Congratulations to ACA vice president and member Karen Higa for being named a recipient of the 2022 Community Heroes Award for the ‘Aiea community from Kanu Hawaii and State Senator Bennette E. Misalucha!

Karen will be recognized at a virtual awards ceremony tomorrow, Saturday, April 16, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. To attend the event, go to:

Congratulations to Karen for this well-deserved award, and thank you so much for all you do for our community!

The press release follows:


Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The recipients of the 2022 Community Heroes Awards have been announced today by Kanu Hawai‘i and the Offices of Senator Bennette E. Misalucha (Senate District 16), Representative Nadine Nakamura (House District 14), and Representative Lisa Kitagawa (House District 48). The announcement was made in conjunction with Volunteer Week Hawai‘i, a weeklong celebration that coincides with National Volunteer Week which occurs every year by Presidential Proclamation since 1974.

The recipients of this year’s awards program are:

  • Karen Higa (Senate District 16, ‘Aiea resident)
  • Larry Veray (Senate District 16, Pearl City resident)
  • Ron Garrison (House District 14)
  • Mahealani Cypher (House District 48)

“The four recipients selected for this year’s Community Heroes Awards are true public servants within their communities, all of whom have had a lasting impact on the lives of so many,” said Keone Kealoha, Executive Director of Kanu Hawai‘i. “Their commitment to be the change they wish to see for their fellow neighbors, to do the hard work of selflessly serving others, to transform challenging situations into resilient communities – has all not gone unnoticed and we are happy to help recognize these inspirational community leaders from across Hawai‘i.”

“When we started the Community Heroes Awards program, I hoped to recognize the many unsung heroes who made my district a better place to be,” said Senator Misalucha, who created and spearheaded the awards program for the past two years. “It has been wonderful to be joined by Representative Kitagawa and Representative Nakamura in expanding the awards to show the wide reach and impact these outstanding volunteers have had in making our beloved communities a better place to work, live, play, and thrive.”

“The Community Heroes Awardees have shown dedication and commitment to their communities. They inspire all of us to give back to our communities and collectively thank them for their service,” said Representative Nakamura.

“Our shared communities have proven how much heart there is in our volunteers across the state,” said Representative Kitagawa. “Our awardees are a true inspiration and we hope this recognition sparks a light in others to serve with compassion and a joy for service.”

The recipients will be recognized at a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, April 16, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Each recipient will receive an Honorary Certificate from their respective legislator. To attend the event, go to:

The Community Heroes Awards honors and recognizes residents who have exemplified outstanding leadership and volunteer service to their community. Kanu Hawai‘i administered the selection process and chose the panel of esteemed judges to decide on the recipients from each district. Judging was based on a set of criteria including the effectiveness, scope, and amount of time dedicated to their volunteer efforts.

For more information, contact the Office of Senator Bennette E. Misalucha at (808) 586-6230.