1984-1997), Kaumakapili Church, Moanalua Community Church and as Coordinator of Hawaiian Churches in the Hawai`i Conference of the United Church of Christ. He has long touched, inspired and empowered the lives of our people and community.


Robin M. Kitsu    Thanks to English teacher, Robin Kitsu, at-risk students at Nanakuli High and Middle School receive a thorough grounding in various forms of the media, including journalism, multi-media application, drama and video production. His students have won State and national awards for their plays, school newspaper and video news programs.  He is truly a shining light in the Leeward Community and hope to countless youth and their families.

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