HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A piano prodigy is hitting all the right notes with her passion for philanthropy. Ginny Tiu has thrilled audiences worldwide, but her priority now is giving back to those in need. She is one of the inspirational women being honored at YWCA Oahu's Leader Luncheon.
Tiu discovered her gift of music at an early age. She was just 3 1/2 years old and living in the Philippines when her father forgot to lock the piano one day.
"I was fascinated by what I heard my dad playing and I was trying to duplicate it actually, just looking for the right notes," Tiu recalled.
With lessons from her father, the child prodigy reached a nationwide audience at age 5 when she showcased her skills on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
"I just remember enjoying it. People a lot of times will ask me whether I was nervous or not, no, I just really loved playing," said Tiu.
Her career took off and her success led her family to move to America. Tiu traveled the world, performing for two U.S. presidents, and even appearing in a movie with Elvis Presley.
"I had a tutor all my life. I couldn't even go to a regular school because I traveled all the time performing and I loved it," said Tiu.
Tiu continues to perform at 53 By the Sea and the Westin Moana Surfrider. While she's grateful that she's able to use her musical talent to bring joy to others, her main focus now is her philanthropic work.
"When I see a need, I really can't just not do something, or try to do something," she said.
Tiu is a board member for the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra as well as the Hawaiian Humane Society. She has adopted several dogs from the shelter and was a key figure in the facility's capital campaign that raised more than $18 million dollars.
"Music and animals are such a huge part of my life because I really feel they make me a better, happier person," said Tiu.
In 2014, Maryknoll School honored her with the Monsignor Kekumano Award of Noblesse Oblige. The motto, "To whom much is given, much is expected," definitely strikes a chord with her.
"I think we should just always try to be the best that we can be," Tiu said. "I can never what you do, you can't do what I do, and it's because God gives us different gifts and they're all important."