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PBS Hawaiʻi Asks: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” in Citizen Music Fundraiser


Jody Shiroma
PBS Hawaiʻi

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November 9, 2020

PBS Hawaiʻi Asks: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” In Citizen Music Fundraiser

 (HONOLULU, HI) – PBS Hawaii is taking a page from an iconic childhood song by Mister Rogers, asking the community Wont You Be My Neighbor?in a musical fundraiser that is being jumpstarted by Hawaiʻi entertainers. Some performers are even singing a Hawaiian-language version of the song.

“What a thrill to hear Mister Rogers’ beloved song in Hawaiian! And while professional entertainers are leading the way, this is an opportunity for all of us to participate,” said Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS Hawaiʻi.

The goal of #PBSHAWAIIneighbor challenge is to raise awareness and funds for the locally owned, noncommercial television station. The challenge also celebrates neighborhoods and the strength of community.

And everyone can take part, one way or another.

Individuals can make a cellphone video of themselves in their neighborhood, singing the familiar song in English or Hawaiian and posting it online. (PBS Hawaii supplies the lyrics.) Or, participants can opt out of singing by making a donation of $10 or more to the educational TV station. In addition, participants are encouraged to challenge their friends to take part, by tagging them on social media.

Among those who have accepted the video song challenge are Jake Shimabukuro, Raiatea Helm,

John Cruz, Pomaikai Keawe Lyman, Mailani Makainai, Loretta Ables Sayre, Keola Beamer, Keilana, Kuuipo Kumukahi, Kimee Balmilero, John Olandy, Yoza, John Kolivas and Marlene Sai. Their videos will be shared on PBS Hawaii and online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

All participating singers are offered a special music bed created by PBS Hawaiʻi Board member Aaron Salā with Shawn Pimental and Kamuela Kimokeo. The music bed is a mix of rhythm guitar, bass, ʻukulele and lead guitar. Salā also worked with others to translate the English lyrics into Hawaiian.

The homegrown musical fundraiser runs through December 4.

Donors wishing to give to the #PBSHAWAIINEIGHBOR challenge may do so at:

Monies raised from the campaign will go to the PBS Hawaiʻi mission of advancing lifelong learning and discovery.

For more information, please contact Jody Shiroma at