Mike '87 and Melissa Blake
Mike '87 and Melissa Blake are deeply appreciative of Punahou's traditions, which Mike, his father (Dennis '60) and sisters (Kimberley '84 and Nani '90) experienced as students, and as his own family lives them now. As memorable as Mike's own 13 years at Punahou were, the Blakes are even more impressed with the curricular innovations available to today's students, from the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood to the School's child-centered learning opportunities.
After attending Whitworth College, Mike joined the Hawai'i Air National Guard. His passion for flying began with an aviation course he took at Punahou, which included an introduction to an early flight simulator. His buddy Mike Moore '88 encouraged Mike to pursue flying seriously, which led to a career with the Air National Guard. Today Mike flies the F-22A Raptor. "To this day, I always want a window seat," said Mike, "because I'm curious about what's out there. Curiosity is about what is impossible, and finding out that it is possible after all." It is this spirit of inquiry that Punahou nurtured and that Mike and Melissa hope to pass along to their children.
"We appreciate the sacrifices that all the teachers make for our students. We really believe in Punahou and are truly thankful to be able to help."
The Blakes also value the "sense of family" embodied at Punahou, "not just on campus, but extending throughout the community." Mike's school buddies dating back to his Wilcox Hall days, daughter Hope's classmates and son Isaac's club sports friends are all part of a network of relationships that deepen year after year. Whether on the O-Men Kona Safari, coaching Academy sports (Mike is an assistant coach for JV girls soccer), volunteering for Middle School field trips, or meeting other Junior School parents, the Blakes feel opportunities for lifelong learning and friendships abound.
That is why they have chosen to support Punahou through an unrestricted pledge to the Annual Fund. "We know that the School's needs will change and we want Punahou to be able to address what it sees as the most important priorities," says Mike. "We appreciate the sacrifices that all the teachers make for our students. We really believe in Punahou and are truly thankful to be able to help."