Double Honors For Blangiardi in Honolulu

Former football coach/current GM hits the gridiron for University of Hawaii, and later cleans up for Hargitay banquet

Busy weekend for Rick Blangiardi, GM at the Hawaii News New monster in Honolulu. The former University of Hawaii football player and coach—a colorful character whom I profiled in 2013--will serve as honorary captain of the Rainbow Warriors football squad at the August 30 season opener against the University of Washington. Blangiardi will accompany the team captains onto the field during the pre-game coin toss at midfield.

A day later, Blangiardi is the honoree at the 10th anniversary dinner for Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation, which helps survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Hargitay’s character on Law & Order: SVU, of course, sees such crimes constantly, which is how she got involved with the issue.

Her foundation is headquartered in Hawaii, and Hawaii News Now—Raycom’s KGMB-KHNL—partners frequently with Joyful Heart, including airing PSAs with the tagline “No More” about sexual and domestic violence.

“As beautiful as the place is,” Blangiardi says, violence against women remains a serious local issue.

“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the campaign and raised a lot of awareness. I’m proud when I see the spots,” says Blangiardi. “It feels good to make a difference.”