It goes without saying that the 2020-21 school year is going to be very different. The learning environments may have changed, but one thing remains the same: Students still need the tools to succeed, everything from No. 2 pencils to Elmer’s glue to composition notebooks.

That’s why the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise and its sister club, the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset, teamed up to host a school supply drive on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8 and 9, at the entrance of the Lahaina Cannery Mall.

By the end of the weekend, volunteers from both clubs collected 100 pounds of school supplies and more than $1,200 in monetary donations. The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset will send its portion of donations to Hana High & Elementary School and the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise will deliver its portion to King Kamehameha III Elementary School. “It was heartwarming to see several agents and Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) affiliates stop by the table with a donation or school supplies,” said Leah Harbottle of Keller Williams Realty Maui, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise. She, along with Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise President Ron “Skeeter” Stebbins and incoming club member Josh Deardorf, both of Lovely Maui Homes, were among those who collected donations over the weekend.

They volunteered alongside members of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset, whose club roster includes six RAM members: Sharon Beach of Susan Jackson Real Estate, Heidi Dollinger of Island Sotheby’s International Realty, Nancy Montoya of Keller Williams Realty Maui, Leanna Roberts of iTrip Vacations Maui, Kyoko Wills of Old Republic Title and Katie Zimmerman of Keller Williams Realty Maui.

The Rotary Clubs of Lahaina Sunrise and Sunset are two of 11 Rotary clubs on Maui (statewide, there are a total of 48 Rotary clubs in Rotary Hawaii District 5000). There are more than 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide who abide by the same motto: “Service Above Self.” Rotary is an international service organization composed of business and professional leaders who create positive, lasting change in communities around the world. Rotary International is credited with initiating the global effort to eradicate polio; it has helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries, reducing polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide.

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 projects within five areas: club service, community service, international service, vocational service and youth service. Among other things, its members award annual scholarships to college-bound students, collect donations for the Maui Food Bank, distribute dictionaries to third graders at local schools, and partner with Malama Maui Nui (a nonprofit organization that engages the community in litter prevention, recycling and beautification efforts) to sponsor the monthly “Go Green Recycling” event at the Lahaina Cannery Mall.

Like its evening counterpart, the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise is composed of dedicated members who take part in meaningful projects. Among other things, the club awards academic and vocational scholarships to local students, sponsors Lahainaluna High School’s Interact club (a service club for youth), supports and takes part in the Lahaina Complex Tutor Project, distributes dictionaries to third graders at local schools, and supports a variety of West Side beautification and restoration programs.

The two-day school supply drive wasn’t the first time Rotarians from different clubs in Lahaina have joined forces to make a difference in their community. Over the years, the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise, Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset and Rotary Club of Lahaina have collectively held food drives and beach clean-ups, sponsored the annual Keiki Halloween Costume Parade in Lahaina Town, and participated in the Rotary-sponsored Rescue Tube Project, which installs rescue tube stations on beaches countywide.

The school supply drive may have come and gone, but there are other ways to help these Rotarians continue to do their good work, either by joining a club or supporting a Rotary-sponsored project or fundraiser. To learn more, visit or

The Maui News – August 24, 2020