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RAM Members Put ‘Service Above Self’

By Sarah Ruppenthal

There are more than 1.4 million people worldwide who collectively abide by the same motto: “Service Above Self.” Indie Brassingram of Island Sotheby’s International Realty and Li Hay and Lynette Pendergast of Equity One Real Estate are among them.

All three are members of the Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui. Hay currently serves as the club’s president, while Pendergast serves as its treasurer and is a past president; Brassingram assists with the club’s youth programs. 

On Saturday, April 22, the club hosted its spring food drive for the Maui Food Bank at the Pukalani Foodland store. That day, club members collected 933 pounds of food and $1,142 in cash for the Maui Food Bank. “Rotary is all about service, and at the Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui, service to our local community is our focus,” Hay said. “Collecting for the Maui Food Bank provides us with an opportunity to not just help those in need in our community, but it also allows us to create an opportunity for our fellow community members to participate and help with the food insecurity on Maui.”

In addition to holding food drives for the Maui Food Bank, Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui members routinely take part in service days at The Maui Farm, participate in highway and beach clean-ups, help improve and maintain the Kalakupua Playground (aka, the Giggle Hill Playground) in Haiku, and prepare full Thanksgiving dinners for hundreds of neighbors in need. Additionally, club members distribute brand-new dictionaries to third graders at local schools and honor a high school “student of the month” throughout the year. The Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui also hosts the annual Rotary Helping Women Golf Tournament benefitting Women Helping Women and The Maui Farm. Last year’s tournament raised more than $30,000 for the two nonprofits, both of which help at-risk women and families on Maui. The 2023 Rotary Helping Women Golf Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Pukalani Country Club.

RCUM Food drive April 22 Li & Mike

Realtors Association of Maui member and Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui President Li Hay (right) is all smiles with her puppy, Lulu, and Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui President-Elect Mike Luque at a club-sponsored food drive for the Maui Food Bank on April 22 at the Pukalani Foodland store. 

Photo courtesy Li Hay

Hay encourages others to consider hosting their own food drive for the Maui Food Bank. “The need in our community is overwhelming and there is no better bonding experience than doing good together for others,” she said. “The Maui Food Bank has many great volunteer opportunities including food drives, distributions, and their Backpack Buddies program for Maui’s youth in need.”

Hay also encourages others—those who live in Upcountry Maui and elsewhere—to consider becoming a Rotarian. To anyone who may be thinking about joining any of Maui County’s Rotary clubs, she said, “Just join! There are so many levels of participation available.” 

The Rotary Club of Upcountry Maui meets at 8 a.m. on Fridays. To learn more about the club or for more information about upcoming meetings or events, visit or email

Realtor means a member of the National Association of Realtors. Do you know a Realtors Association of Maui member who should be recognized for their contributions to the community? If so, send your story idea to Sarah Ruppenthal at 

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