KAPAA — The Boys & Girls Club, Kapaa Clubhouse, has been “blessed” with the installation of a free solar-powered air conditioning system at its facility, thanks to the Rotary Club of Kapaa.
“Helping cool down our clubhouse is an awesome gift,” said Johnny Garcia, director of the B&G Club, Kapaa Clubhouse, located adjacent to the Bernice Hundley Gym on the Kapaa High School campus. “Cooling our Kapaa Clubhouse on hot days provides real comfort which allows the kids and staff to focus better on their activities.”
Ron Margolis of the Rotary Club of Kapaa said the project was funded partially by the organization’s annual Taste of Hawaii event, which is coming up in June, and the services of Devin Ruiz and STI Solar, the club’s newest member who did the work free of charge.
“I’m honored to help the Rotary Club of Kapaa continue to make a difference in the lives of the Boys & Girls Club participants,” said Ruiz, STI Solar president. “Think about this — having solar be part of your world teaches the young people about living with renewable energy. The kids will experience first-hand how solar energy works, and how it will be a part of their lives as they grow up. This experience puts them in a better position to make better energy choices, and may even inspire B&G members to explore science and solar energy, perhaps looking to a career in the field.”
Margolis, club secretary and a Taste of Hawaii chair, said the two groups have a decades-long relationship.
“The Kapaa Rotary built the facility they enjoy today,” Margolis said. “The club has also helped with the clubhouse’s gardens, painting and maintenance over the years. In 2012, with the help of a number of contributors and lots of community labor, the Kapaa Rotary spearheaded the installation of an outdoor basketball court which the kids love, tremendously. This latest solar-powered air conditioning project is another blessing for the Boys & Girls Club with the community’s generosity.”
The Boys & Girls Club, Kapaa Clubhouse, offers free after-school programs for students. Nationwide, the Boys & Girls Club is in the business of “life-changing” experiences for many children, according to members.
“Inspiring children early gives them a gift for a lifetime,” said Josie Cortez, Rotary Club of Kapaa president. “Learning solar can be an impetus for the children’s learning. Learning about the economics and how solar energy helps the environment is a big plus beyond just cooling their environment.”
The group is looking for projects that make a difference in the lives of Kauai people. Anyone with a project that could benefit the community can email a brief description and the need the project serves to the club: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rotary Club of Kapaa, celebrating its 30th year, meets Wednesdays at noon at Mariachi’s Restaurant in Kapaa.