Friday, Dec. 8, 2023 |
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PO‘IPU — Community needs are greater than they has ever been, due in part to budget cuts for social service agencies, said Scott Giarman, executive director of the Kaua‘i United Way, on Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa.
“We need to take care of each other,” Giarman said during the launch of the KUW 2011 Campaign. “If you gave $2 through the payroll deduction, how about giving $3; if you gave $15, how about giving $20? It does not require a lot more but a lot more people helping. We live on an island where we’re all interconnected.”
The goal of the campaign is to raise $625,000, up slightly from the 2010 goal of $620,000.
“We came close last year despite several obstacles,” said Hyatt General Manager Doug Sears, who along with Ron Wiley of the KQNG Radio Group will serve as campaign co-chairs for the third straight year. “Today is a good start because of the turnout at this kickoff.”
Wiley said more than 140 registered for the campaign launch, drawing the biggest crowd to date. Despite Sears’ addition of several more tables to the ballroom, all seats were taken.
Garden Island Federal Credit Union, which earlier in the morning had contributed money to help the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, was one of the organizations that were attending the kickoff for the first time.
Other participating organizations included Liberty Dialysis, Ecolab, Shelbi, Dow Agro, Steve Murphy of the Princeville Golf Club, which only recently came back on line, the Waimea Plantation Cottages, Po‘ipu Kai charity tennis and Westin Princeville.
Mark Stein, the marketing director of Enterprise Holdings, called one day, Sears said. “His was a call asking not only on how to contribute but how he could be a participant in the planning,” the co-chair said. That phone call resulted in Stein being the keynote speaker for the launch, he said, explaining how Enterprise not only motivated its firm, but also involved other car rental firms in the KUW fundraising efforts.
Kathy Miyake, president of the KUW Executive Board, said that because the need in the community is so great, the greatest gift is inspiration to give.
She said when she was growing up in Palama, O‘ahu, her parents made do with what was available.
“We did not know about agencies who help,” Miyake said. “We needed them, then. We have 28 participating agencies who help the people of Kaua‘i, including the Hawai‘i Food Bank, Kaua‘i, Catholic Charities, Easter Seals, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Child and Family Service and more.”
Wiley said contributors in 2010 helped the community in great many ways. Kaua‘i Habitat placed its 100th Kaua‘i family in its own home. YWCA was able to reach out to more than 5,000 students, teaching them to make better relationship choices, as well as building greater communications skills and self-confidence to prevent a range of young adult problems. Friendship Club found employment for 45 percent of its clients with severe mental illness, a significant amount compared to the 15 percent national average. The Salvation Army of Kaua‘i proved 27,302 Kaua‘i people with hot meals, canned food, clothing and household items, as well as rent and utility assistance.
Wiley said each of the 28 participating KUW agencies fills a need for people.
“There is a need,” said Lynnette Medrano-Stine, KUW Campaign Manager and Community Services Coordinator. “I came from one of the agencies.”
As a token for their efforts to help Kaua‘i, Ean Holdings received a certificate from Anara Spa from a drawing of cards from guests, Jolynn Tsukamoto received golf rounds at the Mauna Kea Golf Course and Susan Metevier went home with a $25 gift card from Macy’s.
Visit www.kauaiunitedway.org, or call 245-2043 for more information.
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