The Chester Kahapea Volunteer Chair of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards are bestowed annually to Sony Open volunteers who have demonstrated selflessness, aloha and made a sacrificial effort for the tournament. Tournament vice chairs, volunteer division heads and volunteer chairs select the honorees to receive these prestigious awards.
Congratulations to our 2020 honorees!
2020 Volunteer of the Year
Logistics Assistant Captain, Gallery Control Committee, 15-year volunteer
Mariano Acoba, the Sony Open in Hawaii 2020 Chester Kahapea Volunteer of the Year is a trouble shooter extraordinaire. “That’s pretty much what I like,” says Acoba. “There’s always something that needs to be handled." He accomplishes all the diverse tasks he is asked to do -- even when asked by other committees.
“I like meeting people because I’m meeting people from different parts of the world,” Acoba says. “I’m always making new friends.”
2020 Volunteer Chair of the Year
Keiki Care Committee, 12-year volunteer
Kel Hirohata, the Sony Open 2020 Chester Kahapea Volunteer Chair of the Year, has inspired students from Waipahu High school (where he is Assistant Vice Principal) to reach out into the community. When the students eagerly volunteered to serve at the Sony Open, they became an inspiration to all. Every morning during tournament week, he picked up students in the school’s Teacher Cadet program and brought them to Waialae Country Club to assist with keiki care for the kids of PGA TOUR pros. Initially, Hirohata recruited adult volunteers, “but they complained about sore backs, so we recruited students from the Teacher Cadet class.” He got specially approved school release for the students’ investment in the community, which broadened their own educational experience. Hirohata also recruited a school crew from the Marauder Media video production team/club to work in the Sony Open Media Center.
“It gives Waipahu High School student volunteers the opportunities to apply what they learn in class,” says Hirohata.