HANALEI — The North Shore Lion’s Club served more than 700 pancake breakfasts Sunday at a fundraiser for scholarships, scouting, youth basketball and other programs supported by the nonprofit organization.
Lions Club member Gary Pacheco said the Pancakes and Hula breakfast at the Hanalei Elementary School cafeteria was one of the biggest the club has hosted.
“We sold so many tickets this year,” Pacheco said, taking a break as he looked up from the griddle filled with golden brown pancakes.
Caelica Covel, the incoming North Shore Lions president, said this year’s number of breakfasts sold outnumbered the 600 plates sold last year.
“We are so lucky because we have so many visitors returning,” said Covel, who also doubles as a scouting executive for Boy Scout Troop 828 in Kilauea.
The troop is sponsored by the North Shore Lions Club, said Bill Troutman, a Lion and coordinator for the North Shore Basketball program, which debuted Saturday at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center.
Troutman said in addition to the Boy Scout troop, the club contributed toward scholarships for the North Shore Basketball program and has built two bus stops, one in Princeville and another in Kilauea. The club also provides scholarships for high school seniors living in the North Shore area.
The club contributed to the Kapa‘a Middle School Choir and ‘Ukulele Band for its trip to the Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim, Calif., earlier this year. The choir and band said thank you by performing at the breakfast.
Michael Loo, a charter member of the club which will celebrate its 30th anniversary on June 20, said applications for this year’s scholarships closed March 31 with 19 applications from students living in the Moloa‘a to Ha‘ena area, which is the North Shore Lions district.
“Last year, we presented $11,000 in scholarships,” Loo said.
“Students can use it for college, technical school or any other school which is for post-high school continuing education.”
The breakfast funds many of the scholarships, with the club typically distributing between $10,000 to $12,000, annually, Loo said.
“We are truly appreciative of Suzie Tasaka, the cafeteria manager, who allows us to do this,” Loo said. “We started in the old Hanalei School.”
Pacheco, who along with Wayne Tanji has been flipping pancakes through several generations of specials, said everything is for the kids.
“If they have opportunities, we try to make sure they can take advantage of them,” Pacheco said.
“Hopefully, they find something they like, learn from the experience and come back home. When they grow up, they’ll remember this and hopefully become Lions, too,” Pacheco said.
One of the young people Pacheco was talking about was Kauahoa Hermosura, a Kilauea Elementary School fifth-grade student who was soliciting donations for a spaghetti dinner to help fund a trip to Australia where he was selected to be a Student Ambassador by the Person-to-Person group.
Kauahoa’s dad, Hanalei Hermosura, said the Kilauea Elementary School student is the only one from Hawai‘i who was invited on the trip to visit several landmark areas of Australia in June.
“The only hard thing is when I go, it will be winter,” Kauahoa said. “Their seasons are reversed from ours, but we’re supposed to visit the Parliament, the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney, as well as many other places.”
Loo said anyone interested in the North Shore Lions Club is invited to its monthly meetings held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month from 7 to 8 a.m. at the Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea. For more information, visit www.kauainorthshorelions.org.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.