An evening to honor donors and announce two new Hall of Fame inductees
The mood was buoyant as guests arrived and mingled before the start of the Silverswords Gala, a benefit dinner for student and athletic scholarships. However, beyond the laughter and good cheer, the gathering served a deeper purpose—a purpose woven into the fabric of education and opportunity.
“Through your generosity, we can provide scholarship support for many students at Chaminade to help them achieve their academic goals and set them up for successful careers in their communities,” said Chaminade President Lynn Babington, Ph.D., in her opening remarks. “We are very grateful to you all for believing in and supporting our mission.”
In a video presentation, Chaminade senior Audrey Pilar ’24 described how she cried for an hour after learning that she received a scholarship. “These scholarships are way more than just a financial burden lifted off someone’s shoulders,” the forensics major said. “It’s way more than just money to a person because to me, I think you’re giving someone hope and you’re giving someone a chance.”
A sophomore Communications major, Easton DelaCruz ’26 said nothing would be possible without the scholarships, without all the financial aid that he has been able to receive. “When you think of college, the next thing you think about is the financial burden that it puts on everybody,” he said. “And with these scholarships, it helps relieve the financial burden for myself and my parents.”
In this landscape of financial uncertainty, scholarships emerge as powerful catalysts for change. These financial awards, often based on academic merit, financial need, or a combination of both, play a pivotal role in dismantling barriers to higher education. By providing financial assistance, scholarships enable deserving students to access resources, facilities and opportunities that would otherwise remain beyond their grasp.
In addition to thanking donors for their support, the Gala served a secondary purpose: the opportunity to grow the Silversword Hall of Fame with two new inductees: Thomas “Chico” Furtado ’80, an outstanding basketball player who still ranks as the third best all-time assists leader with 486; and Teri (Bertulfo) Chong ’92, who holds Chaminade Volleyball’s all-time career kills at 1,487.
“Tonight, we get a chance to recognize two former Chaminade student-athletes who made their sport matter for their teams,” said Athletic Director Tom Buning, before inviting Chong and Furtado to the stage to join him.
“These esteemed inductees into our Athletic Hall of Fame are individuals whose remarkable achievements serve as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come,” added Kahala Kabalis Hoke ’05’ MS ’07, the Women’s Volleyball coach and the evening’s emcee.
Among the sponsors were KemperSports Management, Kitty and Buzz Wo, The Queen’s Health Systems, Saint Louis School, Aramark, Becker Communications, CKW Financial Group, Edward Enterprises, Marianist Center of Hawaii, Maryknoll School, Sacred Hearts Academy and Saint Francis Healthcare.
“Education transforms lives,” Babington said. “Our students set out to change the world—they are making a difference.”