The Maui Autism Center Foundation in Kihei presented awards on April 30 to Mayor Alan Arakawa, the Maui Police Department (MPD) and President Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama for their heroism in bringing the issue of bullying to the forefront on the island of Maui and nationwide.
Captain Tivoli Faaumu accepted the Eileen Parkman Hero of the Year Award for the MPD, and Sean and Eileen Parkman accepted for the president and first lady.
Last year, when Eileen defended a boy with autism from a group of bullies and was hurt in the process, the media picked up the story, which went viral on the Internet. (See "Anti-Bullying Takes Root" at www.mauiweekly.com/page/content.detail/id/532460/Guest-Editorial---Anti-Bullying-Movement-Takes-Root.html?nav=9).
Accepting the Eileen Parkman Hero of the Year Award for the Maui Police Department is (left to right) Captain Tivoli Faaumu, Sean and Eileen Parkman accepting for the president and first lady, and Mayor Alan Arakawa.
Photo: Ryan Piros
Mayor Arakawa and the MPD stepped in and asked how they could help and support a no-bullying campaign. Also, when the president and first lady heard about the incident, they also wanted to help.
An award in Eileen's name is being sent to the White House.