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The 1st Ever Pacific Island Community Gala In Alaska!

Anchorage, AK– The 1st Pacific Island Community Gala in Alaska took place yesterday, Sunday, December 4, 2022 at the Lucy Cuddy Hall. This event was sponsored and hosted by the Polynesian Association of Alaska (PAOA) and had special guests like Alaska's Mayor, David Bronson with his lovely wife.

PAOA CEO & Founder, Lusiana "Lucy" Tuga Hansen at the 1st Annual Polynesian Association of Alaska's Gala
Photo Credit: Kenny Friendly

The Community Leader and CEO of the Polynesian Association of Alaska, Lusiana "Lucy" Tuga Hansen, gave a tearful and joyous speech last night as she celebrated this tremendous accomplishment. Hansen was born in Ta'u Manu'a, Pago Pago American Samoa in 1962 and moved to Alaska in 1985.

According to the Anchorage Museum, she began teaching elders in the Pacific Islander community computer literacy courses and in 2005, founded the PAOA, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support individuals and improve families by promoting education, and instilling cultural pride in youth. Hansen has dedicated her life to serving her community and was honored with a Chief Samoan Title Name, Muaimalae Tuga Hansen, and has earned awards like The Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Women "Champions of Change" Award from the White House, the "Women of Achievement Award" from the YWCA of Alaska, and the Presidential Award from Bridge Builders of Anchorage.

The Gala celebrated the hard work of the Pacific Island Community and recognized the accomplishments of its members. 100% of the proceeds will go towards the PAOA's community efforts and events.

The 1st Annual Polynesian Association of Alaska's Gala Invitation

If you would like to connect with the PAOA, you can do so at or call them at (907) 250-4142.

Photo Credit: Kenny L. Friendly II, Public Information Officer of the Mayor


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