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$10,000 raised, $10,000 matched for TGI/Zonta Christmas Fund

LIHUE — Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano never had any doubts.

When the Hale Uluwehi Fund pledged to match donations of $100 or more up to $5,000 to The Garden Island/Zonta Club Christmas Fund, Kano was sure the community would meet that challenge.

It did.

When the Hale Uluwehi Fund then pledged to match those donations up to $10,000, Kano again was confident the community would come through.

Again, it did.

“I knew that was going to happen,” she said Monday.

Kano, 92, has led the fund drive for more than two decades, said it warms her heart to see how support has grown.

“I tell you, it’s absolutely gratifying,” she said. “The community realizes the amount of good it’s doing.”

The Hale Uluwehi Fund on Monday said since the community donated $10,000 — in amounts of $100 or more — it would donate $10,000.

That’s great news for the hundreds of families and keiki the fund helps during the holidays.

“On behalf of Hawaii Community Foundation, thank you for supporting families in need this holiday season,” said Darcie Yukimura. “We are thrilled the Hale Uluwehi Fund partnered with the Kauai Zonta Foundation to double the positive impact in the community. That is what it’s all about, working together to bring about greater change. Mahalo to the Zonta Club for caring for Kauai’s most needy and mahalo to our generous community on Kauai for sharing the aloha spirit this season.”

Here’s how the TGI/Zonta Christmas Fund works:

Families apply for assistance through social service agencies, which in turn connect with the Zonta Club of Kauai.

Donations to the Christmas Fund are distributed by Zonta Club members, who purchase gift certificates at local stores to make wishes come true for those families in need.

Each donated dollar is accounted for and carefully recorded. There are no administrators collecting salaries.

Through Christmas Eve, The Garden Island shares front-page stories about families (we don’t use their real names but the circumstances described are real) facing challenges, who would appreciate a little help.

The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund was established in the early 1980s when Jean Holmes was editor of TGI.

Last year, it raised about $40,000, a record.

Kano said she hears positive comments daily about the Christmas fund. She also has heard the stories of the joy on the faces of keiki who receive gifts on Christmas morning they may otherwise have gone without.

The TGI/Zonta Christmas Fund, she said, “is not just another Christmas gimmick. It’s really doing a lot of good.”

If you hold a fundraiser for the Christmas Fund, let us know and we’ll spread the word. Anyone making a donation of $50 or more may have his or her picture presenting the check published in TGI.

Only monetary donations are accepted. Checks, payable to Zonta Club of Kauai Foundation, can be mailed to P.O. Box 3032, Lihue, HI 96766. For more information, call Kano at 822-4517.

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