Gift bags give back

POIPU — Mekayla Finch, a fifth grade student at Koloa Elementary School, has been making holiday gift bags for the past four years.

Wednesday Kekayla was on hand to watch her efforts bear fruit as Koloa Elementary School was presented a check for $1,900, representing proceeds and a donation from A&B Foundation from sales of the gift bags during the 2014 holiday season at The Shops at Kukuiula.

“The bags were fun to make,” Mekayla said. “This year, I only made one using a flower like the poinsettia. It must have sold because we couldn’t find it after the holidays.”

Her brother, Dylan, a second-grade student, said this was the third year he’s made bags.

“It was good,” he said. “This year, I made two using a lot of Christmas decorations.”

Lisa Finch, the Koloa School Student Service Coordinator, said the school will use the proceeds to fund school projects.

“The support we have received from The Shops at Kukuiula over the past five years has been extremely helpful,” Lisa said. “Without the partnership with The Shops at Kukuiula, we wouldn’t have been able to fund some of the educational projects we’ve done in the past five years.”

Lisa, representing school principal Russ Hasegawa who was accompanying the school’s fourth grade students on a field trip to the Big Island, said Hasegawa was thrilled the school’s students were embraced by The Shops at Kukuiula and made to become part of the center’s operations.

The holiday gift bags were sold by select merchants at The Shops at Kukuiula for a minimum donation of a dollar.

“It’s been our honor to partner with the Koloa Elementary School for the fifth year in a row on this fundraising event,” said Helaine Perel, the real estate manager of The Shops at Kukuiula. “We are happy the program has been successful and look forward to this year’s batch of gift bags.”

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