‘A lot of rum’ fuels Roving Lifeguards

LIHUE — Jeanne Toulon of the Koloa Rum Company said it was a lot of rum that amounted to $4,500 Monday at the KQNG Radio Group.

Toulon was joined by representatives of three participating restaurants in presenting a check for the amount to Dr. Monty Downs, president of the Kauai Lifeguard Association.

Koloa Rum Company provided rum to the restaurants, including Tiki Iniki in Princeville, the Hukilau Lanai in Waipouli, and the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club, who, in turn, set aside proceeds from the rum sale to benefit KLA.

“It’s a lot of rum,” Toulon said.

The proceeds will help with the roving lifeguards program which provide patrols to unguarded beaches on Kauai. The main thrust for raising funds to help this effort comes from the KLA Fourth annual Wave Celebration coming up on Oct. 22 at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club.

“The Kauai Lifeguard Association thanks the many community businesses, like the Koloa Rum Company and the participating restaurants, and individuals who have contributed to the success of the KLA programs which support the improvement of lifesaving practices and techniques in Kauai waters,” said Andy Melamed of KLA. “Through these efforts, we’re down to just one remaining table and six seats for the Fourth annual KLA Wave event. We started with the goal of selling 78 tables.”

Melamed said the roving lifeguard patrols has already been approved by Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr., and the Kauai County Council who approved the hiring of three new people to the force of 53 lifeguards. The amount appropriated for the new hiring came to $103,000.

“KLA will support this effort by providing assistance with equipment,” Melamed said. “The roving lifeguard program will supplement the protection beyond the 10 lifeguard towers.”

In addition rescuing people, roving lifeguards will also have a preventative aspect, being stationed at beaches during times of warning and dangerous ocean conditions to warn people.

“We have 53 lifeguards,” Melamed said. “Each time they enter the water for a rescue, their lives are on the line.”

Toulon said many Koloa Rum Company employees are water people.

“This was a creative way of giving back to the community,” Toulon said. “We donated product to the restaurants, and the sales they made from these products go back to KLA and its efforts at safeguarding Kauai’s beaches.”

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