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Kokua for the Philippines

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines with devastating force. With winds gusting up to 235 mph, Haiyan is the most powerful typhoon or hurricane in recorded history. Nearly 6,000 people were killed, 1.2 million homes were destroyed or damaged, and upwards of 12.2 million people were affected by the storm.

The impact of Haiyan and the devastation in her wake hit very close to home for a number of Prudential Locations’ agents and staff, as many of the Locations’ ohana have family and friends who live in the Philippines. It was clear right off the bat, there was an immediate need for assistance. Within a week of Haiyan touching ground, the Locations Foundation cut a check for $10,000 to the American Red Cross to help bring food, clean water, and shelter to those impacted by the storm.  

We feel blessed that the Locations Foundation was in a position to make a large monetary donation to support those impacted by Haiyan, but many members of the Foundation wanted to do something more personal and hands on as well. So with that in mind, 23 Locations Foundation members volunteered their time this past Sunday, December 15, 2013, to man the donation phone lines at the Kokua for the Philippines event. 

Kokua for the Philippines was set to be an outdoor concert featuring more than 30 local and world-renowned entertainers and celebrities including Jimmy Buffett, Mick Fleetwood, Henry Kapono, Jake Shimabukuro, Wyland, and the Hawaii 5-0 cast among others. However, Mother Nature took control, and an onslaught of flash flooding resulted in a last-minute cancellation of the outdoor concert.  

However, in true Hawaii-style, everyone involved was committed to supporting this fantastic cause and by working together quickly, the outdoor televised event became an indoor show, broadcast live over the radio and web.

We stuffed 23 Locations Foundation volunteers and quite a few of our favorite celebrities into a small ballroom at the Hilton Hawaiian Village; I’d be lying if I told you that it wasn’t a bit tricky to take down donation information while having world-renowned musicians playing just 20 feet away. But everyone involved had a great time, and as a team we were able to support an extremely worthy cause.  

At the end of the day, Kokua for the Philippines raised more than $1,758,000, making it one of the largest fundraising events of its kind in Hawaii’s history. All of the Locations Foundation volunteers who attended feel honored to have participated in such a great event.

We wish strength and resilience to all those affected by Haiyan, and are confident that the money we helped raise this past weekend will go a long way to helping them recover and rebuild from the terrible devastation.

Mahalo to our employees and real estate agents who volunteered their time: Carmen Gonzalez, Corinda Wong, Ed Chong, Emelita Tongson, Erin McCabe, Irene Tagata, Kathy Pang, Kengo Ueno, Kris Kim, Lauren Sanchez, Lee Wang, Linda McCabe, Lori Sharpe, Lynn Kimi Saroccha-Shimabukuro, Maria White, Marie Valenzuela, Mataya Mosher, Michael Marks, Rina Shinagawa, Toan Doran, Mary Edu, Dolores Bediones and Hazel Unciano


Michael Marks (RA)

Client Services Manager, Prudential Locations

Direct: (808) 738-3243

email: michael.marks@pruhawaii.com