Iz's Legacy Continues

Rich Bettini
Rich Bettini
Marlene Kamakawiwo'ole
Marlene Kamakawiwo'ole

WAIANAE (KHNL) - Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole died nearly a decade ago.

But his music and contributions to the community continue.

"What better place, back to Iz's past," said Marlene Kamakawiwo'ole, Iz's widow.

His legacy is giving $60,000 to the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. The staff took care of Iz during his health struggles.

"What this money will do will go towards our new building fund. We hope to break ground later this summer," said Rich Bettini, chief executive officer.

His widow, along with businesses including The Honolulu Advertiser, presented the check to the center. The money will help staff members keep up with the increasing number of patients they treat. The center sees about 27,000 people a year, most of whom are low-income.

The 10th anniversary of Iz's death falls on June 26. That's also when his new CD will be released.

"Total new environment for Iz. He's right in the middle of a full orchestra, up to 60 pieces in some songs," said Jon de Mello with Mountain Apple Company.

His family and friends say it'll include many of his favorite songs as you've never heard them before. They believe it'll add to his legacy.