Big Island Press Club Scholarship Dinner Slated for Thursday, May 5

Award-winning TV Investigative Reporter Keoki Kerr is the Evening’s Guest Speaker

Purchase tickets through Eventbrite.

Hilo, HI— The Big Island Press Club’s annual scholarship dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5 at Hilo’s Seaside Restaurant where we will honor our 2016 scholarship recipients and feature award-winning Hawaii TV news reporter, Keoki Kerr, as the guest speaker.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

The press club annually awards scholarships at this dinner to students pursuing a higher education in journalism, or a related field. This year’s Bill Arballo $1000 scholarship winner is Cashman Aiu, graduate of Kamehameha Schools and president of the New York University Hawaii club.  Alex Bitter, a UH Manoa student and graduate of Waiakea High School, has won the $600 Yukino Fukubori Memorial Scholarship for his newspaper work as UH Manoa and the Wall Street Journal.  Writing for the UHH college paper “Ke Kalahea” news woman Hannah Hawkins won the $1000 Marcia Reynolds award while her sports writing colleague, Eric Vega took the Hugh Clark scholarship for $500. Kealekehe valedictorian, Sabrina Pike won the $500 Jack Markey while Keaau valedictorian Savannah Directo won the $500 Bob Miller scholarship.

Guest speaker Keoki Kerr has spent more than 30 years covering news in Hawaii most recently as investigative and government TV reporter at Honolulu’s Hawaii News Now.   He started his award-winning ways as a graduate of Hamilton College winning the Walter Pilkington Award for campus journalism.

He has won 31 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists-Hawaii Chapter most recently first place in 2015 in the Open Media Breaking News Reporting category for “UH Manoa Chancellor Firing.”  Kerr also won a Associated Press regional award for ongoing coverage of the Stevie Wonder Blunder, a story he first broke online about a fundraising concert scam at the University of Hawaii.

Noted for open media government reporting at HNN, his exclusive stories often lead newscasts and spotlighted problems in state prisons, the Honolulu Police Department, the Hawaii State Hospital, the University of Hawaii, the Transportation Security Administration and other federal, state and county departments.

He has broken several significant stories about Big Island issues, including the plight of two fire battalion chiefs placed on leave for speaking out about alleged fire chief mismanagement, high student fees at Hawaii Community College in Hilo, and the ouster of the Kulani Prison warden and a manager at the prison who quit after she was being investigated for having inappropriately close relationships with inmates.

This past April Kerr left TV to go to work at the Hawaii State Teachers Association, where he handles internal and external communications for the public school teachers’ union.

The press club dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, at the Hilo Seaside Restaurant in Keaukaha.  Advance dinner reservations are $30. No-host cocktails will be served and tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.

Please call BIPC scholarship committee member Tiffany Edwards Hunt at (808) 938-8592 to reserve your spot or for more information.

The Big Island Press Club has been dedicated to journalism and the public’s right to know about the workings of government, business and communities on Hawaii Island since 1967.