At this year's Torch of Light / Holiday Luncheon Event being held at Pueo's Osteria in Waikoloa Village on December 2, the Big Island Press Club will be celebrating two special guests!
It was announced earlier this year that Cindy Reves is the recipient of the Big Island Press Club's annual meritorious Torch of Light Award. Reves serves as the Hawaii state director for the Journalism Education Association. The Torch of Light award is given to an individual or entity for illuminating the public’s right to know; the winner is announced yearly on March 16 which is Freedom of Information Day.
Reves is the adviser for The Pinion at McKinley High School in Honolulu. It took two years, but Reves, the local driving force behind a national effort to shield student journalists from censorship and advisers from consequences, was successful in getting House Bill 1848 passed, making Hawaii the 16th state to join the student-led grassroots effort, the “New Voices Movement.”
The measure allows student journalists from the University of Hawaii and other public primary, secondary and post-secondary schools to exercise their rights under the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press, at their state-sponsored school newspapers, without censorship from the administration, with the exception of libelous or obscene material.
In addition to the Torch of Light Award, there’s a special O‘o Award this year for a journalist who’s dug especially deeply and unearthed information to create groundbreaking news. The winner of this first-ever award is Pat Tummons, publisher of Environment Hawaii. Tummons, in a series of articles, exposed questionable dealings in Hawaii County’s Office of Housing and Community Development that ultimately led to an FBI investigation and guilty plea by former OHCD employee Alan Scott Rudo to accepting almost $2 million in bribes. In announcing charges in the alleged $11 million scheme, U.S. Attorney Clare Connors praised the reporting by Environment Hawaii that first raised red flags about Rudo’s schemes and, she said, led a county employee to alert the FBI.
In addition to celebrating these two winners, the Big Island Press Club Scholarship Foundation will be also hosting an in-person auction at this luncheon to raise funds for its annual scholarship program. Staycations at the Four Seasons Hualalai, Rosewood Kona Village Resort, and Mauna Lani Resort will be offered. The Press Club is also hosting an online silent auction this fall that'll conclude at this luncheon; it includes gift certificates for meals around the Big Island's restaurants and additional vacation stays at other properties such as the Fairmont Orchid.
You can sign up for the auction, review, and even bid on many items before the lunch here:
While typically only open for dinner, the award-winning Pueo's Osteria will be hosting our luncheon event with an amazing lunch buffet. The menu includes:
- Fresh Focaccia Bread
- Waimea Vegetable Minestrone (Vegan Friendly)
- Kale Salad with Pecorino, almonds, and currents with lemon-garlic dressing
- Rigatoni tossed in olive oil and garlic
- Chicken Florentine; chicken in a light egg batter served with lemon sauce over spinach
- Linguini with Shrimp, scampi style with Waimea tomato and spinach folded in at the end of preparation
- Mango Cheesecake
- Chocolate Hazelnut Torte
While the luncheon comes with water, iced tea, and coffee, soft drinks, wine, and mixed drinks can be purchased from the staff.
Tickets available while supplies last; tickets must be purchased no later than 12 noon on November 28.
Pueos Osteria at the Waikoloa Plaza Shopping Center, 68-1820 Waikoloa Road, Waikoloa, Hawaii, United States, 96738