KALAHEO — Breadfruit and bodyboarding is an unlikely combination that’s resulting in more support for feeding hungry people.
Dave Hubbard, eight-time world champion in drop-knee bodyboarding and co-owner of “Hubboards”, is such a fan of the starchy fruit that he’s known to sport it on his sleeve when he’s on tour.
Diane Ragone has been directing ‘ulu research, conservation and development for the past 20 years at The Breadfruit Institute. She helped start the institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in 2003.
The institute focuses on the conservation of breadfruit and researching its use for food and reforestation. Volunteers and staff at the Institute host a global hunger initiative that uses the trees for food security in tropical areas.
Hubbard began volunteering in 2012. Whenever he’s on island, he spends as much time as possible harvesting and monitoring the trees in McBryde Garden.
He’s so involved that he was named NTBG’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year.
Through the last few years, Hubbord says he’s been thinking about ways to support the Breadfruit Institute.
And he found that way by adding the dubZero swim fin to the product line at Hubboards. With each sale of the swim fin — which retail at $59.99 a pair — a donation is made to The Breadfruit Institute.
“I already knew that I wanted the product, including the packaging, to be as “green” as possible. Inspired by other companies who are donating revenue to worthy causes, I also wanted to include a philanthropic element to the product,” said Hubbard.
Along with the donation to the ‘ulu cause, the swim fins come in a re-usable cotton bag that sports the ‘ulu symbol.
Hubbard was able to present the first check to The Breadfruit Institute in early June in the amount of $910.60.
The money will go toward furthering research and development, education and tree planting, and conservation of the many types of ‘ulu in the NTBG collection, and their work worldwide.
Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or at firstname.lastname@example.org