Kapaa Rotary distributes $11,300

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Representatives of recipient nonprofits, including Monica Oszust of the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, Elyse Litvack of Kumu’s Cupboard, Edwin Sawyer and Eliott Lucas of the Kauai Film Academy, Kelvin Moniz of the Kauai Independent Food Bank, and Coach Orlando “O” Anaya of Mokihana Aquatics are surrounded by Rotary Club of Kapaa President Josie Cortez, club members and visiting Rotarians Wednesday after receiving awards during the club’s meeting at Mariachi’s Mexican restaurant in Kapaa.

KAPAA — What does the picture of $11,300 look like?

The Rotary Club of Kapaa distributed $11,300 in awards to five Kauai nonprofits, including Kumu’s Cupboard, Mokihana Aquatics, the Kauai Independent Food Bank, the Kauai Film Academy, also known as Kauai Made Films, and the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay.

“This is the fun part of my job,” Cortez said. “It’s such a good feeling to be able to help these organizations that help a variety of areas on the island.”

Cortez said on a visit to the Boys &Girls Club, they saw the healthy snacks being provided through the Kauai Independent Food Bank which launched its 24th annual Spring Healthy Food and Fund Drive, March 1 and continuing through April 30.

Coach Orlando “O” Anaya of the Mokihana Aquatics program said Mokihana Aquatics is the only learn to swim program that goes to the beach for a few days of ocean safety.

“Hey, we live on an island,” Anaya said. “While learning to swim is the No. 1 rule of water safety, we at Mokihana Aquatics feel is is important to learn about the ocean while learning the critical life skill of swimming.”

Cortez said shopping for free at Kumu’s Cupboard is a great help for educators, and The Kauai Film Academy is something “we should have had when I was a kid.”

The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, through its Heart of Gold program, is attempting to place Automated Electronic Defibrulators at 50 sites around the island.

“If we can save one life, the effort is worth it,” Cortez said.

Proceeds from the awards distribution are derived from the Rotary Club of Kapaa’s signature event, The Taste of Hawaii which is scheduled for the first Sunday in June at the Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua.

“This will be our 30th anniversary of the Taste,” said Rotarian Ron Lemay. “This is going to be big. This fundraising event gives the club the ability to help all of these people.”

Cortez said since the start of the year, the Rotary Club of Kapaa has distributed more than $60,000 to community groups and projects.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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