Rotary Club boosts K-PAL programs

WAILUA — The Kaua‘i Police Activities League was the beneficiary of a $10,000 grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, presented Saturday by the Rotary Club of Kaua‘i.

Tyler Chihara of the Rotary Club of Kaua‘i said the grant was a result of the Rotary Club performing a service project under the Weinberg Friends program wherein the Rotary Club, after meeting criteria set forth by the Weinberg Friends program, could specify a beneficiary of the grant.

“K-PAL was selected to allow them to continue to provide all of their great programs for Kaua‘i’s youth,” Chihara said. “The Weinberg grant will enable K-PAL to continue its successful three-part program of athletics and recreation, drug prevention education and positive mentoring and role modeling.”

K-PAL will be launching its flag football program for hundreds of Kaua‘i keiki this Saturday after coming off a highly successful North Shore Youth Basketball program coordinated by Bill Troutman at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center and the K-PAL Wrestling Championships, which wrapped up the 2012 season for about a hundred youngsters from the Kapa‘a and Lihu‘e areas.

K-PAL has approximately 2,100 juvenile participants each year involved in programs at the Kapa‘a Youth Center on the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital property, North Shore basketball, Sea Scouts, hip-hop dancing, jiu-jitsu self defense, all-star cheerleading, wrestling, flag football, boxing, kickboxing, a girls’ softball team and a physical fitness program, according to a release from the Rotary Club.

All K-PAL programs are offered throughout the island of Kaua‘i to attract participants into safe and supervised activities as well as a common gathering place.

The athletic and recreational activities provide valuable lessons in teamwork, self esteem, discipline, sportsmanship and the merits of hard work at one of the lowest registration fees on the island at just $20, which goes back to the participants in the form of uniforms, insurance and trophies.

K-PAL also offers about 35 percent of its participants waived or reduced fees for families who are less fortunate, or in financial need.

Chihara said the Rotary Club, in exchange for the grant, started installation of eight rescue tubes, one in Wailua and another at  Lydgate Beach Park’s

south end.

Additionally, despite the onslaught of debris left by last month’s weather at Lydgate’s south end, Rotarians scoured the beach to remove non-vegetative debris to enable beachgoers a safer experience.

“We will install four more rescue tubes along the shoreline and one at Kalapaki,” Chihara said. “And we did scour the beaches to make it a bit safer in the Lydgate Park areas.”

Chihara said he and Dr. Monty Downs of the Water Safety Task Force and the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association scouted out the area from Wailua through Nukoli‘i, identifying high-risk locations for the rescue tube installations.

Based on this collaborative site tour, Chihara said the Rotary Club will be installing tubes at the beach fronting the Wailua Golf Course, Hanama‘ulu Beach and Kalapaki Beach.

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