The seventh annual HPGS Fundraiser will honor an individual who has, for much of his adult life, done a lot for Hawai’i’s kūpuna. This annual celebration will raise funds for student scholarships in 2024. The Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society (HPGS) raises funds and awards undergraduate and graduate scholarships to college students interested in careers related to aging, long-term care or death and dying. These scholarships are funded by generous donations from individual donors, nonprofit organizations and private companies. HPGS has also designated funds to defray training costs for people who currently work with — or are planning to work with — older adults. These awards will provide tuition assistance for workers who enroll in credit or non-credit courses and certificate programs.
The 2023 honoree is Gary Simon, who was born and raised in Honolulu. Gary is a proud graduate of the class of 1978 at Saint Louis High School. He received his bachelor of science in chemistry from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and says he learned how to reason and think rationally, as well as sensibly. More significantly, the degree taught Gary how to think freely and to consider and try different avenues, en route to realizing a desired outcome or solution.
Before retiring in 2019, Gary was the director of corporate affairs and advocacy at the St. Francis Healthcare System. He was previously executive director of St. Francis Hospice and program director for St. Francis Health Services for Senior Citizens. As a volunteer, he serves on the boards of The Arc In Hawaii, the Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition, and Kokua Council. Gary served multiple terms on the State of Hawai‘i Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs and was a member of the Statewide Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. Gary is the state president of AARP Hawai‘i and also the chair of the AARP Hawai‘i Executive Council, a volunteer leadership committee that helps set AARP Hawai‘i’s state agenda and programs.
The Zoom event honoring Gary will be held at 5:30pm on Thursday, Nov. 2. The registration form can be found at hpgs.org/scholarships and donations will be accepted through November 30.