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Dec 3, 2010 Haleiwa, HI
Lee Bryant Honored as North Shore Kama'aina of the Year
Bryant of North Shore Equipment Rentals recognized for always lending helping hand
HALEIWA, OAHU, HAWAII - DECEMBER 3, 2009 - The North Shore Chamber of Commerce proudly announces Lee Bryant as the 2009 North Shore Kama'aina of the Year.
The North Shore Kama'aina of the Year is given to a person who has made a lasting, significant contribution to the North Shore community, and is presented annually by the North Shore Chamber of Commerce (Chamber).
Known on the North Shore for his willingness to lend a helping hand, the Haleiwa resident helps out with just about every voluntary effort on the North Shore. Bryant owns North Shore Equipment Rentals, a Waialua company that rents tools, U-Hauls, trucks, and the like as well as hiring out as a heavy-equipment operator. A Waialua Community Association trustee for three years, he is willing and welcome at community service projects, including restoration work at Haleiwa Gym, providing a flatbed truck for an elementary school Christmas parade float, and landscaping for the North Shore Outdoor Circle. As part of the gym restoration, a septic tank was installed to replace the old cesspool. Bryant and his employees did all the digging for the leach field and worked with a plumber to hook it up.
During the 2008 December 11th floods he hopped in his back hoe and went around clearing roads from downed trees and debris, rescuing people from their homes, and providing free coffee for the police and fireman from his Waialua Service gas station. He is being honored for all the volunteer work he has done on the Chamber’s new home, the “Telephone Exchange Building” a historic building moved to its current location across from the Haleiwa post office. He helped move it, did all the excavation work for the new septic system, plumbing, and underground utilities. He is also leading the effort to restore the building by repairing termite- damaged framing and siding of the building.
Antya Miller, the Chamber’s executive director, said, “He’s done a ton of pro bono work and is constantly volunteering in the community. He’s one of our unsung heroes, an amazing person.”
A husband and father, Bryant said he enjoys helping others - a trait his mother instilled in him and he instills in his daughters Mana, 10, and Molly, 5. Growing up in a poor Irish family has shaped him into the person he is today, he added. “I try to help out right here in my community. It’s pretty small here. We’re available if things come up and the community needs help. I just wish we had more volunteers. You get 10 times back what you put in. We all gain from it. Act locally and think globally!”
He also likes recruiting his own employees to assist him with community work, hoping they’ll catch the good-deed bug. “I try to teach my employees the same,” he said. “I bring them on a lot of (volunteer projects) in order to teach them over time if they go into business themselves.”
Josh Heimowitz, NSCOC chairman, said, “Lee is very deserving of the award for all the work he has done in restoring the Telephone Exchange Building which will be the Chamber’s new home, visitor and resource center."
Joining Bryant on the list of 2009 award winners are:
Reed Matsuura, Public Service Award: For his outstanding service to the North Shore community for 12 years working as a Legislative Aide to three different City Council representatives of the North Shore.
Pioneer Ace Hardware For preserving the historic landmark, the Telephone Exchange Building, by donating it to the Chamber.
Barbara Ritchie Malama ‘Ana Award: For doing such in-depth, quality research and documentation on the historic buildings and sites of Haleiwa Town for the Historic Walking Tour of Haleiwa.
Bonzer Front, Holomua Award: For the renovation and improvements to the historic Takahashi Building.
Waimea Valley, Hi’ipaka, LLC: Ho'onani Award: For the improvements to the landscaping and the new Dye and Harvesting Garden.
Alice Rogers, Volunteer of the Year: For faithfully volunteering in the Chamber’s office every Friday for the past year, answering visitor inquiries and helping with special projects.
Susan Matsushima, Chamber Champion: For being instrumental in obtaining a USDA grant for the Chamber that helped repair the aging irrigation systems on the North Shore, ensuring consistent water supply to the farmers, and repairing the Wilson Lake outlet tunnel, thus helping keep the country country.
Bob Boyle, Chamber Champion: For his support in making the Chamber’s new event, The Business Expo, a success through Turtle Bay’s sponsorship as well as his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Chamber.
All Chamber awardees were honored Thursday, December 3 at its annual Christmas Party held at the Waimea Valley Pikake Pavilion.
About the North Shore Chamber of Commerce Haleiwa Main Street, DBA the North Shore Chamber of Commerce (NSCOC), was founded in 1985 to encourage economic development through historic preservation. Today, the Chamber exists to promote, maintain, and encourage the historic, cultural, civic, and economic welfare of the North Shore district through research, education, advocacy, and other related activities.
To learn more about the NSCOC, please visit www.gonorthshore.org.
For more information on the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, go to the website at GoNorthShore.org or call 637-4558.