(BIVN) – County officials celebrated the local talents who brought home a 2022 Silber Telly Award for their work on the Island of Hawaiʻi Pono Pledge.
During a Monday afternoon ceremony in Hilo, Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth recognized Lito Arkangel, Bruce Torres Fischer, and Tracey Niimi for their work on their work “which advocates for mindful, safe, and pono interactions by travelers while on Hawai‘i Island.”
The public information pledge created in 2018 in partnership between the Island of Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau and the County of Hawaiʻi was “a collaborative effort to accurately depict the people and place from which the pledge aims to protect,” officials say. The video features many familiar faces from around the island.
The Telly Awards, established in 1979, honors video and television across all screens, and receives over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Winners are determined by The Telly Awards Juding Council.
From the Island of Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau:
“The Pono Pledge is a direct ask to our Hawai‘i Island visitors on the behaviors and actions we expect them to take while they’re enjoying the island’s splendor,” said Ross Birch, Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau Executive Director. “The island of Hawai‘i is a special place, and our community comes first, which is why we continue to advocate for our visitors to not only traverse the island with respect and safety, but to take it a step further and give back to protect our natural resources and wildlife.”
Hilo’s own Lito Arkangel directed and produced the Pono Pledge video featuring Hawaiʻi Island residents who embody the pledge and apply it in their everyday lives. Another Hilo-born creative, Tracey Niimi of TN Photography assisted with the video’s creative direction and videography. Arkangel and Niimi felt it was important to involve the community and have representation from residents of diverse backgrounds, upbringings, and ethnicities during the talent selection process.
The entire Pono Pledge and its website was translated to ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi by Bruce Torres Fischer, a Master’s student of the Hawaiian language and literature program at the Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Larry Lindsey Kauanoe Kimura, associate professor of Hawaiian language and Hawaiian studies at the Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and internationally recognized grandfather of Hawaiian language revitalization also assisted Torres Fischer in the Pono Pledge and website’s ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i translation.
“Mahalo nui to all of you who contributed to an awesome expression of who we are as residents and what it means to be pono on Hawaiʻi Island,” said Pono Pledge video director and producer, Lito Arkangel. “We believe in the Pono Pledge and its teachings full heartedly and we’re honored to be able to work on this project and accept this award on behalf of the Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau and the County of Hawai‘i.”
Arkangel added, “Whether you are a visitor or resident, you must understand that not being pono is detrimental to the welfare and safety of not only yourself and your ʻohana, but to the ʻāina and all of the ʻohana here at home as well. Please help by sharing the Pono Pledge with friends and family near and far. Together, we can make a difference and protect the island of Hawaiʻi and all that makes it special.”
The Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau and the County of Hawai‘i held a ceremony at 1 p.m. today, August 22 at Mayor Mitch Roth’s office to recognize Arkangel, Niimi, Fischer and all those involved in the video. Mayor Roth acknowledged them for their great work in perpetuating the Pono Pledge and educating visitors on the appropriate behaviors to take while visiting the island of Hawai‘i.
“Ensuring that our visitors who come to enjoy our beautiful island home have a clear understanding of how to interact with our ʻāina and our people is critical to how we reimagine tourism moving forward,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “A huge mahalo for all who played a role in creating the Pono Pledge, as it offers our guests a perfect snapshot of our island and its values.”
Roth added, “If all of our visitors can get on board and take the pledge, both our residents and visitors alike with benefit greatly.”
The Pono Pledge is also identified in Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Hawaiʻi Island Destination Management Action Plan and Hawaiʻi County’s Tourism Strategic Plan “as a vessel to communicate with and educate visitors on pono practices,” officials say.
E kū i ka pono ke kipa i Hawaiʻi.
I pledge to be pono (righteous) on the island of Hawaiʻi.
E nanea i ka ʻikena, ʻaʻole hoʻi e kiʻihele hewa i kahi kuleana ʻole.
I will mindfully seek wonder, but not wander where I do not belong.
E nihi ka helena i ka uka o Puna, mai pūlale i ka ʻike a ka maka.
I will not defy death for breathtaking photos, trespass or venture beyond safety.
E mālama ʻia ke kai a me ka honua, a e mahalo ʻia ko laila mau ola lōhiu mai kahi mamao aku.
I will mālama (care for) land and sea, and admire wildlife only from afar.
Hoʻohihi ka maka i ke ahi a ka Wahine, he ahi ʻenaʻena e akahele ai.
Molten lava will mesmerize me, but I will not disrupt its flow.
ʻAʻole e kāʻili ʻia kā haʻi, e waiho ʻia ka pōhaku a me ke one i kona wahi ponoʻī.
I will not take what is not mine, leaving lava rocks and sand as originally found.
E nānā pono i ke kai, ʻaʻole e huli kua ʻia.
I will heed ocean conditions, never turning my back to the Pacific.
Ke loku mai ka ua i uka, e ao aʻe i ia wai makamakaʻole.
When rain falls ma uka (inland), I will remain high above ground, out of rivers and streams.
He aliʻi ka ʻāina, he kauā ke kanaka.
I will embrace the concept of being a steward of the land, revered as my loving chief.