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First Annual Scholarship Gala a Success

When we approached the end of 2021, we realized that 2023 would mark our 10th year anniversary and it was just around the corner. We contemplated what would be the best, most impactful way, to celebrate a decade in education. After much thought, we decided that establishing a Mana Academy Scholarship Fund was not only prudent but allows us to give back to our Mana community who has supported and sustained us for the past ten years. And so, we started planning for our first annual Mana Academy Scholarship Gala.

We've endured tumultuous challenges in those ten years and we often look back bewildered that we are still here, still standing, and we still have the strength to continue for another ten years, or maybe even more. But in hindsight, our resilience as a school is a testament to our school leaders and past board members, and the calculated decisions they made to navigate our school to where we are today. And through it all, our school community has always rallied behind us and their unwavering support gave us the necessary strength to push through every challenge and fulfill our promise and commitment to them.

Our first gala was a beautiful night of celebration, honoring our community partners, and the highlight was the cultural performances of our Mana scholars. In the end, we managed to raise $43,000 in sponsorships, monetary and in-kind donations for our scholarship fund. Several awards were presented that night:

Higher Education Partner Award

  • Salt Lake Community College

  • University of Utah

Community Partner Award

  • National Tongan American Society

  • Discover Card - APAD

Mana Parent Service Award

  • Fotu Family

  • Tilo Family

  • Tokotaha Family

  • White-Savini Family

There's a beautiful Tongan proverb that goes like this: "Koe koloa 'a e Tonga koe fakamālō" which translates to "gratitude is the treasure of every Tongan." We could not have done this without our sponsors. We wish to extend our gratitude and acknowledge all our sponsors and donors who gave generously to our scholarship fund:

Our Presenting Co-Sponsors:

Gold Sponsor:

Decorations/Print Underwriter:

Bronze Sponsors:

Supporter Sponsors:

Friend Sponsors:

Table Purchases:

  • Malohifo'ou Family

  • Ka'ili Family

  • Lia and Oscar Rosales

  • Tokotaha Family (on behalf of Mana Academy alumni Alaimaluloa Tokotaha)

  • Wolfgramm Family

  • Talakoula Radio Show

  • Fatai Tuifua

Ticket Donations (these were patrons who either donated money or purchased tickets to donate to staff and Mana parents)

  • Gretchen Dietrich

  • Sloane Finau

  • Alopa Vea

  • Sonya Martinez

  • Ana Afuvai

  • Kuki Figiel

  • Daela Taeoalii Higgs

  • Soana Ngatuvai

  • Benjamin Powell/UPF

  • Meleseini Tausinga

  • Jacinta Drake

  • Siosiana Taufanga

  • Anita Uhi

  • Tori Woody

  • Georgia Sullivan

And last but not least, we wish to thank the Mana parents who helped out with the gala:

  • Tupou Naeata Haungatau

  • Honoree Tau'a'alo

  • Analei Tilo

  • Adee Vainuku

  • Takuilau Vaiomounga

Our collective efforts will make a significant impact on our Mana graduates and their ability to access higher education, now that they have one less barrier to worry about. All our seniors have been accepted to the various universities of their choice. We will update you on their progress as we await for scholarship offers and their final decisions. Stay tuned!

Enjoy these photos from the gala.

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