Major donation to Pearl Harbor historical sites will cover costs of admission for students

The Pearl Harbor Historical Sites Fund got a $7 million donation this week from the estate of Alexander Gaston.
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 2:45 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One man’s vision and generosity will soon help students get free access to the history at Pearl Harbor.

A $7.2 million check was presented to the Pearl Harbor Historical Sites Fund on Tuesday.

It’s being donated on behalf of the late Alexander “Sandy” Gaston, a longtime supporter of the memorial.

The foundation was inspired by Gaston’s longtime friend, Jay Dunn.

When Dunn was a volunteer running flight simulators at the Pacific Aviation Museum, a child told him he wished his classmate could’ve come to the museum with him that day.

When Dunn asked what he meant, the child said his classmate’s mom didn’t have the $30 needed for transportation, admission fees and lunch.

“Sandy, he was looking at his legacy, he had all this money and investments and said, ‘Well, if this kid can’t get to the museum, no child should ever be deprived of an opportunity to go to the four museums in Pearl Harbor because of lack of money,’” said Dunn, trustee of the Alexander Gaston Estate.

Gaston died last year. He was a Vietnam War veteran and headed the Honolulu chapter of the Navy League.

The foundation creates “an opportunity for Hawaii’s future to support and educate our school age children.”

The fund — managed by the Hawaii Community Foundation and Bank of Hawaii — is asking for support with a 100% tax deductible donation. All proceeds will support the PHHSF so all children can visit, learn and enjoy everything Pearl Harbor historical sites have to offer.

“This fund will cover that, from A to Z. It’ll cover the bus, admission fee and lunch,” Dunn said.

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