Healing Our Island grants awarded

THE GARDEN ISLAND

County officials awarded 29 Healing Our Island grants to local organizations this week.

“We were pleased to see so much collaboration among different groups who applied for Healing Our Island grants,” said county Anti-drug Coordinator Roy Nishida in a press release.

Nishida serves as administrator of all federal and state funding for anti-drug initiatives on Kaua’i.

According to Nishida, the 2005 state Legislature allocated $32,600 for drug prevention and education programs that target Kaua’i’s youth. The money was put into the Healing Our Island Community Fund and applications for grants up to $2,500 were accepted in January and February of this year.

“This program is one component of our overall plan to stop the spread of illegal drug use on Kaua’i,” said Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste in the release.

The overall plan was developed as the Kauai Community Drug Response Plan 2004-2009, by several island groups and adopted by the County Council in 2004.

Among the organizations/programs that were awarded Healing Our Island grants were: All Saints Episcopal Church, Aloha Peace Project, Family Club Core Group, Hale Halawai ‘Ohana ‘O Hanalei, Ho‘oikaika Volleyball Club, Ho‘ihi Hui, Juveniles Use Media Power, Kanuikapono Inc., Kapa‘a High School – Project Graduation, Kapa‘a Pop Warner Association, Kaua‘i Good Beginnings Alliance Council, Kaua‘i High School – Project Graduation, Kaua‘i Police Activities League, Kaua‘i Police Department Youth Services — D.A.R.E. program, and Kaua‘i Underground Artists.

Other recipients of Healing Our Island grants include: Kekaha Pop Warner Football Association, Kekaha Youth Baseball Organization, Kilauea School, Koloa Pop Warner Association, Lihu‘e Pop Warner Association, Love the Journey Inc., Punana Leo O Kaua‘i, Sacred Steps, Special Olympics Hawai‘i – Kaua‘i area, The Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association, Tres Hermanos de Kaua‘i, Waimea Project Graduation, YWCA Girlz Zone, and ZZ Youth Basketball Program.

Sybil Nishioka, who is a member of the All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Kapa’a, applied for a grant on behalf of the church. The group was awarded $1,000 to help fund a dodge ball tournament.

“We’re happy to receive this grant from the county,” said Nishioka in the release. “It’ll help defray expenses for the island-wide dodge ball tournament that we have planned.” The idea for the tournament came from one of the children in a Sunday school class, Nishioka said in the release. “We’re hoping it will attract teams from other churches and organizations from around the island. Not only will it provide a fun activity, but it will also create awareness of our gym as being a place for people to gather.” The All Saints’ Gym was built in the 1930s. For years, the facility served as a gathering place for many community groups and has since fallen into disrepair.

“We are currently devising a long-range plan to raise funds to bring the gym back to functioning at its full potential,” said Nishioka in the release, “and are in the process of opening a Christian bookstore, gift shop and lounge in the gym, with profits from these ventures aimed at supporting this vision.” For more information about the All Saints dodge ball tournament, call 822-4267.

Westside resident Elwood Machado submitted a proposal for a Healing Our Island grant as a representative of the Family Club Core Group, which meets regularly at Nana’s House in Waimea. The group received a $1,275 grant that will help fund a camping trip for local families.

“One of the goals of the Family Club Core Group is to provide mentoring for families in a positive parent-to-parent and parent-to-child relationship,” said Machado in the release. “We felt that a fun, wholesome, drug-free activity like camping would help to strengthen families.” The campout is scheduled for Father’s Day weekend in Waipa Valley. Participating families will take a walking tour of the valley, work in taro patches and learn about the area’s ahupua‘a (land division), cultural history and more.

“The major benefit of having a campout is it helps to bring families closer,” Machado said in the release.

For more information about the Family Club Core Group, call 338-0252.

Another organization that was just awarded a Healing Our Island grant is The Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association.

Kalani Vierra, who is a Kaua‘i Fire Department Ocean Safety supervisor as well as a member of The Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association, said that the $1,000 received by the organization will be used to help support the Junior Lifeguard Program.

“There are a lot of expenses associated with the program,” said Vierra. “The grant money will be used to restore some equipment and help cover the cost of sending a group of kids to the Junior Lifeguard State Championships.” The program is designed to teach young people, ages 13 to 17, about ocean and beach awareness and basic lifesaving and rescue techniques.

“While they’re having fun,” said Vierra in the release, “they’re also learning to develop an awareness of beach hazards and problems, how to administer first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) techniques, how to work as a team and good sportsmanship.” There are five sites where this year’s Junior Lifeguard Program will take place – Hanalei, Kala¯paki, Lydgate, Poi¯‘pu¯ and Salt Pond.

To be eligible for the program, participants must be committed to the challenges it offers and be able to swim and run 100 years nonstop without assistance.

For more information on the Junior Lifeguard Program, contact the Ocean Safety Bureau at 241-6506.

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