Celebrating kupuna

Kealoha Takahashi had just four words in her remarks during the Kauai RSVP 2014 annual Recognition Day at the Kauai Beach Resort — volunteers have golden hearts!

Nearly 200 of Kauai’s kupuna and their friends and family celebrated the holidays at a luncheon hosted by the county’s Office of Elderly Affairs where volunteers with years of service were acknowledged for their contribution.

Celia Melchor-Question, director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, said last year there were more than 300 kupuna contributing more than 31,600 volunteer hours at different programs over 25 RSVP volunteer sites around the island.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said volunteers help the county save more than $700,000. Sen. Mazie Hirono, in her remarks delivered by Gerald Ako, said the hours are filled with wisdom and experience which only kupuna can provide.

“This cannot be purchased,” Hirono said. “They must be given, and these volunteers have golden hearts.”

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