Zonta Club raises $4480 for food bank

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Julie Gardner holds the secondary light and Jo Evans presses the button for Fotos4Food, Friday afternoon as the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i turns over $4,480 to Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank as a result of the Zonta’s Food Drive Challenge.

NAWILIWILI — The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i made a big splash, Friday afternoon when the group had its photo taken by Jo Evans and Julie Gardner of Fotos4Food at the Nawilwili Park.

The biggest splash came when Darrelyn Lemke of the Zonta Foundation announced the presentation of $4,480 to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank. The amount is a result of the club’s Food Drive Challenge where Cyndi Ayonon had boosted the effort by matching $1,000. The effort was doubled when Wynde Thomas, celebrating her birthday Friday, joing the match to push the effort past its original goal.

Thomas’ efforts — not the fact it was her birthday — also triggered the transfer of the “Zonta” spirit award. Previous Spirit Awardee Rebecca Carnate took advantage of the opportunity to transfer the sign to Thomas’ guardianship where it will appear at future Zonta functions, such as the upcoming food distribution for Kaua‘i Coffee employees.

The Zonta effort also counted for Jo Evans and Julie Gardner of Fotos4Food who have been taking portraits around the island in exchange for food and funds that are dropped off weekly at the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank. As the relationship developed, Evans was also volunteering for various KIFB distributions.

“Because of the amount being donated to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, this qualifies the group to a photo,” said Evans. “This also brings Fotos4Food to $15,000 raised so far. This exceeds our original goal of raising $10,000 for the food bank. We set a new goal of $20,000.”

The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i has been volunteering with the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank at some of the food bank’s major distributions such as the Kaua‘i Marriott meal and food distribution, Thursday where some 1,400 meals were served up, and more than 300 food packages were distributed to the resort’s furloughed associates.

Kelvin Moniz thanked everyone for their efforts, noting that it’s not just money, but the volunteerism that is the mark of success during the distributions that ease the burden of finding food for the thousands of people that are unemployed on the island because of the COVID pandemic.

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

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