LIHUE — Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo wanted to know why it was only now that a “Kauai” Lions Club name was finally selected.
“Why wasn’t the first Lions Club named ‘Kauai Lions Club?’” Rapozo asked Thursday night during the Charter Night festivities at the Lihue Neighborhood Center, while presenting congratulatory remarks on behalf of the council. “The Kauai Lions Club joins fellow Lions Club to become our island’s sixth club, with the purpose of giving the younger generation an opportunity to serve the needs of their community.”
Under the sponsorship of the East Kauai Lions Club, the youngest Lions group has the distinction of being the only club in the state of Hawaii that is a Centennial Chartered Lions Club, Rapozo said, having its charter formalized during the 100th anniversary of Lions International.
Lions District 50 Gov. Kelvin Moniz added that not only is the Kauai Lions Club a Centennial Chartered Lions Club, it has the distinction of being a Leap Year Club as its charter was drawn on Feb. 29, 2016.
“There are other Lions Clubs that are Leap Year clubs, but those are rare in Hawaii,” Moniz said. “The club is also the first Lions Club to form on Kauai in the last 34 years. This club is very unique.”
A week before its charter was drawn, Moniz was participating in the Kauai Community College’s International and Club Day at the invitation of Chancellor Helen Cox, who indicated there was interest shown by the college’s students in forming a service club.
When the club’s charter was approved on Feb. 29, membership was 29, growing to 43 Charter Members Thursday when the charter was signed.
Under the leadership of President Stephanie Shinno, the Kauai Lions Club meets once a month — the last Thursday at the Kalepa Village social hall at 6 p.m.
“This club is not about meetings,” Shinno said. “It is about service. The club is different from traditional clubs in that we communicate through texting and emails. Initially, I didn’t know I could join the club, but now, I am honored to be chosen the president.”
Shinno is no stranger to community service; she is currently the March of Dimes Kauai Ambassador Family with her son, Syler. She is joined by the club’s Tail Twister Juno Apalla, who served as the event coordinator for the March for Babies fundraiser.
The Kauai Lions Club is sponsored by the East Kauai Lions Club with Harvey Kinoshita and Jeff Venzon serving as the club’s Guiding Lions.
It joins the family of Lions Clubs on Kauai, including the West Kauai Lions Club, the Koloa Lions Club, the East Kauai Lions Club, Kapaa Lions Club and the North Shore Lions Club.
Protocol for the evening was handled by Moniz, Lions Past District Governors John Uyeno and Roy Nishida, and EK Lions President Elaine Saiki.