Mahelona Auxiliary gifts students pursuing healthcare careers

KAPA‘A — Students from Waimea, Kaua‘i and Kapa‘a high schools aspiring to medical careers were honored Tuesday with a $300 gift from the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

Auxiliary President Betty Matsumura and Llewellyn Wynne, clinical operating officer for the hospital, congratulated one student from each of the high schools during the auxiliary’s award luncheon.

Jodi Panday, a student from Waimea High School, plans on attending San Francisco State University with a major in nursing. She was accompanied by her mother, Noraida Marvil.

Gail Acob, the Kaua‘i High School honoree, also plans on majoring in nursing at the Pacific Lutheran University in Washington. She was accompanied at the luncheon by her father, George Acob.

Rachel Ganir, a member of the Kapa‘a High School girls basketball team, which was scheduled to play Waimea for the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation title, accepted the award with her mother, Susan Ganir.

Ganir is headed for the University of Hawai‘i following her graduation from Kapa‘a High School. She plans to major in chemistry.

Criteria for the awards are based on interest in earning a degree in healthcare as well as academic excellence and a record of volunteer work.

“The auxiliary wants to support and encourage students going into the medical field,” Matsumura said.

Funds for the gifts are raised through Mahelona Hospital Thrift Shop sales as well as the hospital’s annual Country Store, which is open to the public.

Located in the hospital, the thrift shop is open Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The store is staffed by volunteers from the auxiliary.

Proceeds from the shop also support long-term care resident activities and provide Christmas gifts for residents and patients annually.

Matsumura said donations of “gently-used” clothing, working small appliances and household items are accepted during normal operating hours.

The Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital will be celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. It was founded in 1917 as a treatment center for tuberculosis by Emma Kauikeolani Napolean Mahelona Wilcox in memory of her son Samuel, who died of tuberculosis at the age of 28.

The auxiliary was formed in 1991.

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