Great Aloha Run Founder
Carole Kai was born on October 28, 1944, in St. Louis College (now High School, then a hospital) and is best known for the annual event that bore her name from 1974 – 1994, The Carole Kai International Bed Race, which raised millions of dollars for 50 charities and the Military in Hawaii.
In 1985 she co-founded The Great Aloha Run, an 8.15-mile charity run with Honolulu Marathon Founder, Dr. Jack Scaff. It started with 11,698 participants, which set a Guinness world record for the largest number of entrants in a first-time sporting event. Today, the GAR hosts more than 29,000 entrants and has raised over $9.65 million supporting 150 different charitable organizations in Hawaii. The Military in Hawaii has also received $900,000+ over the years.
Carole was a professional singer, dancer, musician and recording artist, after receiving her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Hawaii. She performed in Waikiki venues: The Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Monarch Room, Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel, Outrigger Main Showroom, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Showroom and the Sheraton-Waikiki Ballroom. She worked on the Reno/Tahoe/Las Vegas circuit and throughout the major cities in Asia and the Far East.
As a featured act at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe and Harrah’s Hotel in Reno and Lake Tahoe, she opened for Roger Williams, Guy Lombardo, Shecky Greene, George Carlin and Don Rickles.
Upon her return to Hawaii, Carole served on the Boards of Variety School of Hawaii, The Aloha Stadium Authority, American Heart Association, Girl Scouts Council of Hawaii to name a few. (Carole received the “Aloha Is” Award at the Na Hoku Hano Hano Awards on May 30, 2011).
In 1993, Carole and her creative partners started the hit Karaoke television show, “Hawaii Stars”! They also produced “Keiki Stars”, “Chefs in Paradise”, “Jan Ken Po Hawaii-the Game Show of Hawaii”, “Hawaii Stars” TV Documentaries (since 2008) and finally The Annual Weinberg Foundation Concert for the last 15 years – a total of over 1,600 shows have been aired since 1993. *Four Documentaries were done on the Military in Hawaii (two of them won International Telly Savalas Awards.)
Her last stage performances were with the wildly popular “Local Divas” that included the late Loyal Garner, Nohelani Cypriano, and Melveen Leed from 1998 to 2001 – all local stars in the 60s through the mid-80s.
Carole’s great passion is for the Military, especially the Army. Her father was in Military Intelligence during WWII, her uncle and brother were in the Army, her cousin a West Point graduate. Carole’s brother–in-law is a retired Air Force Colonel and husband, Eddie, was in the Army during the Viet Nam War. She was awarded the “Mana O Ke Koa” (Spirit of the Warrior) Award by the U.S. Army, Pacific and LTG Frank Wiercinski in June, 2011.
Carole’s sustenance is her strong Christian faith. Her motivation and inspiration comes from mother, Ethel, whose lifetime desire was to help others. Entertainer, dedicated volunteer, businesswoman, promoter, community leader and loyal friend, Carole Kai Onouye has led a very fulfilling life, thanks to her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.