For Florence Kimura Yoshikawa, who now makes her home in faraway Sunnyvale, Calif., it was always about giving back to her beloved Kaua‘i High School.
“Kaua‘i High prepared me well for college and I always felt that I would like to give back when I could,” Yoshikawa said in a press release. “I’ll always remember what Kaua‘i High did for me.”
When the opportunity presented itself, Florence made good on her promise and became the first member of its Founders’ Society in the process.
The Foundation’s Founders’ Society, which was established last November, raises needed funds for student scholarships, capital expenditures and specific donor initiatives at Kaua‘i High. Donors contributing $5,000 to the Foundation before Sept. 14, 2014, when Kaua‘i High School will celebrate its 100th anniversary, become eligible for Society membership.
Florence and her husband, Tad, responded with their gift even before the Foundation had its Founders’ Society program finalized, said Foundation President Gary Yamamoto.
“Florence’s and Tad’s generous unrestricted gift is setting a great example for how alumni can ‘give back’ to their alma mater,” said Yamamoto. “It’s our hope that all alumni, friends and others in the community will be motivated by the Yoshikawa’s generosity.”
Five donors have become members of the Founders’ Society since the Yoshikawa’s donation.
Formerly from Kalaheo, where she attended elementary school, Florence said that her years at Kaua‘i High were “very good ones.” She admitted to having a lot of fun, but was quick to add that she did not neglect her studies. Her degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where she majored in zoology and minored in general science, is a testament to her educational perseverance.
Following graduation, Florence taught for a while, but was beckoned back to the science lab, where she excelled as a chemist at several organizations before settling at Genentech, a biotechnology corporation.
Avid travelers, Florence and Tad are active and competitive bridge players on both the regional and national scene.
Last year they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and enjoy their time with their two grown daughters and two grandchildren.