Aea appointed new KLA president

LIHU‘E — Newly appointed president to the Kaua’i Lifeguard Association Laola Aea is looking forward to new challenges she and her team will face in a world significantly altered by COVID-19.

Aea will replace long-time KLA president Dr. Monty Downs.

Gone are the days of being able to host in-person fundraising events, and that has forced the group to improvise as they prepare to head into the 2021 fiscal year. The fundraising events, which previously generated hundreds of thousands of dollars according to Aea, aren’t there like they were in years past.

Still, Aea focuses on the future. Aea would like to build more lifeguard towers to have more lifeguarded beaches on Kaua’i.

“We would love to raise money and pivot, and we have to be creative with 2021 being uncertain right now,” Aea said. “We are trying to provide more equipment, trucks, and trailers for the lifeguards, basically upkeep equipment and eventually build our own base. That takes a lot of money.”

Aea also hopes to continue to develop relationships with the community.

“I believe that we are direct links and hope to build great partnerships and relationships with the community,” Aea said. “Some of our board members are huge sponsors. I think we really work great together and for a good cause. It’s heartwarming to hear all of the great organizations that give back so much, even if we are the unsung heroes.”

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The Garden Island

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