Aloha, Neighbors!

“Giving back to the community” has become a catchphrase in the corporate world. It seems that everyone recognizes the value, but how many companies are truly practicing what they preach? There are a number of ways to give back to the community, from charitable fundraisers and donations to employee volunteerism and special programs. Supporting causes outside the regular scope of business reflects the heart and nature of the company, and is sure to demonstrate exponential return.

One company–Hawaiian Waters Adventure Parks–is making a splash and riding the wave of community giving. Under the leadership of President Jerry Pupillo, Hawaii’s only water park has earned a reputation for its community giving and support.

A Community Unto Itself

Pupillo has seen the park grow from the ground up, and today helps shape its business climate and future. Guiding the marketing, messaging, public relations and business operations, Pupillo has not only profit in mind, but the community as well.

“We give back to the community in many ways, such as offering our facilities for free to various non-profit groups for fundraisers, providing internship and mentorship programs to high school students, and donating the use of our wave pool to a local high school athletics team, among other initiatives,” said Pupillo. “Giving back to the community continues to be a priority for 2008 and well into the future.”

Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park has supported a number of local non-profit organizations over the years, including Konishiki Kids Foundation, Lions Club Kapolei, Boys and Girls Club, American Heart Association, Foster Family Program, Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, various Christian groups and veterans. The park provides its facilities free of charge to these organizations and groups for special events, meetings, benefit walks and races.

“We are wholeheartedly committed to offering our facility and resources at no cost to organizations that have worthy causes,” added Pupillo. “It’s not just about feeling good about ourselves; we are really making a difference in people’s lives, which is at the heart of our business and giving philosophies.”

Pupillo continued, “We create bonds and show goodwill, enhancing the bridges and relationships that otherwise would not exist. When we open our arms, it demonstrates our care for local community groups and non-profit organizations that do not have the necessary funds to rent a monthly meeting and gathering place.”

The park also helps community organizations with which employees have personal connections. Employees exercise the park’s open-door policy and ask for assistance when needed, instilling them with a sense of acceptance and pride. This also heightens employee morale, which translates to better sales and customer experiences.

Educational Encounters

As part of its community giving program, the park enhances educational experiences by providing high school students with internship opportunities. Created four years ago, the internship program affords students the opportunity to experience real business life, plunging them directly into a pool of marketing and promotional efforts with the help of the park’s staff. Interns receive hands-on training and earn school credit. Oftentimes, the internships lead to park employment at the end of the program.

In addition to this program, the park also offers a mentorship program to one area high school’s business academy, providing students with guidance and assistance in order to produce a marketing plan. Park managers are responsible for mentoring the students and providing advice whenever they need help. The students’ projects are conducted during the spring semester and completed in May, after which the projects are submitted to a statewide competition.

“We are grateful for the management at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park and for their willingness to mentor our students,” said Kapolei High School business teacher Merry Ifuku. “The experience the kids receive is invaluable, as it provides the relevancy between the classroom and the real business world. Our students come back to the classroom making connections on a new and higher level.”

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