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Miss Kona Coffee 2014: Jeanne Kapela

Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant 2014 contestants. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant 2014 contestants. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

Jeanne Kapela is Miss Kona Coffee 2014 and Alyssa Ishihara is Miss Aloha Hawaii 2014.

Kapela was crowned Saturday night at the 2014 Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant, ushering in the annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

Nine of the island’s young women vied for the chance to represent Kona and the coffee industry for the next year. Miss Kona Coffee also represents the Big Island at the Miss Hawaii pageant.

Kapela, 19, won the talent portion of the contest, with her contemporary dance to ‘Who Are You.’

“It’s always been a dream of mine to represent my community. This is a great opportunity to spread aloha beyond Kona and the island,” she said. “This title gives you a chance not only to represent Kona and its world famous coffee, but also gives you a greater voice across the Pacific all the way to Japan.”

In addition to a $2,250 cash scholarship and a $10,000 Argosy University scholarship, Miss Kona Coffee wins a 10-day hosted trip to Japan, courtesy of UCC Coffee. The title-holder also will make personal appearances across the island and state throughout the year.

“I still can’t believe I get to do this,” Kapela said, adding that her fellow pageant contestants helped bring out the best in her.

“I’ve definitely made some great connections with them all and truly love every one of my pageant sisters,” she said.

Jeanne Kapela performs a contemporary dance during the talent portion of the scholarship pageant. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Aisaiah Var)

Jeanne Kapela performs a contemporary dance during the talent portion of the scholarship pageant. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Aisaiah Var)

Kapela is a Konawaena High School graduate and currently attends Kapiolani Community College studying broadcast journalism. She also is a member of the UH Rainbow Warrior Dance Team.

She is the daughter of Keahi Kapela and granddaughter of Barbara and Paul Kapela.

“My grandmother has always been my biggest inspiration and greatest supporter,” she said. “This is all because of her and all for her. Nobody could have a better grandma.”

Kapela’s brother, Haili, 14, said the evening was worth getting dressed up and wearing a neck tie.

“It’s super awesome,” he said. “I can’t wait to go to school and brag to my friends that my sister is Miss Kona Coffee.”

Ishihara, who won the Congeniality Award, said she is honored to wear the Miss Aloha Hawaii crown.

“I’m so excited to do my year of service,” she said. “I really want to promote my platform that arts is the real universal language. I grew up playing the piano and dancing. Everyone should have the opportunity to explore the arts.”

Ishihara, 20, is a Hilo High School graduate and UH Hilo student studying communications. She is the daughter of Tad and LeeAnn Ishihara.

First runner-up was Tiffany Kutsunai and second runner-up was Ariel Enriquez.

The popularity and photogenic awards went to Mersadeez Brandt.

Other contestants included Mahina Bird, Abigail Domen, Mariah Milar and Trishelle Leslie.

Judging criteria included a private interview, lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, talent, evening wear and on-stage question.

— Find out more:
www.konacoffeefest.com

(Hawaii 24/7 photo by Aisaiah Var)

(Hawaii 24/7 photo by Aisaiah Var)

One Response to “Miss Kona Coffee 2014: Jeanne Kapela”

  1. Coffee festivals held in Hawaii annually by the coffee farmers. It has a series of activities, adventures and other important events to celebrate the significance of coffee in this place enrich with volcanic nutrients that has the most prized and finest coffee in the world.

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