The Aikau Family created the Eddie Aikau Foundation in May of 2000 to share the spirit of Aloha and the Hawaiian traditions and culture as symbolized by their late brother Eddie Aikau.
The legendary Eddie Aikau had a keen knowledge of the ocean and was a true Hawaiian waterman. Aikau was a master of diving and surfing traditions of the Islands. With great care for the life of others, Aikau became the first lifeguard on Oahu's North Shore and saved countless swimmers from the rough waters and big surf. He was a big-wave pioneer and won the prestigious Duke Surfing Contest at Sunset Beach in 1977. He became involved in the renaissance of Hawaiian culture and became a crew member of the traditional Polynesian sailing canoe the Hokulea as part of his commitment to keep his heritage alive. In 1978, he gave his life trying to save his crew at the time of the Hokulea being swamped in a bad storm off the Islands.
Today, through the activities of the Eddie Aikau Foundation, Eddie Aikau's Family and friends are joined by new friends and volunteers who contribute time, efforts and donations, both large and small, in the hope that Eddie Aikau's spirit of Aloha and his dedication of doing good for others and his dream of keeping his Hawaiian heritage alive will be an inspiration to all people who learn about his life, his accomplishments and his love for his fellow man.
Where does the Money Go?
The Eddie Aikau Foundation seeks out promising opportunities that reflect the dreams of Eddie Aikau through education, advocacy and philanthropy. Through activities such as the Eddie Would Go Essay Contest, the Foundation provides awards to students in the State of Hawaii to encourage young people in their pursuit of their education. Educational activities specifically connected to Hawaiian heritage and Hawaiian language are areas of interest to the Foundation. The Foundation supports the efforts of organizations and activities that perpetuate the spirit of Aloha and Eddie Aikau.
The Foundation supported the Hawaii Theatre for Youth's special performances of the play Eddie Wen Go and their efforts to bring theatre arts and the story of Eddie Aikau to the young people of Hawaii.
The Foundation reaches out in times of grief as they did to two families of surfers from other countries who died in surfing accidents on the North Shore. Eddie Aikau wanted to do good for others. He cared for the safety of others and put his life on the line as a lifeguard. When someone lost their life in a water related accident it affected Eddie. The Aikau Family has experienced many tragedies and extends their heart to people enduring problems in these difficult times. The Foundation gave spiritual and financial support for memorial services and getting these surfers bodies home from Hawaii.
What does the future bring?
The Foundation is developing its involvement and activities to benefit people and organizations that share Eddie Aikau's spirit of Aloha and the commitment to perpetuating Hawaiian heritage.