special recognition awards

In 2006, Rani Tanimoto began a “special recognition award” given out at the end of the event to a deserving organization that has gone above and beyond to help our Big Island Community. Since its inception, Tanimoto has given monetary awards to numerous organizations for their on-going dedication and commitment to improving and helping our local community.      

2012 – advoCATS, awarded to Cynthia Thurston

“Helping Cats on the Big Island of Hawaii,” advoCATS, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to improving the welfare of Hawaii Island’s abandoned and homeless cat population by their trap/neuter/return (TNR) program. advoCATS supports TNR – a free program through their monthly clinics – as the most humane way to reduce the number of homeless cats and prevent the spread of feline diseases. The majority of the advoCATS funding that comes through donations, goes toward the spaying and neutering of cats. Since their inception in 1999, advoCATS have successfully spayed or neutered over 12,000 cats! visit website

2011 - Team Mango, awarded to Carl “Gecko” Koomoa

Carl “Gecko” Koomoa with Team Mango is well known for creating races that are extremely fun, a bit wacky and somewhat off-beat, yet unique enough to keep our Big Island Community fit and entertained over the past 20 years. Carl’s dedication to free athletic events has helped many towards completing their very first race, ranging from sprint to Iron distance triathlons, cycling time trial hill climbs, and even a trash/recycling points triathlon. His ongoing enthusiasm creates “Team Mango Mania” among all who participate and we thank Carl for a great 20 years of free, fun, wacky events! | visit website |

2010 - Peaman / Frozen Pea Productions

Peaman has always been a very special person within our Big Island community. Over the past 20-years, he has tirelessly put on hundreds of free & fun athletic events ranging from swims, to runs, to biathlons, and even triathlons. It takes a special person with lots of aloha to do this, and anyone who crosses Peaman's path becomes immediately aware of his on-going energy, enthusiasm, and spirit. The biggest impact has been with our island's youth. Not only has he provided more opportunities for our youth to lead healthier lifestyles, but his generous and caring nature as well as positive outlook on life is definitely one to be modeled after.

2009 –P.A.T.H. (People's Advocacy for Trails Hawaii)

"To safely connect the people and places on hawai'i Island with pathways and bikeways"

PATH is a grassroots, non-profit, 501(c)3 tax exempt organization formed in 1986 to promote traffic safety education, and a safe environment on roadways and trails for recreation, fitness and alternative, oil-free modes of transportation. | Website |

2008 – West Hawaii American Cancer Society

A nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to helping eliminate cancer as a major health problem through research, education, advocacy and service.

2007 - The Kona Aquatics, awarded to Steve Borowski
Steve Borowski is special that there’s hardly enough words to describe the kind of person that he is. But what he has done for our community in helping and shaping athletes of all ages to learn how to swim is something that we would call a gift. Under his coaching, we watched young athletes turn out to be phenomenal high school and college swimmers, watched people who were afraid to swim conquer their fear, and watched age group and professional athletes improve their times in the swim. Steve comes from a lengthy and very honorable coaching history, and anyone who has met him knows that he is very modest, humble, and more than willing to help anyone in need. Thank you Steve!

Steve Borowski is currently the coach of The Kona Aquatics Swim team, Kealakehe High School Swim Team, Masters Swim program and Swim 101 beginner program.

2006 - Special Olympics, awarded to Denise Lindsey

Denise Lindsey won the inaugural "special recognition award" due to endless hours spent helping athletes with special needs further their athletic achievements. From year round fund raising events, to coaching weight lifting sessions at the gym, to travels around the country with her athletes, Mrs. Lindsey  is definitely an extraordinary person and a bright light in our community!

2006 - The Sarah Rosenberg Scholarship Fund, in honor of Sarah Rosenberg

Outstanding Community Service Awards

In 2010, Tanimoto created the inaugural “Outstanding Community Service Award,” given to an individual(s) within our local community who has willingly dedicated their time and energy toward making other events and races successful through their service of volunteering, or has taken the initiative to create new and fun sporting events for our local community. These individuals are true role models within our community.

    • 2012 - awarded to Lisa Vos with Coffee Talk Riders
    • 2011 – awarded to Daniel Hodel of the Queen K Tri Club
    • 2010 – awarded to Jason & Melissa Braswell of Big Island Running Company

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