Lions assist disaster relief

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Lions District 50 Governor Blayne Hanagami, left, present representatives of Lions Region 1 Zone 1 clubs with an emergency grant of $10,000 during the disaster relief drive hosted by the North Shore Lions Club Saturday at Princeville Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Patty Sikora of the Kent Lions Club in Washington waits on Lions District 50 Governor Blayne Hanagami, left with purple shirt, before making a contribution to the disaster relief drive Saturday at Princeville Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Lions District 50 governor Blayne Hanagami of the Big Island, back left with purple shirt, watches as Lucas Moore presents Lion Gary Pacheco of the North Shore Lions Club, seated, with a disaster relief contribution Saturday at Princeville Center.

PRINCEVILLE — Giving was brisk Saturday when the North Shore Lions Club maintained a tent outside the Foodland store in the Princeville Center.

Patty Sikoran of Kent, Washington, didn’t have to think as she slipped a check into the contribution jar.

“I’m with the Kent Lions,” Sikoran said. “Today, at this time, we’re doing a fishing tournament for special needs.”

Richard Teixeira of the North Shore Lions said the tent was on track to collect $3,000 which will go toward flood relief for the North Shore residents who suffered from the record-breaking rains that caused flooding, numerous landslides, road damage and the destruction of homes and property.

“We’re not just collecting money,” Teixeira said. “People affected by the floods can also get information on how they can recover. We also have the Hanalei Merchant Hop coming up, May 6 from noon to 7 p.m. to help the community recover.”

Louis LaFratta of the North Shore Lions said the event is designed to encourage people to come to Hanalei and shop at merchants which have re-opened since the floods.

“We’re still ironing out details,” LaFratta said. “But we’ll have a tent set up outside Bar Acuda and the health food store where people can visit to pick up the details.”

The North Shore Lions is committed to spending more than $1,000 on gift cards from Hanalei merchants, LaFratta said. During the Hanalei Merchant Hop, shoppers showing receipts from Hanalei merchants on Sunday will get these gift cards to encourage them to return and shop more.

“This is not just for visitors, but also for the residents who get to come back and enjoy the Hanalei merchants,” LaFratta said.

More relief poured in from other areas when Lions District Governor Blayne Hanagami flew in from the Big Island with the announcement of an emergency $10,000 grant to the Kauai Independent Food Bank represented by Past District Governor Kelvin Moniz.

“This represents the 1,700 Lions of District 50 Lions Club,” Hanagami said. “This is from the District 50 Disaster Fund and provided to the Region 1, Zone 1 clubs to help expedite the emergency assistance already supported by the Lions of R1Z1 and the numerous first responders on the island.”

Moniz said this is possible due to the willingness of the R1Z1 clubs to match funds through a community partnership with the Kauai Independent Food Bank.

“This proactive partnership will double our impact as we strive to meet the immediate and critical needs of the island,” Moniz said.

En route to Princeville, Moniz had stopped at the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce to accept a $1,000 contribution from the Filipino Chamber Foundation for the KIFB towards its relief efforts. Laurie Yoshida, the Filipino Chamber president, expressed the organization’s desire to help with disaster relief.

“Following the floods of two weeks ago, the Kauai Independent Food Bank had Lions Roy Nishida and Harvey Kinoshita of the East Kauai Lions Club helping in the warehouse,” Moniz said.

“They were there almost daily, working to breaking down supplies for distribution to the North Shore, Anahola, Keapana and Koloa.”

In addition to the District 50 contribution, the North Shore Lions Club has already committed to a $2,000 contribution, and the East Kauai Lions Club has committed to a $1,500 contribution.

Hanagami said he is also looking at submitting a Community Recovery grant request for $20,000 to the Lions International Foundation.

Moniz said following the recent disaster, Kauai Independent Food Bank has delivered more than 20,000 pounds of food, and the effort will continue for as long as there is a need.

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