At ceremonies signaling the start of Hana's Aloha Week festivities, Hana Cultural Center President Robert Carroll was named as the recipient of the East Maui Community's most highly regarded public honor, the "Tiny Malaikini Mea Kokua Award". Presented annually to the person who has been judged to have given most selflessly of themselves for the betterment of the community during the past year, the coveted prize also memorializes one of Hana's most beloved citizens, the late Viewed "Tiny" Malaikini. The award includes a koa framed presentation, a cash honorarium, and the addition of the winner's name to a perpetual trophy which is on permanent display at the Hana Cultural Center.
A resident of Hana for more than forty years, Carroll has a long record of support of the Hana Cultural Center and its programs, having served numerous terms on the Board of Directors, and as President since 1993. He was appointed by Mayor Linda Lingle to serve out the term of the late Tom Morrow on the Maui County Council, and is currently a member of the Maui Planning Commission. He is also president of Hana Preschool, Vice President of the Hana Maui Trust, and deputy Hana District Civil Defense Coordinator.
In making the presentation of the award, Maui County Council member J. Kalani English said that it would be "literally impossible to find anyone in the Hana Community who has given more willingly of his time and talents than has Robert Carroll; it is entirely fitting that he be given this award, which was named for Tiny Malaikini, a man who truly lived a life of kokua and aloha". "In the eyes of many people", he continued, "Robert is Hana"; its collective conscience, its concern for the future, its desire to have the deciding voice in all things which may affect its unique and fragile lifestyle.
With hundreds of Hana residents gathered at the ballpark for the ceremony, Council Member English concluded by reading aloud the text of the surprise award, which reads as follows:
"For his continued leadership and participation in a wide range of public service organizations and activities benefiting, protecting and empowering all of Hana's people, the Hana Community gratefully acknowledges and honors Robert Carroll as the recipient of the 1997 Tiny Malaikini Mea Kokua award."