This past weekend, five young ladies-ages fourteen to sixteen-vied for the title Miss Teen Maui Filipina. At the end of the night, fifteen year old Kawena Kan Hai took home the crown as the new Miss Teen Maui Filipina 2015. Elly’s Formal Wear & Bridals had the honor of being one of the award sponsors for the Miss Teen Maui Filipina Scholarship Pageant, which was held on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at the Maui Filipino community center.
The Maui Filipino community center holds this scholarship pageant annually with the focus on promoting and investing in the highest quality of education for Hawai’i’s young Filipinas. Along with celebrating Hawaii’s Filipino cultural heritage, this organization continues to support the education of Maui’s young Filipina teens, encourages them to become role models for Maui’s youth, and earn scholarships for their college education. We commend the Binhi At Ani Executive Officers and Board of Directors for sponsoring this event and providing these young ladies with the opportunity to fulfill their dream of higher education. Also, a special recognition to the pageant director, Michelle Santos for working so hard in curating this special event and selflessly contributing her talents and time to the community.
Elly Ewbank, owner of Elly’s Formal Wear, is a native of the Philippines and came to Hawaii in 1971. Like most immigrants, Elly’s parents dreamed of a better life for their nine children. In 1922, James Dole established the largest pineapple plantations in the world in Hawai’i, growing 75% of the world supply. As a result of growing demand for labor in these plantations, Elly’s father had the opportunity to work in the pineapple fields and bring his eldest sons to the island of Moloka’i to work. Earning $3.10 an hour, he saved enough money to bring the rest of his family over to Moloka’i and that’s where the dreams began. At age eighteen, with earnings of only $1.15 an hour, Elly saved enough money for her own college education and pursued her passion in fashion design and dressmaking. Elly and her siblings are active members of the community and are proud Filipino’s. Because of this trade, this island and state is filled with the diversity of foreign workers and immigrants. They represent the passion and dedication of our hard working ancestors and what they sacrificed for bringing a better life to the future generations. This brings a deeper meaning to Elly and the Filipino’s of our community to support organizations like these that assist and encourage the youth in following their dreams for higher education. Thank you Binhi At Ani for allowing us to be part of your special event. We are ever so grateful.
Congratulations to the new Miss Teen Maui Filipina 2015, Kawena Kan Hai! May you wear your new crown with pride of being a Filipina and successfully accomplish all your dreams and goals! Mabuhay!