NIUMALU — A ton of food greeted Kadee Parubrub on her 11th birthday celebration Saturday at the Niumalu Pavilion.
That was the goal of the student at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School — to collect at least 2,000 pounds of food in lieu of having a birthday party and presents.
Parubrub also hosted a fundraiser for the Kauai Lynx basketball team to help them participate in a tournament next summer in Las Vegas.
“Kadee just started playing basketball with the Lynx,” said Sherri Parubrub, Kadee’s mother. “She didn’t get that much playing time, but really enjoys the game. She wanted to help the team with its efforts to get to Las Vegas.”
The fundraising effort involved contributors getting chances at making a free throw and adding their signatures and aloha messages to a basketball which will be presented to Kauai Lynx Coach Clarence Sales.
“She’s also donating all the decorations from today’s event to the team,” Sherri said.
As time waned on the collection period, volunteers were scrambling, looking for additional items to weigh.
“We’re still 35 pounds short,” it was announced while a video crew from the CKMS media class rolled camera. “The Kauai Independent Food Truck is on its way to pick up.”
Several cases of canned milk and bottled water pushed the total to the 2,055.82-pound mark.
“I just wanted to do more than the 1,750 pounds we collected last year,” Kadee said. “People could donate in categories, including rice and grain, pasta, protein, veggies, fruit, peanut butter, milk, cereal and miscellaneous.”
Those who donated the most received gifts.
Sherri said the food drive started when Kadee was 9, when she chose to collect food to help feed the hungry instead of having a birthday party and presents.
The first year, Kadee collected 353 pounds of food, and did eight other random acts of kindness, Sherri said. For her 10th birthday, she collected 1,750 pounds.
Sherri said Kadee plans other random acts of kindness through her 11th year.