WAIPOULI — Diners at the Panda Express in the Kaua‘i Shopping Village were treated to royal treatment Tuesday.
Not only was the lunchtime crowd able to enjoy the “gourmet Chinese cuisine” offered by Panda Express, 30 percent of the restaurant’s proceeds from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. was earmarked for the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association campaign of trying to equip every lifeguard tower with WaveRunners and all-terrain vehicles.
Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. was greeted by the panda mascot who waved down passing motorists along Kuhio Highway at the Kaua‘i Village stoplight as balloons fluttered about the doorway.
Aaron Wu and John Zhang of the Panda Restaurant Group waited anxiously for the mayor to arrive, spending time with Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau lifeguards to man the Yamaha WaveRunner outside the restaurant.
Tracy Truong, in an email, said Zhang agreed to raise the normal 20 percent contribution to organizations to 30 percent of the sales proceeds with a guaranteed minimum donation of $1,000.
In addition to the Panda Express fundraising effort, tickets for a luxury Alaskan cruise and other prizes are being sold by the Rotary Clubs of Po‘ipu, Hanalei Bay, West Kaua‘i and Kapa‘a for a drawing which will coincide with an Oct. 9 fundraiser for the KLA.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.