Couple Gives Million Dollar Condo to Charity

Rusty and Tommy Thomas
Rusty and Tommy Thomas
Kelly McArthur
Kelly McArthur
Broker Abe Lee talks with KHNL News 8's Angela Keen
Broker Abe Lee talks with KHNL News 8's Angela Keen

by Angela Keen

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -  You hear of charity auctions all the time in Hawaii, but rarely will someone auction off a million dollar slice of paradise for a good cause.

Thanks to the final wishes of a Waikiki couple, their million dollar gold coast condo is being auctioned with all of the money going to a local charity.

Rusty and Tommy Thomas lived a dream so many people wish for, in a Gold Coast, beach front property with a stunning view from the Colony Surf.

The Thomas' caregiver Kelly McArthur describes them. "He was a chemical engineer in the war. She was a retired food editor from the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin and they were both world travelers they wrote many articles.

Rusty Thomas was known to rub shoulders with stars like Joan Crawford, and Ronald Reagan in his Hollywood days long before he became president. Personal letters from Crawford and even Lana turner can be found in their now empty condo filled with memories.

Kelly remembers the Thomases and their kind ways. Kelly became their caregiver and confidant in the Thomases final years.

However, as the sun began to set on their lives, Tommy realized he didn't have their estate plans in order. He died before his will was finished.

Kelly added, "I think he thought he was going to die after her and then everything happened so fast".

At 81, as an ailing widow, with encouragement from Kelly, Rusty finalized their will. She asked that their prized condo, with a million dollar view, go to help charity. Since rusty died 2 years ago Kelly, is making sure that happens.

The plan is to have a live auction with all of the money going to help a local Non Profit. It is something realtor and broker Abe Lee says, rarely happens.

Lee said, "It's the first time I've ever seen something like this in the 30 years I've been in real estate".

Offers to buy the condo have been quietly coming in, but Kelly is sticking to the Thomases wishes to make a difference long after their gone. She's passing on Rusty and Tommy's million dollar ocean view the way they wanted, ready to be filled with new memories.

The property at the Colony Surf will go up for live auction on location, on September 2nd. realtor Abe Lee and several others are volunteering their time to make it happen. Potential buyers need to pre-register and pre-qualify since it's a high end property. The bidding will start at one million.

For more information or to register for the auction, you can call 216-4999 or click on the link to Colony Surf.