Pu’uwai part of Aloha for Hawaii Charities campaign

  • Nick Celario / The Garden Islannd

    Pu’uwai Canoe Club President Brian Curll stops for a photo Saturday in front of the club’s shed at the Wailua River.

WAILUA — This year’s Aloha for Hawaii Charities campaign kicked off Wednesday, and one of Kauai’s organizations is taking part.

Local paddling club Pu’uwai Canoe Club is one of the several nonprofits in the state that’s participating this year.

“We are a racing organization, and we use our canoes to train youth and adults physically. And then morally the kind of values that have been successful in preserving the Hawaiian culture and maintaining the aloha, the respect,” Brian Curll, president of the Pu’uwai Canoe Club, said Saturday in Wailua.

He added: “It also creates the sense of community. … That itself provides young people with a sense of belonging. Belonging allows them to invest in the people around them if they feel part of something larger. They feel safe. They feel they have people they can talk to, that they feel cared about, and they have an identity.”

The campaign is operated by nonprofit Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc., whose principal fundraising event is the annual Sony Open in Hawaii PGA Tour golf tournament.

The Aloha for Hawaii Charities fundraiser aims to award nonprofit organizations that benefit Hawaii’s youth, women and impoverished.

Curll said the donations toward the club will be intended for electricity, tents for the club’s canoes and additional paddles.

“Our equipment just sits here under the false kamani trees (at the Wailua River),” he said. “They deteriorate from the sun, from the salt air. They’re not protected. We can buy more paddles. We’re short paddles this year. I just spent $2,000 this year buying new paddles, and that $2,000 came from generous donations.”

He added: “We would like to install electric and then install a security system in the trees just to see what’s going on. Not to be intrusive. I love to have tents. … It would take multiple 40-foot by 20-foot tents to cover 18 canoes. That’s a lot of money. Probably almost $20,000 just for tents and electricity.”

A full 100 percent of the donations made through the campaign will the organization of the donor’s choice.

In addition, the nonprofits will receive additional funds from a funding pool generated from the Sony Open tournament proceeds.

The campaign ends Jan. 14.

Go to www.friendsofhawaii.org/contribute/aloha-hawaii-charities to donate.

Info: puuwai.org. www.friendsofhawaii.org


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