‘There wasn’t a dry eye’

  • Cyndi Ayonon / Special to The Garden Island

    Rowena Cobb and Paul Togioka beam at the Kauai Independent Food Bank Silver Birthday Bash Friday at the Kauai Veterans Center in Lihue.

  • Cyndi Ayonon / Special to The Garden Island

    Kadee Parubrub, center, presents a $3,700 “Act of Kindness” check to Leona Perez and Kelvin Moniz of the Kauai Independent Food Bank Friday during KIFB’s Silver Birthday Bash at the Kauai Veterans Center in Lihue.

There was not a dry eye among the more than 300 people who attended the Kauai Independent Food Bank’s 25th anniversary Silver Birthday Bash Friday at Kauai Veterans Center last Friday, said Cyndi Ayonon, a Zonta Club of Kauai volunteer at the celebration.

Kadee Parubrub, a freshman at Kauai High School, has been collecting donations of food and money for KIFB since she was 9 years old. She challenged the audience to join her in creating change when she made a special presentation of $3,700 to Kelvin Moniz, KIFB executive director, and Leona Perez, KIFB programs manager.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience after Kadee presented the food bank with a contribution representing her contributions for this year,” Ayonon said. “Pacific Concrete Cutting &Coring representatives were touched by Kadee’s talk and her ‘Act of Kindness,’ they informed the Kauai Independent Food Bank that they will match her contribution.”

The “empowered women” from the Zonta Club of Kauai were key assistants to the celebration, where the staff, both current and former, and client agencies celebrated the food bank and its growth over 25 years. The celebration included a Hawaiian-style meal blessed by the Rev. Harold Kilborn.

Paul Togioka and Haunani Kaui provided the entertainment that preceded the testimonials from individuals and organizations that benefit from the work being done by KIFB.

Lloyd Kajikawa, KIFB board president, presented the food bank’s current board, including vice president Paul Toner, immediate past president Rowena Cobb, secretary Cyndi Ayonon, treasurer Jeri Arin, and board members Judy Arrigo, Dennis Baier, Georgeatte Galinao-Cayaban, Brad Nagano and Clyde Nakaya.

Cobb, in addition to being thanked for her years of service and for her diligence in assisting KIFB to become a premiere organization on the island, was presented with a new title — KIFB president emeritus — and the announcement of an education fund initiated in her honor.

“The Kauai Independent Food Bank has been around the island for years,” Kajikawa said, triggering a string of experiences benefiting Kauai’s people. “This includes being here when Hurricane Iniki devastated Kauai in 1992.”

Haunani Kaimina‘auao and Rhonda Morris of Koloa spoke of the partnership with KIFB that allowed them to provide food and other supplies to victims of the Koloa floods after storms washed through portions of the town last April.

Brandee Couglin of Eleele School’s afterschool program had her own thanks of how the KIFB Keiki Cafe, stretching from schools from Hanalei to Kekaha afterschool programs, benefits her program.

Others, like Jim Braman of the Boys &Girls Club, spoke of the backpack program, Capt. Bill Simon of The Salvation Army lauded the interagency cooperation, and Jasmine Yukimura of the Kauai Adult Day Health Care pointed out the importance of the KIFB kupuna program to Kauai’s senior population.

Moniz said proceeds will go towards fulfilling “the mission of the KIFB to educate, to provide nutritious food for the hungry, and respond to emergencies.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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