Events by Location: Hawai'i
On September 4, more than 300 members of our Hawai‘i community gathered at the beautiful Kahala Hotel & Resort to celebrate Joyful Heart’s journey to end sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse forever. We joined together to honor the brave hearts who walk this path with us—making our work possible. Our work in Hawai‘i, our birthplace, reflects and informs Joyful Heart’s national initiatives.
It was in the islands and oceans of Hawai‘i that Mariska first envisioned Joyful Heart. She founded Joyful Heart in Kailua-Kona, with the intention of helping survivors heal and reclaim joy in their lives. We could not have foreseen that in just 12 short years, Joyful Heart would be recognized as a leading voice in healing, education, and advocacy. Our Joyful Mele celebration honored the meaningful progress we’ve created with our community, while looking to our future—the path ahead—to the end of this violence.
Joyful Heart’s Mahalo Dinner is a celebratory evening to express our gratitude to the bright lights—partners, supporters, board members, volunteers—who share our commitment to and vision of a world free from sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. The intimate dinner, held a few days before our Joyful Mele Gala, brings together new friends and old as we acknowledge our founder, Mariska Hargitay, and the meaningful changes we are creating with the courageous individuals who have joined our work in Hawai‘i.
In the days before our event this year, the weather forecast expected Tropical Storms Madeline and Lester to bring wind and rain to Oahu on Friday and throughout the weekend. With the winds blowing and clouds looming, our friends Chef Ed Kenney and his wife Spanky graciously offered us shelter from the storm at Chef Ed’s Mud Hen Water restaurant. We are so deeply grateful to them for giving us such a beautiful place to share a festive evening of music and connection. In case you are wondering about the name, Mud Hen Water comes from the translation of Wai‘alae, the street the restaurant is located on—Wai means fresh water and ‘Alae is the mud hen, an endangered species of waterfowl—the watering hole where the mud hen gathers.
Neiman Marcus Honolulu has been a longtime supporter of Joyful Heart in Hawai‘i, having sponsored multiple events benefiting Joyful Heart, and in September, we were honored to join them for the Make Some Joyful Noise event in its Cusp department benefitting our work.
On April 16 and 17, 2015, Joyful Heart partnered with numerous organizations to sponsor two screenings of The Hunting Ground, a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on college campuses. The Hunting Ground’s Hawai‘i premiere was held at the Doris Duke Theatre as part of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) Spring Showcase on April 16, and a second screening was held at the popular The ARTS At Marks Garage in downtown Honolulu the next day. Over 400 people attended both screenings of the documentary.
It was in Hawai‘i where Mariska first started the Joyful Heart Foundation ten years ago with the intention of helping sexual assault survivors heal and reclaim a sense of joy in their lives. We are immensely proud to be a part of this collaborative effort to bring NO MORE to Hawai‘i, where Joyful Heart began. And we are truly grateful for the support of the community, our partners, local government and media sponsors in sharing our message of Hawai‘i Says NO MORE.
On November 12th, Joyful Heart staff members were joined by members of the Hawai'i Hearts to TALK STORY as part of our on-going series to shed the light on and engage in thoughtful conversation about issues surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence. An important part of our mission at Joyful Heart is to raise visibility, encourage conversation, deepen understanding, inspire action and help break the deep social stigma surrounding domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
On August 31, our Hawai‘i community gathered for our Joyful Mele celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Joyful Heart Foundation’s work throughout the state. We celebrated our nā mele, the songs and stories that tell of our origins, our roots and of our deep love of Hawai‘i—and the many bright lights who make our work possible.
When Mariska first imagined Joyful Heart in Kailua-Kona ten years ago, no one could have foreseen the powerful impact we would have a decade later. Under a starlit sky, with full and grateful hearts, we looked back at our ten years—while looking forward into the future.
To celebrate our 10th Anniversary and the say thank you to some of the navigators who have made our journey possible, Joyful Heart and Tori Richard was honored to have Tori Richard host a private dinner with Nancy and Herb Conley, who opened their home to nearly 100 guests. The intimate evening provided a time for us to connect to our story, our work and each other before our larger Joyful Mele event—and to celebrate the generosity and spirit of those who have made our work possible.
In collaboration with A CALL TO MEN, a leading organization working to get men involved in ending violence against women, Joyful Heart hosted a two-part series of events called Talk Story. Our goal was to educate and engage our community in Hawai‘i on men’s role in ending violence.
Our first event—for our community of philanthropic supporters—was hosted at the home of Rick Blangiardi. A CALL TO MEN's Ted Bunch presented to approximately 70 attendees on the socialization of men and men’s responsibility in ending violence against women, focusing in particular on how parents can teach their sons to be respectful. The following day, we hosted a community event in Honolulu with over 80 attendees froma broad cross-section of community members and service providers.
Never was the beauty and magic of our Hawai‘i community more evident that on the evening of September 1st, when we celebrated Joyful Heart’s inaugural Hawai‘i gala, an event we called our “Joyful Mele.” It was the culmination of a year’s worth of planning and the fulfillment of an inspired dream that our Founder and President, Mariska Hargitay, had eight years ago. The event was hosted at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, an idyllic venue positioned at the end of the Kahala neighborhood, just to the east of famed Diamond Head and hugged by the beautiful waters of the Pacific Ocean.