CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mayor Mufi Hannemann welcomed Dwight Ho, son of Don Ho, and widow Haumea Hebenstreit Ho to a news conference yesterday announcing plans to honor Hawaii's beloved entertainer, who died April 14 of heart failure. CLICK FOR LARGE
Golf event to fund Ho memorial
A nonprofit group hopes to raise money to build a statue for the beloved musician
A nonprofit organization will hold a benefit golf tournament to raise funds for a Don Ho memorial statue on Aug. 13, what would have been the 77th birthday of Hawaii's beloved musician and entertainer.
"My father loved to play golf," said Don Ho's son Dwight yesterday at a news conference. "He would have gotten a kick out of having a tournament in his name."
DON HO BENEFIT GOLF TOURNAMENT:
When: Monday, Aug. 13
Where: Hawaii Prince Golf Course, 91-1200 Fort Weaver Road
» 11 a.m.: Registration
» Noon: Shotgun start
» $150 per player, $450 per three-person team
» Lunch and dinner included
Web site: To download a registration form, visit www.donhogolftournament.com.
Surrounded by Ho's family, including widow Haumea Hebenstreit Ho, Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced yesterday that this will be the first fundraiser for a statue and plaque at the newly renamed Don Ho Park, once the Beach Walk Triangle located at Kalakaua Avenue and Beach Walk in Waikiki.
The nonprofit group putting on the event, Honolulu 100, said it hopes to raise $30,000 to $40,000 from the tournament. The group's treasurer, Fran Kirk, said it has not determined how much the memorial will cost, but predicts there will be future fundraisers.
"We want to do this for Don," Kirk said. "I used to play golf with Don, and he used to have such a great time. I thought this would be really nice to do on his birthday."
The tournament will be in a three-person scramble format and can accommodate as many as 220 people.
Hannemann said he envisions a statue of Ho's signature pose of sitting at his electric organ along with a plaque at the Don Ho Park. Ho, known best worldwide for his song "Tiny Bubbles," died April 14 of heart failure.
Dwight Ho swapped stories of his father playing golf. One of his favorites was from an Air Force officer who played with Don Ho.
"He told me a story about my father hitting the ball out of bounds," Ho recalled. "They told him, you get a drop or a one-club relief. My father thought about it and pulled out his ball retriever. He fully extended it, laid it down and hit (the ball) from the middle of the fairway."
Dwight Ho said his family was grateful for the city's efforts to memorialize his father. Honolulu 100 is an organization formed to help the city defray costs of certain events and projects, including the Don Ho memorial.
"We continue to treasure what he left behind," Hannemann said. "It's not just the residents of Honolulu, but citizens across the world are going to want to come see a fitting tribute to him."