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The giving on Kauai never ends

Christmas is long over. It has been for three weeks now. The trees are gone, the decorations put away and the candy canes eaten.

But the giving hasn’t stopped.

Last week, Rob’s Good Times Grill presented a check for $2,340 to The Garden Island/Zonta Club Christmas Fund. Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano, the never-ending driving force behind this fundraiser, and Darrellyn Lemke, Foundation chair for Zonta, accepted the donation.

We’re hearing reports that others are still getting ready to turn in donations.

The way the giving just keeps going is a testament to the generosity of this island.

The story behind this gift from Rob’s, which will be used to help families this year, goes something like this.

Katie Christofferson is the owner of the Kauai Events Calendar and has been doing a Trivia Night on Thursdays at Rob’s. She came up with the idea of raising funds to give to a worthy cause and read about the partnership between The Garden Island/Zonta Christmas Fund. She challenged her regular patrons to “Rob Rob’s” — in which Rob matched the giving from the Trivia Nights.

This was done for three weeks in December. Katie had very generous participants; someone even brought their jars filled with coins.

That’s yet another delightful tale of how people rallied to raise money and help others during the holiday season. It wasn’t about receiving. It was all about giving.

And giving came in many ways. Young dancers donated show proceeds. Keiki gave their savings. Store employees pitched in. Professionals cut some big checks.

The latest gift from Rob’s brings this year’s fund, which continues to be tallied as donations are still arriving, on track to break $32,000, which is the record set last year. That’s back-to-back years of record giving on Kauai.

Amazing.

For that, we say, thank you.

Dimples is so delighted, she’s even considering coming back for one more year. She’s been dong this for more than two decades and this was going to be her curtain call. Now, maybe not. Such generosity and kindness brings a big smile to her face, warmth to her heart and a spring to her step.

Here’s a quick recap of The Garden Island/Zonta Club Christmas Fund, which was established in the 1980s when Jean Holmes was the editor of TGI.

The Garden Island shares daily stories about families and individuals (we don’t use their real names) facing challenges and who would appreciate a little help. Their stories come to us via the social service agencies that represent them.

This year’s effort was dedicated to Holmes, who was a treasure on Kauai during her time running the paper, a strong advocate of the Christmas fund, and sadly, passed away last year.

Donations to the fund are mailed to Zonta, while a few are dropped off at TGI. Zonta Club members use the money to purchase gift certificates at local stores and they in turn are distributed to applicants who can use the for gifts and groceries. This year, there were hundreds, which includes many families with keiki.

Each donated dollar is accounted for and carefully recorded. There are no administrators collecting salaries. There are no hidden costs. Nothing but good people like Dimples and Zonta Club members doing endless good deeds and making this world a better place for the rest of us.

That’s the short and simple of it. But its impact is far-reaching.

And perhaps this statement by Dimples sums it up best:

“It’s brought a lot of happiness to families in need.”

Yes, it has.

And again, for that, we say thank you.

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