Rotarians rise up to help students: Poipu Beach Club awards scholarships totaling $11,000

KOLOA — The Rotary Club of Poipu Beach recently awarded five scholarships totaling $11,000 to culinary arts and nursing students at Kauai Community College. The club has provided scholarships for students at KCC for more than 10 years.

Rotarians Becky Fries, Terry Smith and Marcie Millett interviewed a number of students before selecting the three culinary arts finalists: Christopher Corpuz, Casey Ching-Pacheco and Mark Isoshima. Each student received a $2,000 scholarship.

Duane Miyasato, acting program coordinator for the culinary-arts program at KCC, expressed his appreciation for the support provided by the Rotary Club of Poipu Beach.

“The scholarships provide students with the needed financial support to continue their education leading up to their ultimate goal of attaining a degree in culinary arts,” he said.

Two nursing students received the Frances Dillon Memorial Scholarship. This fund was established under a bequest by Rotarian John Dillon in memory of his wife Frances Dillon, who was a registered nurse. Rotarians Fries, Jan Pascua and Larry Chaffin interviewed the nursing finalists and presented $2,500 checks to Summer Rex and James Thomas.

“We are so grateful for The Francis Dillon Memorial Scholarship for our second-year nursing students,” said Shelby Sutter, KCC nursing counselor. “It is a substantial amount and has a sizable economic impact on our students, allowing them the freedom to focus on enhancing their nursing skills.”

Rex said she recently started the last semester of the nursing program at KCC. She is planning on attending University of Hawaii Manoa’s online program to obtain her bachelor’s degree following her graduation.

Thomas plans on doing an apprenticeship program this semester and to start working in a hospital after graduation.

“The scholarship came at such an opportune time,” he said. “The longer I’m in school the more difficult financially it has become.”

Chancellor Helen Cox thanked the Rotary Club of Poipu Beach for its donations.

“They truly do make a difference for students to be able to pursue their dreams,” she said.

Fries said she learned the stories of students while interviewing them for the scholarships and came to understand their needs.

“I am thankful that the members of our Rotary club work hard with the support of our community on our fundraisers to have these monies available for such deserving students,” she said.

Funds for the scholarships are generated through several different fundraising events executed by the Rotary Club of Poipu Beach. One of those is the annual event, “One Fine Evening,” known as Kauai’s premiere fine art, culinary, wine and music experience. It will be on March 11 at Kilohana luau pavilion.


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