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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two Exceptional Community Leaders Receive 2022 Donald and Astrid Monson Community Action Award from League of Women Voters Honolulu Education Fund
(January 3, 2023) — The League of Women Voters Honolulu Education Fund (LWVHEF) has announced Ursula Retherford and Claudia Shay have been named the 2022 Donald and Astrid Monson Community Action Award. These individual honorees each received $5,000 for their diligent work to represent the interests of Hawaii’s residents and to protect the natural environment. A gathering was recently held to acknowledge these community trailblazers.
“Ursula Retherford is the absolute essence of public involvement for the common good,“ said Donna Wong, board member with LWVHEF and nominator of Retherford. “She is a true pioneer in protecting our community, as well as an advocate for equality, her community, our island, an open and democratic society and a good quality of life whenever the opportunity calls for action.“
Retherford’s community involvement includes issues such as KAPU Kailua Highrise, Citizens for Camp Kailua, and Save Sandy Beach and, most recently, working to oppose the numbers of illegal Bed and Breakfast and Transient Vacation Rentals (TVR) in Kailua.
Claudia Shay, Executive Director of Self-Help Housing Corporation of Hawaii, has had an exemplary career as an advocate, organizer and manager for affordable housing. Among her accomplishments in the past year have been the Oahu housing production including the completion of a 70-lot subdivision in Waianae where families built single and multi-level homes for $300,000 fee simple, appraised at $480,000.
“Claudia works tirelessly to help people. She doesn’t back down against bureaucratic red tape, governments and corporations who say it can’t be done, and all kinds of logistical obstacles that get in her way,“ said Nancy Marker, Shay’s nominator and board member with LWVHEF. “Thousands of people have been affected by her dedication to seeing that families have wonderful homes.“
Astrid and Donald Monson were experts in city planning and moved to Hawaii in 1973 to retire. They were well known as volunteers and citizen activists in the local community. Following Astrid’s passing in 2006, The Donald and Astrid Monson award was established, and is funded annually at $5,000 from Hawaii Community Foundation and LWVHEF administers that award.
LWVHEF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization supported by donations that fund worthy community projects for the people of Oahu, through grants as well as the annual Donald and Astrid Monson Award.
For more details on guidelines, eligibility criteria and other requirements to nominate an Oahu individual or organization, visit the LWVEF website at: https://lwvedfund.org/monson.htm
Photo attached: Courtesy League of Women Voters of Honolulu Education Fund
(Left to right) 2022 Monson Community Action Awardees: Claudia Shay and Ursula Retherford
League of Women Voters of Honolulu Education Fund PO Box 235026 Honolulu HI 96823-3500