Curling debuts in Hawaii

By Terry Kolesar | Oct. 07, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

UPDATE: The event started today. To view images, go to our Facebook page.

Curling set to debut in Hawai’i next week

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - American Savings Bank (ASB) is bringing the quirky, competitive Olympic sport of curling and some of its brightest stars to the Aloha State. This unique signature fundraiser, hosted by ASB, will benefit Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children (Kapi'olani) and USA Curling this year.

Two events will be held at the Ice Palace in Honolulu, Hawai’i, on Oct. 17. The first event will feature curling clinics with children from two of ASB's Bank for Education Ohana schools. That evening, an exclusive fundraiser "competition" is anticipated to raise upwards of $50,000 for the hospital. Tracy Sachtjen (Lodi, Wis.) and John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.), members of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Curling Team, will be conducting the student clinics as well as coaching the teams in the evening event. This will be the first known curling event to take place in Hawaii.

In conjunction with the newly formed Hawai'i Curling Club, American Savings Bank has gathered 16 sponsored teams of six who will play in the state's very first Charity Curling Classic. Players will include Rich Wacker, president and chief executive officer of ASB; Martha Smith, CEO of Kapi'olani Medical Center; and Ray Vara, CEO of Hawaii Pacific Health. Four sets of curling stones were purchased for the new Hawaiian club from the Waupaca (Wis.) Curling Club. 

American Savings Bank has been a generous supporter of Kapi'olani for the past several years, having adopted the nonprofit hospital as one of the beneficiaries of its annual 'Kahiau' employee giving campaign. 

"We wanted to host our own unique fundraising event each year which would benefit an organization we select. Kapi'olani's unique and indispensable role in Hawaii as our state's only children's specialty hospital was a perfect choice." Wacker said. "As the American Savings Bank 'ohana, we know we cannot take Kapi'olani's world class pediatric care for granted. We hope our efforts and participation in this remarkable sport will get people thinking about supporting Kapi'olani in their own way as well."

"We were excited to be selected as this year's beneficiary of this fun and innovative strategy," Smith said. "The funds raised at this event will help Kapi'olani to continue to provide all of Hawai'i's children the world class pediatric care they deserve, right here at home." 

"Believe it or not, it has long been a goal of ours to bring the Olympic sport of curling to Hawaii," said Rick Patzke, USA Curling chief operating officer. "The 50th state of the United States has now become the 45th state with curling activity. We are extremely proud to be partnering with American Savings Bank to support the growth of curling as well as the mission of Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children."

About American Savings Bank

American Savings Bank has served Hawaii's businesses and communities for nearly 90 years, providing a full range of financial products and services, including commercial and consumer banking, insurance and investments. For more information, visit 

About Kapi`olani Health Foundation

Kapi'olani Health Foundation supports the charitable mission of its nonprofit hospital affiliate, Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children by raising funds to provide people of Hawai'i and the Pacific Region with specialty medical care, purchase life-saving equipment, support community outreach and education, and further local research.  Learn more at

About Kapi`olani Medical Center for Women & Children:

Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children is well recognized as Hawai'i's leader in the care of women, infants and children. With 207 beds and 66 bassinets, the nonprofit hospital is Hawai'i's only maternity, newborn and pediatric specialty hospital. It is also a tertiary care, medical teaching and research facility. Specialty services for patients throughout Hawai'i and the Pacific Region include intensive care for infants and children, 24-hour emergency pediatric care, air transport, maternal fetal medicine, and high-risk perinatal care. More than 1,300 employees and 612 physicians provide specialty care at Kapi'olani Medical Center. The hospital is home to Kapi'olani Women's Center, Kapi'olani Breast Center and Kapi'olani Women's Cancer Center - the state's only dedicated breast health and gynecological cancer centers. Kapi'olani offers numerous community programs and services, such as the Kapi'olani Child Protection Center and Sex Abuse Treatment Center. Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children is an affiliate of Hawai'i Pacific Health, the state's largest health care provider. Learn more at:

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery and is partnered with Ludus Tours, CurlingZone, and RJM Licensing, Inc.

Visit the USA Curling website at and connect with USA Curling on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare.


For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell)