LIHUE — Kauai’s AARP Chapter 654 started June 17, 1970.
Over the years, its office has moved several times, it has found different storage sites for supplies, had thousands of members come and go, and served the community in many ways.
But soon, no more.
On Dec. 18, after nearly 50 years, there will be one, final meeting. Then, it’s closing. For good.
“Due to directions from AARP Western Regional and the Hawaii State AARP, Kauai’s Chapter 654 has been scheduled to close due to lack of officers and attendance to chapter meetings,” according to a press release.
Membership Chair Janice Bond said the state AARP officers came to Kauai last month to give members the news.
“Some of our seniors were just crying,” she said.
Bond admits it’s been a bit slow. A recent Kauai meeting only had four members.
It was becoming more and more difficult each year to get volunteers to man a booth at the county fair.
“The ones that are able to come are very few and far between,” she said.
Kauai has about 9,000 members in the national AARP program, but the local chapter’s base has been shrinking. No other state had AARP chapter offices, Bond said.
Still, hearing the chapter would be closed was disappointing for Bond, 10-year membership chair, and others.
“It’s really a withdrawal for a lot of us,” she said. “But, things are beyond our control.”
AARP will continue to do Kauai’s Tax Aid and Drivers Education, and community committees will be involved with health fairs and seminars conducted by state AARP.
Any other Kauai AARP members that desire to be involved in the community committees, and those who plan to attend the final AARP Kauai Chapter 654 meeting, should call Bond, 639-9201, by Dec. 11.