Kupuna will soon be seeing ‘RED’

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Keller Williams Kaua‘i associates and the county Agency on Elderly Affairs staff and volunteers catch their breath after unloading the RED Day food drive collection items Thursday at the county’s meeting room in the Lihu‘e Civic Center Mo‘ikeha Building.

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i kupuna, or elderly, will soon enjoy the benefits of RED Day Thursday, as representatives of Keller Williams Kaua‘i delivered more than $7,000 worth of various goods to the county’s Agency of Elderly Affairs.

RED Day is the Keller Williams worldwide day of service, and is perennially held in the second week of May.

RED symbolizes Renew, Energize and Donate, where Keller Williams real estate associates dedicate a day to give back to the community.

“We thought about it for a while,” said Kristine Dugan of Keller Williams. “There are people doing things for so many people, but what about the kupuna? You hardly hear about what is happening with them?”

Coordinating with Kealoha Takahashi and Donna Olivas-Kaohi of the AEA, Keller Williams associates received a list of items needed by kupuna based on conversations the agency has with kupuna on their visits — either physically, or through telephone calls based on the current COVID-19 rules.

“Our key Keller Williams Kaua‘i associates, led by Kawehi Anama, Lisa Akita, Roni Taniguchi-Fu, Koa Yukimura, Ryan Nunez, Tim Ross, Dennis Yates, Carol Lopez, Jheresa K. Sembrano and Keanu Ishimoto, spread the word, and the collection came in Thursday,” Dugan said.

“This is from everybody. This was really a team effort from the entire community, and we feel so grateful to be able to help in a big way during these times.”

The four truckloads of supplies included food, including rice, Spam, beans, peanut butter, fresh banana, papaya, potatoes, and sundry items including toilet paper, face masks, dental-hygiene products and more, topped off with a carton of fresh floral arrangements.

Takahashi, Olivas-Kaohi, and a team of volunteers from the AEA were overwhelmed by the contributions.

“This is a lot,” Takahashi said. “When we first spoke with Keller Williams, we anticipated taking care of about 50 kupuna. Now, we can take care of more than 80.”

Keller Williams is the world’s largest real estate franchise by agent count, and has more than 1,000 offices and 182,000 associates. Based in Austin, Texas, Keller Williams is also No. 1 in units and sales volume in the United States.


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


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