LIHUE — When the Kauai United Way Campaign launches today, its goal will be $670,000.
Tuesday, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. proclaimed the day as Kauai United Way Day as the service agency begins its 70th year servicing the Kauai community.
During the proclamation, Carvalho said Kauai United Way is Kauai’s umbrella charitable organization and acts as a framework for community self-support.
“The Kauai United Way currently supports 30 vital participating agencies on Kauai,” Carvalho said. “All of the money raised on Kauai, stays on Kauai.”
Scott Giarman, the KUW executive director, said in recognition of the increasing social service needs on the island, the KUW Campaign Committee felt compelled to raise the goal of the 2012 Campaign by 5 percent.
Giarman said the raise comes following a decade and a half of growth at about half that rate.
“Despite this challenge, or perhaps because of it, the Kauai people rallied round and the 2012 goal of $635,000 was surpassed,” Giarman said.
This year’s campaign is co-chaired by Ron Wiley of the KQNG Radio Group and Mark Stein Enterprise Holdings.
Their goal is to hit $670,000.
“We did it last year,” Stein said. “We can do it again.”
Carvalho said the honoring of the Kauai United Way’s 70th year of servicing the island pays tribute to all of the people who participate in the campaign.
He encourages businesses and the entire community to join the fundraising effort to support the social service needs for tens of thousands of Kauai people each year.
“The people of Kauai will come through,” Wiley said. “We are the most generous people on the planet.”
Giarman said there is a need for people to help.
“We have to,” the KUW director said. “There are too many problems out there crying out for our attention. We must address emergency issues like feeding the hungry and getting substance abusers clean and back to being productive citizens.”
Giarman said people do not become homeless and drug dependent overnight.
“We must also address the issues which got them there,” he said. “That is where problem prevention programs such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs come in. Investing a little bit in young people with programs like these as well as with early preschool age programs such as PATCH, we prevent a slew of costly problems down the road. Kauai United Way is determined to do both.”
The Kauai United Way was founded in 1943 by a small group of visionary Kauai community leaders including Elsie and Mabel Wilcox, A. Hebard Case, Lindsay Faye, Andrew Gross and Bernard Pratt, who were determined to provide support in the community with an aim to make it greater, better and more beautiful than it was.
The 2013 KUW Board of Directors is led by President Mark Marshall, Vice President Bob Westerman, Treasurer Paul Endo and Secretary Jill Rey.
Visit www.kauaiunitedway.org or call 245-2032 for more information about the KUW Annual Campaign or any of the 30 recipient participating agencies representing a broad array of social services on Kauai.