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KEO marks 50 years

LIHUE — Kauai Economic Opportunity will celebrate its 50th anniversary tonight with a celebration complete with live music and a buffet dinner to honor employees and the thousands of people KEO has helped.

“For 50 years, since 1965, KEO has provided many, many services for an unbelievable amount of those in need to ease the pain of poverty and striving for self sufficiency,” said MaBel Fujiuchi, chief executive officer. “In the past year alone, KEO has served approximately 5,000 people through more than 20 programs — and there is so much more to do.”

The organization began in 1965 after the Economic Opportunity Act was signed into law.

“We were challenged to be the agency to create programs to fight the war on poverty,” Fujiuchi said.

While the war isn’t over, KEO has had an impact and assisted many to ease out poverty, Fujiuchi said. Lihue Early Learning Center and Elderly Nutrition Congregate Programs are just two of the many programs KEO offers to the community.

The celebration will take place at the Kauai Beach Resort at 5 p.m. The Starlighters will perform during dinner, then singer Melveen Leed will take the stage.

“It is truly a time to celebrate,” Fujiuchi said.

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