With Puna still recuperating from Tropical Storm Iselle and the lava flow threatening to wreak havoc on the community, the annual Kipimana Cup between Keaau and Kamehameha Schools is an opportunity to focus on something positive.
“The summer and fall of 2014 have been a tough period for this island, but we have a lot to celebrate in the midst of it all,” noted Bill Walter, president of W.H. Shipman, Limited. “We live and work in a beautiful spot, we have exceptional communities and excellent schools.”
The Kipimana Cup is a goodwill football game between the public and private schools located within a few miles radius. Kipimana is how Hawaiians referred to Shipman more than 100 years ago, and both Keaau and Kamehamhea Schools are located on land formerly owned by Shipman.
Historically, Kamehameha Schools and Keaau High School didn’t play against each other because they were in different divisions — Keaau being in Division 1 and Kamehameha being in Division 2.
The Big Island Interseholastic Federation League ultimately changed that, but not before W.H. Shipman, Ltd. first pitched the annual Kipimana Cup four years ago. W.H. Shipman provides $500 to each of the school’s booster clubs following the game.
“The Kipimana Cup is a great way to showcase the Keaau and Puna areas of the island of Hawaii as well as the graciousness of W.H. Shipman,” said Dan Lyons, the head football and aquatics coach at Kamehameha Schools. “The Puna area has been so greatly impacted by the hurricane and now the lava flow. This game is a representation of the strength of the community and the resiliency and goodwill of the people of Puna. We are grateful to be part of this game of goodwill and all that it represents.”
Kamehameha comes to its face-off with Keaau with a record of four wins and two losses, while Keaau’s record is zero wins and five losses.
“We are grateful to WH Shipman for their support of the event,” said Iris McGuire, Keaau High School’s athletic director.
She noted that due to many factors on Keaau High School’s end, there will only be a varsity game for the Kipimana Cup.
“We hope to continue this partnership with WH Shipman for future events,” McGuire said. “We want to thank the WH Shipman organization for all their support of Keaau High School and our KKP complex overall. Without their generosity we would not be here as a school.
“During these trying times in our neighboring communities and our own, with Iselle and the lava crisis, we strive to maintain normalcy and consistency for all of our students. WH Shipman’s support is refreshing and welcomed,” McGuire said. “It gives us hope that tomorrow will be a better day.”
“This year enjoying the game and our community will help us reflect on our friendships and how deeply we are blessed,” said Walter. “The Kipimana Cup started and continues as a reminder of our friendship and good spirits here in Keaau and beyond.”
Kamehameha School’s Hawaii campus opened on former W.H. Shipman land in 2001 and has an enrollment of a little over 1,000 students, grades K-12, while Keaau High School has an enrollment of 880 children, grades 9-12. The school first opened in 1998, also on Shipman property.
W.H. Shipman, for 130 years, has had approximately 17,000 acres in the Puna District, and is active in agriculture and commercial/ industrial development and leasing. Shipman holds a long-range view toward sustainability and planned development for balanced community use.
Saturday’s game will be held at Keaau High School. Kickoff for the varsity game is expected to start at 3 p.m. Expect to pay a nominal admission.