PO‘IPU — “Share Your Aloha for Kaua‘i” is the theme of the 2003 Kauai United Way campaign, which kicked off with a dinner celebration at the Poipu Bay Grill & Bar Thursday.
The Hyatt Regency Kaua‘i Resort & Spa hosted the event, held at the Poipu Bay Golf Course restaurant.
Carol Furtado and Ron Wiley, 2003 campaign co-chairs, announced a campaign goal of $550,000, with the theme “Share Your Aloha for Kaua‘i.”
Around 100 people attended, including board members and representatives of beneficiary agencies and leading Kaua‘i businesses.
Speakers emphasized the many invaluable ways Kauai United Way dollars are put to work in the community, directly helping out tens of thousands of residents annually.
This aid makes life on the island better for friends, neighbors and businesses, and actually increases the tax base by helping people to live independently and re-join the workforce, explained Scott Giarman, Kauai United Way executive director.
Candy Sandal and Melodie Schnardthorst spoke about ways Friendship Club and Hale ‘Opio, respectively, helped them overcome considerable challenges and reclaim their lives.
Friendship House in Kapa‘a, an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of adults with severe mental illness, treats clients by building skills and confidence and helps re-integrate them into the community.
Hale ‘Opio provides residential and community programs for education, prevention, diversion and treatment for Kaua‘i young people.
These organizations are two of 23 Kauai United Way participating agencies.
“Collectively, these agencies help maintain the social fabric of our entire community,” Giarman said.
Furtado and Wiley, along with board president Mike Kano, expressed their determination to achieve the campaign goal this year.
The $550,000 goal is the same as last year’s, when the campaign raised $514,000, or 93 percent of the goal. This represented an increase of about $10,000, or about 2 percent, over the prior year.
In contrast, United Ways across the country saw their campaigns decline an average of 4.4 percent.
Speakers urged participation by everyone, even those who can only afford to give a little, because a little adds up to make a big difference when actions are united.
Kauai United Way is a nonprofit, independent, volunteer-driven organization that has been devoted to serving the island community since 1943 by conducting an annual campaign to support vital social-service programs.
Each year, volunteers re-evaluate the island’s social-service needs and direct funding where it will do the most good for the entire island.
Programs are monitored throughout the year to ensure that effective services continue to reach those in need efficiently.
Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste recently proclaimed September as Kauai United Way Month in the county, and in doing so urged “all citizens of Kaua‘i to selflessly and generously contribute to the Kauai United Way as it continues to serve the needs of our island.
“The Kauai United Way can only succeed in meeting its goal with the support of all the citizens in our island community who have historically shown a commitment (to) and dedication in caring for others in need,” Baptiste’s proclamation continued.
For more information, please call the Kauai United Way, 245-2043.