A few weeks from now, the hallways and classrooms of Hana High & Elementary School will come alive as students arrive to kick off the 2018-19 academic year.

And many of them will have the tools they’ll need to succeed—with a little help from the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.

Hana is more than 50 miles away from Lahaina, but it is never far from these Rotarians’ minds. For the second consecutive year, the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset will hold a school supply drive for Hana High & Elementary School. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the entrance of the Lahaina Cannery Mall next to the Longs Drugs store; 100 percent of the donations collected will benefit students in Hana. “We recognize there is a need in the community to help families and teachers with the cost of school supplies for education,” said Heidi Dollinger of Island Sotheby’s International Realty, who serves as the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s 2018-19 president. Other Realtors Association of Maui members in the club include Katie Zimmerman and Nancy Montoya of KW Island Living and Kyoko Wills of Old Republic Title Holding Company.

Last year, the club collected $500 and eight boxes of school supplies for Hana’s students. “[They] are often forgotten when community service organizations host school supplies drives,” said Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset past president Joanne Laird. “The members of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset are committed to assisting the children of this underserved school and community. We are hoping that our community will continue to help out the children in Hana who often can’t easily acquire their needed school supplies.”

The mission of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset is to enhance the quality of life in West Maui and beyond by engaging in meaningful, achievable projects within Rotary International’s five avenues of service: club service, community service, international service, vocational service and youth service. The school supplies drive is one of several community service projects sponsored by the club. Among other things, the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset partners with Malama Maui Nui (a nonprofit organization that engages the community in litter prevention, recycling and beautification efforts across Maui County) to sponsor the “Third Saturday Recycling” event at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. At these events, residents can drop off old appliances, scrap metal, tires, car batteries, electronics and household recyclables. “The program began three years ago, and approximately 12 tons of recyclables have been collected each month,” Dollinger explained. “By giving Maui homeowners a place to dispose of and recycle these items, the program has reduced illegal dumping in rural areas and reduces the amount of waste in our landfill. We are looking for community volunteers, as well as sponsors, to support Malama Maui Nui in order to continue this event.”

If you can’t make it to the school supply drive on Aug. 4, the club’s youth service director, Erica Gale, will be collecting donations at Moku Roots, a vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center, throughout the week. Checks can also be made out to the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset (with “school supplies” noted in the memo line) and mailed to P.O. Box 12861, Lahaina, HI 96761.

Dollinger says every donation will help make a difference this school year. “Our school supply drive serves the Hana school, one of the most remote and underserved schools on the island,” she said. “Giving these students the tools they need to learn by making a small contribution is something we can do to help.”

The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset meets at the Royal Lahaina Resort’s Royal Ocean Terrace Restaurant & Lounge on the first, third and fifth Tuesday of every month. Social hour begins at 5 p.m., followed by a meeting from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; Dollinger says guests are always welcome.

For more information about the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s school supply drive on Saturday, Aug. 4, or to inquire about donor, volunteer or membership opportunities, contact Dollinger at Heidi.LahainaSunset@gmail.com.


By Sarah Ruppenthal
The Maui News – August 18, 2018

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