Kupuna’s greatest gift

NUKOLII — Almost all of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program volunteers in the Senior Corps Corporation for National and Community Service said they volunteer for one reason: It’s fun.

“I do taxes,” said Charlie Rebb, a resident at the Regency at Puakea retirement and assisted living facility. “It’s almost that time so I need to get ready. It’s fun.”

Rebb was among the many volunteers honored at the Kauai RSVP Recognition Day Friday at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort.

Rowena Cobb, vice president of the RSVP advisory council, said about 400 volunteers in the Kauai program provided more than 31,000 hours of service to improve the lives of Kauai families.

“You see their faces in almost every nook and cranny on the island,” Cobb said. “The advisory council and the people of Kauai thank you.”

Josie Pablo, recreation director at Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, said they have 11 volunteers at the hospital and it is through their work that a lot of programs improving the lives of the hospital’s long-term care residents are possible.

“I come here each year to thank them,” Pablo said. “The residents thank them by making lei for each of the volunteers and I come to deliver those lei along with the residents’ mahalo.”

Among the volunteers from Mahelona hospital are several veterans who were one of the featured groups being honored.

“These are people who, in addition to their service to the country, now go out and do compassionate volunteer work to improve the lives of people,” said Gerald Ako, Kauai field representative for Sen. Mazie Hirono.

Rebb is also a veteran, being joined by James Akiyama, Timothy Albao who serves as the chair of the RSVP advisory council, Stu Burley, Adam Carvalho, Quintin Concepcion, Charlene Dorsey, Kenneth Michael Fasig, Alfonso Garcia, John Iwamoto, Loren Johnson, Gilbert Kahele, Richard ‘Soupbone’ Kashiwabara, Robert Kunioka, Gary Morita, Richard Nakata, Norvin Olivas, James Oyadomori, Vernon Paler, Dennis Pezzato, Donald Rapozo, James Schmidt, Harold Shimono, Edward Sills, Kenneth Uchibori, Michael Zins, and a host of other veterans who were not listed on the acknowledgment list.

Margaret McGinty and Mary Werthwine received the Presidential Volunteer Service awards for putting in more than 4,000 volunteer hours.

Dorothy Higuchi of Lihue has been serving as an RSVP volunteer for 35 years and was joined by Sakiko Okihara, who at 96 years old is the oldest volunteer helping at the Kekaha Senior Center. The pair were celebrated as Living Treasures.

RSVP volunteers serving five, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years, including Jane Arita, Robert King, and Dorothy Kunioka, were presented with certificates.

“During this holiday season, the greatest gift you give is the wisdom we receive from each of you,” said Rep. Derek Kawakami.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.