Mid-Pacific Today Spring/Summer 2018

The Choy Family & Laird Family Athletic Fund supports Mid-Pacific Athletes

Posted on June 7, 2018 by Scot Allen

MID-PACIFIC'S INNOVATIVE CURRICULUM IN THE ARTS and sciences prepares every student for college and beyond so they are prepared to meet the challenges of today's and tomorrow's world. Another important component in the quest to achieve the goals outlined in the Mid-Pacific Learner Profile, is participation in sports.

Studies have shown that students who are active in soccer, basketball and other athletic activities perform better in core subjects including math, science, social studies and language arts. Moreover, involvement in sports yields much more than enhanced academic performance; it instills qualities necessary for effective participation in a global economy where both competition and collaboration are essential.


"Athletics provide students with opportunities to learn about goal setting,
perseverance and team building," explained Mid-Pacific Athletic Director Scott
Wagner. "Beyond that, sports also offer experiences students can receive only
outside the classroom. It's a time to build memories and a strong bond with
coaches and teammates. Participation in athletics also provides an opportunity
to represent and foster a strong connection with their school. These connections will carry with them for a lifetime, and we want our athletes to have incredible memories and a lasting bond with Mid-Pacific beyond graduation."


Sports offer valuable life lessons such as learning from mistakes when games
are lost; welcoming constructive feedback from coaches; understanding the value
of collaboration and teamwork; developing self-discipline for rigorous training; and successfully overcoming real-life obstacles. Wagner is convinced that involvement with sports motivates students to continually self-improve--something to which every dedicated athlete must aspire in order to compete more effectively. Wagner is living proof of this. From the time he was in middle school, he knew he wanted to become a high school coach and athletic director. Never giving up on his dream, he worked hard to achieve his goal. Wagner's successful career as an athletic director for the past 19 years is a testament to the influence of these life lessons.


It was Wagner's ardent belief in the life-changing power of sports, coupled with his commitment to ensure that Mid-Pacific students have access to all of the necessary equipment and facilities that inspired three Mid-Pacific families, who are passionate about sports, to step up as the initial contributors toward a $1 million endowment fund created specifically to support Mid-Pacific's athletic programs. When contributions to the fund reach the $1 million goal, the fund has the potential to yield $50,000 a year to support athletic program needs--from canoes and uniforms to scoreboards and more. The Choy Family and Laird Family Athletic Fund, was generously founded by the combined philanthropy of Milton and LiAnn Choy, Chris and Jacqueline
Laird, and an anonymous donor.


One day, while playing a round of golf together, Milton Choy learned from Scott
Wagner the surprising fact that revenue from tuition alone did not cover all
the operating expenses for Mid-Pacific. Sports has played a central role in the
lives of Choy's three children. Jarret '12 enjoyed paddling and volleyball; Lacie '16 competed on Mid-Pacific's varsity volleyball and paddling teams; and Brett, '14, exceled in paddling and water polo. With this in mind, Choy and his wife LiAnn decided to make a lead gift of $15,000 to start the endowed athletic fund in addition to contributing to a travel endowment fund for Mid-Pacific's middle school.

Choy, who owns H2O Process Systems, an infrastructure development company that recycles water and energy, understands the significance of upgrading Mid-Pacific's facilities. "It's important to support and sustain the school and plan for the future," he said. "We trust the administrators will invest for the future betterment of Mid-Pacific."


Chris and Jacqueline Laird contributed an additional $5,000 to the athletic
endowment fund. "Athletics has always played an important role in my husband
Chris' and my life, and my kids have followed in our footsteps, so we were honored to contribute to this athletic fund," explained Jacqueline Laird. Their three children, Avi '18, Teja '21, and Ella '23, play water polo for Mid-Pacific.

Laird can personally attest to the life-changing effects of participating in sports. "I see such a transformation in my kids when they are engaged in sports. Their grades go up, their bodies become stronger, their overall outlook on life seems clearer and they have a sense of commitment and purpose to their team that keeps them focused."

Sports also builds great character and good sportsmanship. "The challenge of team dynamics and winning and losing are all components that teach them valuable lessons that they will carry throughout their lives," Laird shared. "We have had many discussions as a family about what it means to win or lose and keeping it all in perspective. Taking time to shake the other team's hands and congratulate their coaches are all important in building a mindset based on unity. We should all honor each other in the arena of athletics, and that extends to other areas of life."


Exercise and sports not only opens our hearts to others, but has been shown to have a positive effect on brain function. Laird reminds us, "All these components build resilience and strength. Science has proven more neuron connections are made during physical activity and we can all agree that oxygen to the brain and cells is an optimal way to stay healthy."


Wagner is confident that other families will catch the vision and contribute to the fund, and that will make attaining the $1 million endowment goal come sooner than later. "I would encourage parents to contribute to this fund so that Mid-Pacific will continue to strengthen its athletic endeavors, and give students the opportunity to experience the world of athletics," said Wagner. "You are investing in a student's life-long love for exercise and sports."

If you would like to contribute to The Choy Family and Laird Family Athletic
Fund, please contact Vice President of Institutional Advancement Gary
Cordova at gcordova@midpac.edu or (808) 973-5016, or Major Gifts Officer Linda Jameson Myers at lmyers@midpac. edu or (808) 973-5008.