Memorial fund created to support clean energy, sustainability efforts


Editor’s note: This is a rerun of an article, which mistakenly ran in Thursday’s edition in draft form, with an erroneous byline and headline.

Some people are ripple makers who help others achieve their dreams, become aware of their abilities while providing endless encouragement. Guy Toyama was one.

A memorial fund has been established in honor of this West Hawaii businessman who helped champion sustainability, renewable energy and entrepreneurship efforts.

Toyama, 42, died unexpectedly in November, after running a mile race in Kailua-Kona. He co-founded H2 Technologies, a developer of hydrogen application systems for energy storage and transportation; was active with the Friends of NELHA; and held positions with many other organizations, including Kanu Hawaii, Blue Revolution Hawaii, the Hawaii-Okinawa Clean Energy Task Force, and the Hawaii County Mayor’s Energy and Advisory Commission.

“Guy lived his life with a deep sense of kuleana, and he treated everyone with aloha,” said Kona Japanese Civic Association president Walter Kunitake. “He made everyone he touched believe that we can solve our problems and live and work in harmony with each other and nature.”

Friends and colleagues, supported by Toyama’s family, created the charitable fund in his name to further his global vision for a better future. The Guy Toyama Memorial Fund will provide scholarships for individuals pursuing a higher education degree or personal development program, which will heighten their effectiveness as an agent of change in the world and prepare them for future work in sustainable practices, business development or community leadership, said Michael Kramer, a fund steering committee member and Natural Investments LLC managing partner.

The fund will also provide grants for nonprofit projects that originate in Hawaii and focus on innovation, experimentation, renewable energy, sustainability integration and green business. However, those interested in making a worldwide impact will also be regarded, Kramer said.

The mission is to create positive outcomes for future generations through disciplines such as renewable energy, local food production and waste reduction. This is the first fund dedicated solely to environmental stewardship, sustainability and entrepreneurship in Hawaii, Kramer added.

The steering committee has kicked off a fundraising campaign for the fund, and the goal is lofty. The committee hopes to raise $700,000 to $1 million to ensure the permanence of the fund. This would provide at least $35,000 annually for scholarships and grants, Kramer said.

A fundraising pau hana kickoff event for the fund will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. April 26 at the Gateway Energy Center, near the entrance of the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority. There will be pupus, beverages, tributes to Toyama and the showing of videos in celebration of his life. Donations of $25 or more are greatly appreciated, Kramer said.

“Guy’s gift of generosity and his passion for positive social and environmental change were contagious,” said Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce president Debbie Baker. “The memorial fund celebrates his enthusiasm and his unending dedication to the community.”

Checks can be made payable to Friends of the Future, include “Guy Toyama Memorial Fund” in the memo line, and be mailed to Friends of the Future, P.O. Box 2655, Kamuela, HI 96743. Or, go to fofhawaii.org and click on the “donate” link to contribute online using PayPal or a credit card. Online donations should also include “Guy Toyama Memorial Fund” in the “note to seller” field when reviewing the transaction.

For more information about the fund, visit guytoyamafund.org.