By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer

The Kapi‘olani Community College Alumni and Friends Association (KCCAFA) will be holding its annual “friend-raiser” event that allows members and attendants a chance to connect, engage, and celebrate.

This year, the KCCAFA will welcome guest speaker Colette Higgins, a KCC scholar and alumna, to share her one-year summer sabbatical experience of tracing the footsteps of Queen Kapi‘olani when she traveled to the United States and England.

“This year we [the executive board] looked at Colette Higgins … because she’s done so much research,” said Louise Yamamoto, Public Information Officer and Director of College Relations, “ … and I thought she’d be great to bring back the Queen’s legacy to share with the college; that’s how she got chosen.”


Faculty, staff, and members of KCCAFA line up to pick out the main courses of the night. (Photo courtesy of Louise Yamamoto)

Keolani Noa, the STEM Program Outreach Coordinator, will still accept reservations for the “friend-raiser” up until October 14 with a payment (via cash or check) of $35 made to UHF/KCCAFA in order to attend. KCCAFA’s event will be held on October 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Ohia Cafeteria.

Higgins earned an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from KCC, along with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology and a Master of Arts in History (Pacific Islands) from UH Manoa. Higgins recently became the new dean of academic affairs at Windward Community College and has been teaching Hawaiian history for nearly 20 years.

Starting her sabbatical leave in August of last year, Higgins had left this April to begin her journey to the many places that the Queen had visited during her time. During her time of traveling within the United States and England, she wrote a blog entry every day of her discoveries and insights.

Higgins will be sharing these experiences with KCCAFA for the first time since she has returned from her sabbatical.

Gypsy 808 will be entertaining guests for the night with gypsy jazz and Hawaiian music. Joseph Zayac, a student currently attending KCC, is a member of Gypsy 808 who has been recognized and discovered by Dennis Imoto, a member of KCCAFA.

“As a KCC undergraduate, I feel delighted and honored to be allowed to perform for the alumni,” Zayac said. “I’ve been working on pieces to perform and am excited to see how they are received.”

Yamamoto is looking forward to hearing Higgins share her experiences during her one-year sabbatical and is also hoping to see many returning members and potential new members to attend.

“We hope to build on membership, and we want to align ourselves for what the college stands for … ,” Yamamoto said. “Our efforts [whatever we do in the chapter] complements the college itself. … What we hope to gain is definitely a strong foundation of solid membership.”

For more information regarding the KCCAFA event contact Louise Yamamoto at (808) 734-9513 or

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported the “friend-raiser” will take place in Ka Ikena in Ohelo Building. It will be held in Ohia Cafeteria. We apologize for the error. 

Lexus Yamashiro can be reached at To read all of Lexus’ stories, please click here.