By Léo Azambuja

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From left to right, state Rep. Derek Kawakami, YWCA Executive Director Renae Hamilton, state Rep. Jimmy Tokioka, County Managing Director Nadine Nakamura, state Sen. Ron Kouchi, Department of Human Services Branch Manager Priscilla Badua, kumu hula Leina‘ala Pavao Jardin, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., state Rep. Dee Morikawa and Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

The 2014 Na Wahine Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Awards Dinner presented by the YWCA of Kaua‘i Saturday honored three extraordinary women leaders who have served the local community, each in their unique style.

Priscilla Badua assists families that are having difficulties in meeting basic needs, Leina‘ala Pavao Jardin has touched thousands with her love for teaching hula, and Nadine Nakamura has worked tirelessly as a government official to plan a better future for the island.

Master of ceremonies Jade Wai‘ale‘ale Battad and Kuulei Santos kept approximately 200 YWCA supporters entertained and engaged throughout the dinner party on the grounds of the Courtyard by Marriott in Waipouli.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., state Sen. Ron Kouchi, state Reps. Jimmy Tokioka, Dee Morikawa and Derek Kawakami, and Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura were among those attending the annual dinner.

Japanese halau performing to Fred Aki's music at the YWCA annual dinner Friday.

Japanese halau performing to Fred Aki’s music at the YWCA annual dinner Friday.

Nakamura recently left her seat at the Kaua‘i County Council to accept a job as the county’s managing director. For more than 20 years, she operated a consulting business.

Badua has worked for more than four decades for the state of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services, where she currently is a supervisor at the West Kaua‘i Processing Center.

Jardin is the kumu hula for the award-winning Halau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leina‘ala in Kalaheo. Her halau has been successful in events such as the Queen Liliu‘okalani Keiki Hula Competition and the Merrie Monarch Festival.

The Halau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leina‘ala performs to Fred Aki's music.

The Halau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leina‘ala performs to Fred Aki’s music.

Besides speeches from the honorees and a lavish buffet, the night included certificates distributed by Abercrombie, a silent auction, hula performances by Jardin’s halau and a Japanese halau, and music by Fred Aki and Paula Fuga.

The YWCA of Kaua‘i was founded in 1921 by Elsie Wilcox. The nonprofit is “dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all,” according to its mission.

Visit of call 245-5959 for more information.