Inouye fundraiser nets $55,000 for isle schools

NUKOLI’I — An evening with U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye plus the Kaua’i Economic

Development Board annual dinner meeting equals $55,000 for school supplies for

the island’s needy students.

That was the equation recently as more than

300 people gathered for the joint functions at the Kaua’i Beach Resort

(formerly the Outrigger Kaua’i Beach) to raise funds for Inouye’s Ready to

Learn program.

The program provides school supplies to needy children

across the state.

The fundraiser was the most successful ever, said Gary

Baldwin. It will allow funds raised here to be used on Maui and the Big Island

as well as Kaua’i, he said.

All told, around $75,000 was raised for the

program, which for the current school year assisted 25,000 students

statewide.

The funds go into a community clearinghouse through Helping

Hands Hawai’i.

Retired teacher Jimmy Yamamoto purchases from local stores

supplies requested by teachers, then delivers them to the requesting schools,

Baldwin explained.

“We have no administrative costs in this project,

because everything’s volunteer,” excluding the cost of the dinner, Baldwin

said.

Because this year’s fundraiser was so successful, the Association for

Retarded Citizens of Kaua’i (ARC of Kaua’i), and other programs, will also be

recipients of funds or supplies to meet some of their needs, he said.

The

success of the fundraiser will also allow KEDB to work with teachers to

identify other types of supplies they may need.

“It’s the best year we’ve

ever had fund-raising,” Baldwin said.

While the focus has been on helping

meet the needs of public school students in grades kindergarten through 12, the

KEDB will listen to the needs of any teachers.

“Anybody who’d like to talk

to us,” Baldwin said.

Teachers and others interested in more information

about getting supplies through the Ready to Learn program can call Pam Parker

at the KEDB, 245-6692.

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